The other day I was shopping in the local grocery store, one that is part of a chain of supermarkets up and down the state. It was later in the day and it seemed everyone in town was shopping in the same place. The lines were long, the clerks were trying to hurry, and some customers were anxious. But the baggers were methodical, calm and worked with smiles. I began observing all the lines as patron after patron had their bags packed in the same disciplined way by these smiling baggers.
Then I watched the baggers more closely and suddenly I was struck by the fact that all of them had some kind of disability. Two had Down syndrome, some had different physical deformities like a crippled arm or extremely thick glasses, and many had problems I couldn’t identify. But they were all persevering in their jobs - packing the bags carefully, loading groceries onto the carts, and courteously asking customers if they needed help to their cars. They all worked diligently and with kindness. If a clerk asked one to run and get an item or check a price, the bagger complied happily. Read the rest of this entry →