Fast Food Manager Hears Stories About New Autistic Employee. Months Later, He Exposes The Truth
Kristin Danley 4/13/2018
Anthony Smith arrived as the new manager at the Arden, North Carolina, Bojangles' eatery, ready to take over the helm. So he relied on his new crew to give him the scoop and quickly figured out who he could rely on and who needed a bit more guidance in their position.
Fast food restaurant employees often find themselves in hectic situations at the drive-through window, dealing with grumpy people at the front register, and whipping up burgers back in the kitchen. Not everyone is cut out for this type of job, so Anthony examined his staff closely.
When Anthony learned that one of his teen employees was autistic, he listened to his staff's opinions. Gabe Bowen, a high school junior, had been working at the restaurant for one month before Anthony arrived.
The manager was told by the other employees to have Gabe clean the tables and pick up the parking lot. Anthony discovered that Gabe was very shy, very introverted, and tended to panic easily.
Anthony kept an eye on the boy and after three months of working together, he reached his own conclusion about Gabe. He saw something in Gabe's eyes that prompted him to take action.
When Gabe approached Anthony and told him that he wanted to do more than just scrub tables and pick up trash, Anthony knew in his heart that it was time to talk frankly with him. But when an employee had to leave a shift early, Gabe put on the headphones and began taking people's orders.
"I never asked him to do it. He showed great initiative."
Gabe suddenly soared in this new position at the register. Anthony had an inkling that a piece of Gabe had been ready to take this plunge, to accept the job challenge, but Gabe himself had to take the initiative.
So the next day, Anthony informed Gabe that he could have that job -- permanently. Gabe was ecstatic, Anthony told WLTX-TV.
"He ran to the back and yelled 'Yeess!"
After Gabe rocked the front register position, he eventually was moved to the drive-thru spot. Anthony said he was so proud of Gabe and how he has since opened up.
Anthony felt compelled to tell as many people as he could what a wonderful kid Gabe is and how, even though he has autism, when give the chance to excel, Gabe performed awesomely. He even shared a photo in order to prove it to the world.
Not only did Gabe's parents profusely thank Anthony for the opportunity he gave Gabe, but parents of other autistic children have applauded Anthony for opening the door for Gabe to prove himself.
Anthony advised everyone on Facebook:
"Never Limit Those With The Potential To Be Unlimited!! Go Gabe! My Dude!!"
When we believe strongly in those who doubt themselves, we can end up setting them free. Gabe is a shining example of someone who just needed a bit of encouragement as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and Anthony was a wonderful employer for giving him that chance.