The first is usually the most memorable and the same holds true of one’s first job, no matter how menial it may have been.
After all, being accepted for a job is as much about validating one’s sense of worth in society as it is about the paycheck.
It’s sometimes difficult enough for an ordinary person to get a job so imagine how much more challenging it must be for those with disabilities. That’s why when they do manage to get the job, the event becomes even more special.
Julia Hock is a teenager and she’s always wanted to work for Chick-fil-A, a fast food restaurant in Rancho Murieta, California. What attracted her to the job was the chance to interact with customers. There’s just one problem. Julia has Down Syndrome.
Aside from the characteristic facial features associated with Down Syndrome, people who have this disease also suffer from varying levels of intellectual impairment. As such, that can make it difficult for them to perform some tasks that normal people would take for granted. Understandably, that also makes them less than ideal candidates for a job.
However, in an interview with Top30 TV, Julia’s mom Kerri revealed that: “Several kids at school wrote unsolicited letters of recommendation for her, and a couple of other kids helped her choose outfits and drove her to the interview.”
Aside from all the support from the kids in her community, the people who were interviewing Julia were also open enough to feel comfortable working with people who have special needs.
Keri also added, “She’s very friendly and very sociable. The person that loves the unlovable.”
Julia’s personality must have made an impression because she received some very welcome news just a few days after her interview.
One of Julia’s family members took a video of that moment and it’s something that all of them, especially Julia, can look back on for the rest of their lives.
In the video, Julia’s phone is set on speaker as the Chick-fil-A employee says, “I was just calling to offer you a position here.”
Mouth open in surprise, Julia can only lean back into the car as she hears that she actually got the job.
“Your pay rate would be $11.50 per hour, would you like to accept?”
“I do,” says Julia.
The family members around Julia can barely contain their excitement but they struggle to control themselves so as not to interrupt the conversation.
The woman at the other end of the line continued, “Awesome. So, we are looking to get you started in the month of December. So keep an eye out in your emails. We will be sending an email regarding what orientation we would like you to attend.”
Amid Julia’s gasp of excitement, we can hear her mom quietly advising, “say you’re so excited…”
Julia regains her composure and replies, “I’m so excited. Thank you.”
We can almost imagine the employee’s smile as she says, “My pleasure! You have a great rest of your day.”
As the call ends, everyone couldn’t contain their excitement anymore and as Julia exclaims, “I’m hired!” the rest of her family follows with a chorus of “Yays!” and hugs.
It was a truly wonderful moment and props to Chick-fil-A for helping this teenager achieve one of her goals. The experience will certainly boost her confidence and make her work harder to excel in spite of her condition.