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Hey, You Don’t Work Here! But That Could Change…

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: eikon805 | January 19, 2023

There was a locally-owned hardware store close to where I worked. This place had the most amazing selection of fasteners — nuts, bolts, screws, etc. — down to M2 Allen screws, the kind of stuff you’d never find at a big box store. Everything was always in its place; you would never see a bag of M3x5 screws in the M3x8 slot. It was heaven for a tinkerer like me.

One evening, I complimented the manager on how immaculate the section always was, and she started laughing.

She told me that section used to be a mess, but one day, everything was in the right spots, but none of the employees would take credit. They all hated having to organize the section, and she couldn’t blame them. Everyone was confused, and they started joking about being visited by the “Bolt Fairy”.

A couple of days later, she noticed a teen boy intently looking through one of the drawers, and then he moved a few bags around and closed it. She realized she was witnessing the “Bolt Fairy” in action. He noticed he was being watched, so he muttered a timid apology and started to leave. The manager stopped him.

Manager: “Don’t be sorry, but I can’t have you working here unless you work here. Can you come back later with your mom or dad?”

Boy: *Shyly* “Okay.” *Leaves*

About an hour later, he came back with his mom. The mom was looking apprehensive and apologetic, the teen looked like he knew he was about to be in big trouble.

Mom: “[Boy] is autistic, and he loves organizing things. He doesn’t get stressed about things that are disorganized; he just enjoys sorting stuff.”

Manager: “For insurance, legal, and moral reasons, he can’t work in the store unless he works for the store.”

Mom: “It won’t happen again.”

The teen’s eyes started to water. That’s when the manager pulled out an application and a uniform polo.

Manager: “What hours do you want to be scheduled?”

The mom just started laughing and the boy exploded into tears of joy.

I found out later that the boy worked there for about two years until his family had to move across the country. When he put in his notice, the owner found out where they were moving, went online, and found another locally-owned hardware store with good reviews, contacted them, and gave a glowing recommendation.

Question of the Week

Has a customer ever tried to cross you and lived to regret it? What happened?

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