We were thrilled to hear that Henry Davis was hired by the Jewel store on Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Henry is a Disability Awareness Player and attends the Search, Inc. Ignite program, located at our Evanston office. He is very excited to be working close to home and the day program he attends.
We sat down for a Q&A with Henry:
Q. When do/did you start your job at Jewel?
A. I started my new job at Jewel on October 6th.
Q. What position were you hired for?
A. I was hired as a bagger and to collect carts and do maintenance.
Q. What can you tell us about your new job?
A. My first couple of days was different than I thought it would be because I’ve never bagged groceries before. I thought it was going to be easy, but it was harder than I thought. It depends what kind of bags a customer wants or brings. Sometimes, you have to double the bag – meat in plastic bags, bottles in paper bags so they don’t spill or break, and flowers in special bags. I can put food in bags, but I’m still learning to do it the right way and learning to build a wall with cereal boxes and canned goods. The bread and eggs go on top.
Q. How do you get to your new job at Jewel?
A. I take the train and a bus. It takes me probably 45 minutes.
Q. What are some of the tasks you will need to do at work?
A. Right now, I am mostly bagging. I will also have to clean the washrooms, wash the floors, take out the garbage, and collect the carts outside and bring them inside, and help the customers out to their cars if they want.
Q. How did you get the job?
A. A person I know from the train works there, and she told me that Jewel was hiring. I told my job coach, Sarah, and she helped me fill out the application on the computer and send it in.
Q. What did Sarah do to help you prepare for your interview?
A. Sarah said I did all the work, but she helped me rehearse my answers. We practiced interviewing.
Q. What else did Sarah do to support you?
A. Sarah helped me with all the paperwork on the internet. Sarah helped me during the orientation and made sure I learned everything during training.
Q. Did anything else help you prepare for your interview and/or employment?
A. By coming to Ignite, I am learning about different skills about how you’re supposed to talk to customers and your boss. I am also a Disability Awareness Player, and now I have a bigger role in the trainings. Doing that makes me feel great inside. Playing basketball for the Search Squad Special Olympics makes me feel good inside, too.
Q. How will Sarah help you on the job?
A. Sarah will watch how I pack groceries and make sure I’m doing the job right. She tells me not to put too many groceries in a bag. She will come to Jewel and help me any time I have to learn something new.
Q. In your view, what are the benefits to working?
A. It’s a good job; I get exercise; I get to talk to customers and coworkers. I earn enough money to pay for my phone and other activities. Working gives me something to do on weekends. It makes me feel great because I have something to do.
Q. Any plans for your first paycheck?
A. I want to buy new shoes and new work pants. I also want to buy a digital watch so I can time my breaks and lunch when I’m at work.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to share?
A. I was nervous the first few days because the training is still going on, but I met some of my co-workers. I am excited to get to know them better and to meet more people. Jewel is a good store to shop at because the customers and coworkers are nice.
Thank you for sharing Henry, and congratulations on your new job!