Friday, March 20, 2009

Special Needs

At Carl's Jr in Eagle River, I met a young man named Joey. I'd guess he's sixteen, and might weigh all of a hundred pounds. He told me that he had cleaned the table where I sat waiting for my take out. He used degreaser, in a spray bottle, and all of the tables on my side of the restaurant were no longer sticky. For some reason they HAD been sticky, but he had used degreaser, and people could now sit at clean tables. I told him he was doing a good job, and he agreed. (He was. He worked the entire time we spoke.) I asked him how long he had worked at the restaurant. He told me he has four paychecks in the bank. He wants to go to college after joining the military. First he has to graduate, and that's hard. He's good at math, but that's all he's good at. I told him we need people who are good at math. He told me he hopes we still need people like him when he gets out of the military. I told him we would always need people who work hard, and are good at math. The girl who brought my order explained that Joey has special needs. "Don't we all," I told her. She thought I didn't understand. He seemed pretty together to me.

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