We all get busy, and most of us spend the day at work go, go, going! I'm certainly no exception. So, one of the things I enjoy about my job is that sometimes a person we serve comes to visit me, stops me as I walk through their area, or grabs me in the hallway. It forces me to take a "time out" and slow down, and I often learn something I didn't know before.
I try not to play "favorites", but Chris, who works at Rauch Industries, has a special place in my heart. He is funny, smart, and a little sly. So today when he zipped into my office, I put down my work and caught up on his life a bit.
I had previously learned that Chris works part-time for Rescare in addition to his work at Rauch Industries, where you will most often find him "snapping lids" on our margarita salt line for American Beverage Marketers. At Rescare, Chris trains new staff on how to use their wheelchair lift-equipped vans, using his laptop and PowerPoint and adding his personal perspective.
Today, however, I learned about another Chris "enterprise". He showed me the keys on the lanyard around his neck and explained that the UK one (we know, we know... we've tried to change his mind on that allegiance) was for his new supported living house, and one of the others was for his "store". I was confused.
Yes, Chris has a store! When staff are working their shift at his house, they are not allowed to leave. And like many of us, at some point they find they want a snack or drink. If they haven't brought one, Chris has a solution. They can buy one from the store in his room!
This conversation is a perfect illustration of why no one should make assumptions about people with disabilities - or anyone, for that matter. Chris saw a problem, and not only thought up a solution - he found a way to create a business opportunity around it. So, the next time you're working away and someone or something pulls you away, take a moment. Listen. Learn something new and let it change your mind or broaden your horizons. At the very least, let it make you smile.
Ok, back to work now! :)