Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The next step

Joe graduated from high school over a year ago.  I never thought it would be this hard to get him a job!  Although I know he interviews poorly (when asked if he would like doing something he usually answers truthfully "well I guess it would be okay if you paid me enough") he is a hard worker and really wants to be useful.

So after our college option disappeared for this fall, my interest in getting him busier peaked.  We reapplied to Vocational Rehab (which we had abandoned last fall because of a personality conflict with his employment specialist) and while we were waiting for the speedy government, his job coach at the coffee shop (Kim) heard about a local hospital who wanted to hire special needs folks.  He had an interview last week with a few folks from the hospital and several people from Kim's company.  He reluctantly let us dress him up in a suit.

Turns out he was the star of the interviews.  One other boy dressed up but Kim said it looked like his polo had been over with her truck and one girl had "hygiene issues".  Well that is one way to get Joe to stand out in a favorable way! He has his second interview with the hospital tomorrow.
Practicing dish washing ("Mom, not THAT kind of dish washing!")

Then yesterday Kim told me about a dishwasher position at a local restaurant.  This morning Joe told me that this week was very stressful and he was looking forward to no more interviews for awhile!

But he did go over to the restaurant with Kim today.  Although this isn't even Kim's job, she is trying so hard to get Joe a real job and I am truly touched.  Joe came home positively bubbly (for him) and told me that the restaurant wanted to hire him.  "And they even are going to pay me!"

He is still going to the hospital interview tomorrow but he told me he was pretty sure he wanted the dishwasher job.  Of course, I am torn.  Part of me says "go for the hospital" there is more long term benefits to working there.  The other part of me says "go for the restaurant" and work there until next fall and then reapply to college.  The hospital would probably pay more but it is also a 25 minute drive from home on a busy interstate.  Pros and cons to both.

But whatever route he chooses, my 6' 2" little boy will be working somewhere very soon -- and they are even going to pay him!

19 comments:

  1. That's awesome!! I'll keep my fingers crossed it works out!

    As a Plan B, if there's a COSTCO or Walgreen's nearby, both have great programs to train/hire individuals with disabilities. My niece (who's 25, has DS and lives in SC) K landed her job at Walgreen's nearly four years ago and loves it. She's got several friends on spectrum, who are quite happily employed at COSTCO for years.

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    1. Thanks, Amber. For some reason he is adamantly against retail at the moment. I don't consider dish washing to be a step up, but employed is definitely a step in the right direction!! :-)

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    2. They've got "un-retail-ish" positions too -- one of K's friends is a buyer (person who forecasts how much stuff in a given category, like pet products, to order for each specific store).

      Congrats on your boys new job -- very exciting!!

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    3. Good to know. The first employment coordinator just really sparked with Joe and seemed to deliberately try to show him jobs he would hate. She had him stocking at Walgreens and I guess he is worried that someone might ask him a question (the horrors!) and he might not know the answer. Geez, kid, you don't want to know how many times I've asked someone at a store a question and they didn't know the answer! :-)

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    4. I think you might just have gotten a did of an employment coordinator -- because Walgreen's has plenty of un-retail-ish jobs too.

      My niece works at their distribution warehouse in Anderson, that you can see here:

      http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/disabled-recruited-from-walgreen-to-amc-seeking-diversity.html

      K's job is very retail-y (stocking shelves, packing/unpacking stuff) but something like 1/3 of staff at Anderson have all sorts of disabilities and hold all sorts of different jobs, including non-retail-ish ones. The executive who built and runs the center has a son on the spectrum -- and is largely responsible for the diversity of his staff!

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    5. "Dud". I'd mean to write "dud of an employment coordinator.

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    6. :-) Dud was a good word for her! Kim "got" Joe perfectly. Michelle, not so much.

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  2. I'd say he will be so delighted with himself once he starts a 'paying' job: great news :)

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  3. Oh that is awesome news!!! What a blessing Kim has been for all of you.Good luck Joe and enjoy getting paid

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    1. Mom is certainly enjoying it. He starts work Monday!

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  4. Working at the restaurant and getting paid! Praise God!

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    1. Exactly!!!! Pretty happy in these parts!

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  5. Awesome!! That is so exciting for everyone! A real job that pays! Congrats!

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  6. Way to go! I hope that job works out well for him. If not, I am sure that something else will come along with new opportunities. I am not a mom of a special needs child, but I am a sibling of a special needs child. My sister was born in the 1960's but luckily after school they found her a job with an awesome organization called L'Arche Farm and Garden in Tacoma, WA. My sister worked there for over twenty years until she had to retire for medical reasons related to her disability. I am happy to see that there are more opportunities for the disabled in today's world.

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    1. Thanks! He is pretty excited (and so are we!!)

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