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Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Target Post

Yesterday I was reading something from a fellow blogger about how he always buys solid colored shirts at Target.  His wife had posted a picture of him on facebook, and it makes me laugh to tag pictures with ridiculous tags, so I tagged his pic.  He was holding a piece of bacon, so I tagged it "Bacon" (duh).  I tagged his eyes, "his eyes how they twinkled" and his cheek with "his dimples how merry" etc.  Anyway, I got to the shirt and tried to tag it "Target" and it said I didn't have permission.  Meh.  But that made me remember I'd been at Target over the weekend with Lily.

We could not find shoes for her to save our lives.  Leslie had already been to Target, and Macy's and Nordstrom's and Payless and had struck out.  She sent me out to get a new school backpack for her and I struck out.  But on the way out I thought. . . what the hell, I'll just take a look around for shoes just in case.  

Lily is autistic.  If you're reading my blog you probably already know that.  She moves her feet constantly when she's sitting.  When she was a baby she blistered her feet from rubbing them back and forth across the carpet of our living room.  We put socks on her.  At least no blisters.  The point is. . . she goes through shoes pretty fast, wearing holes in the fronts usually, because she likes the feeling she gets in her feet when she drags the toe of her shoes across the asphalt of the playground.  

We'd been cleaning out her closet a couple nights prior and dug up some of Emma's old Chuck Taylor's.  Well. . . Target sells those.  So I looked, and found some.  They're awesome for kids who drag toes because of the rubber toes.  Anyway, I found a pair in black and a pair in pink and I tossed them in the cart and we made for checkout.

As usual I looked for either the shortest line, or a long line of people with very little to buy, balanced out the math and ended up in line. . . I don't know. . . call it 3.  As I put the shoe boxes on the belt, I heard the cashier humming a little to himself.  I waited for the woman in front of me to pay.  The cashier put his hands on his head and hummed.  At first I thought for a split second that he was irritated with the woman paying.  That's ballsy, I thought.  You're so impatient for this woman that you're putting your hands up and humming?  But I noticed the hum never really stopped.  I noticed too that he shifted from foot to foot. . . side to side.  The fingers he had laced behind his head were fluttering against his scalp, but he took them down and told the woman politely to have a nice day as he handed her the receipt.  

Interesting, I thought. . . is he autistic, like Lily?  I was almost instantly certain that he was.  I wanted to say, "HEY!  AWESOME!  My daughter is on the spectrum!" but I didn't.  I didn't want to embarrass him or call attention to him.  So I just watched him do his job, like I would anyone else.  And he did it well.  

He did not make eye contact with me, but I only really noticed that because I was actively 'noticing' things.  I remember thinking to myself about a third of the way through the transaction, "Did he make eye contact?  I can't remember."  Lily looks me in the eye constantly, so I've never really gotten the importance of it, when I consider some of the other obstacles she has to circumnavigate.  He hummed when he wasn't politely communicating with me, asking whether I had coupons, taking payment, giving change, wishing me a pleasant day.  

And I thought. . . "Good on you, Target!  You hired a good cashier."  

And I remember thinking too that the symptoms manifest in the briefest exchange we shared at the register must also have been apparent to the folks who interviewed him for the job.  And they gave him the job.  

Okay. . . so on to the post.  After I tagged the picture (or failed to tag it) I searched for Target and figured I'd write a quick "Kudos" to them and ask a few people I know in the autism blogging community to just go read and like it because when I wrote it it was wedged (I'm not even kidding) between a wall post that said, "Target sucks" and "Eat a dick, Target."  So I wasn't particularly confident that what I posted would be seen by Target.  

I'm not sure what my aim was entirely.  I don't think I really thought it through, but it was at the very least "Hey, friends who have kids with autism and know me. . . or friends who have autism who know me, look at what I saw at Target. . . neat, right?" and also I was hoping that maybe Target corporate would look at the dozen or two likes and comments from these friends and communicate to the Target I shop at, "Good work, local store, your patrons appreciate your hiring diversity."

Right. So I posted this:

Jim W:  Target

9 hours ago ·
I have a six year old daughter on the autism spectrum. I was recently in a Target. I had my daughter in tow. We were checking out.
The man behind the register didn't make eye contact with me. He seemed a little. . . out of sorts. He rocked back and forth a little. He hummed to himself between activities. In other words. . . I believe he too was on the spectrum.
I thought to myself, "Good for you, Target! Good. For. You." The man was an excellent cashier. He was very courteous, said all the right things. . . rung me up efficiently, gave me proper change, bagged like a champ. . . in all ways a great cashier. And I think it's absolutely fantastic that he works for you. Because knowing what I know about kids/adults on the spectrum, there is no way he made it through the interview without showing the folks doing the hiring the same things that I saw. And he got the job.
It's here if you want to see what people are saying about it:  http://www.facebook.com/target/posts/10151145180098120?notif_t=feed_comment

There's nothing particularly heroic or epic or even (in my head) touching or heartwarming in what I wrote. That was on purpose. I wasn't trying to be emotional, I was just trying to give them credit where credit was due. . . from a father whose daughter is autistic, to a company who I've just seen has hired an autistic adult. That's it. THE END.

I don't know whether it struck a chord in the special needs community, or people just love Target so much and they're sick of the urban legend about Target hating gays and the military or whatever. . . but it exploded. I've never had anyone THAT interested in anything I've written, and, as one commenter pointed out. . . I didn't even write it correctly. "The past tense of ring is rang. . . " he said. Fantastic. And I want people to think of me as a writer.

Somewhere in the flurry of likes and comments, I lost the ability to "like" all the commenters, or even keep up with them, or their responses to each other let alone me.

So this post is a bit of a response and summary to some of the major comments received.

1) 99% of it was positive.
The rest was split as follows:
2) This is a fake post by Target PR to drum up business for Target
3) Target shouldn't be praised for not discriminating.
4) Target discriminates against gays and the military
5) You're praising the wrong party. You should be praising the man, not the company
6) You should contact the Target and let them know
7) Random asshattery

So. . . in order:

1) The positive was SO positive. People weeping and making their day, and it made me realize what a dearth of "good messages" people in the special needs community get. . . or at least how precious even a trivial positive story is, when you spend all day every day looking for food or a job, or at IEP meetings or doctor's offices, or fighting people who think they know better than you "what that kid really needs".
And this cashier is local, but I swear I got at LEAST 30 comments about how they know the cashier and always pick his line, or they went to school with him and he's awesome, or they work with him and he does it all and is great.
He's the rockstar of Target cashiering or something.

2) The fake post thing. . . I never knew if people were seeing my comments back indicating "no I'm not a fake, just something I saw," but why would they believe me anyway? Also, I really didn't understand what the big deal was. (Apart from the cashier, who was awesome) It's not like I said. . . While I was at Target an autistic cashier jumped in front of a car and saved my daughter's life. . . it was. . . he did a good job. 
I was called a transparent corporate shill.  I was called a brilliant liar.   I think mostly people thought it was fake because of the numbers it generated. . . inexplicable, ridiculous numbers.  And it's easier to believe the bad than it is to believe the good.

3) Target shouldn't have to be praised for not discriminating. The way the world should work is. . . people do the right thing. All the time. Everyone does. You don't get credit or kudos for doing the right thing. . . you just correct those who are doing the wrong thing. But that isn't the way the world works. When you find a good story. . . a little victory. . . you celebrate it. You give thanks. You give kudos. You hope for more, but you take in your little successes you praise positive behavior and you build on it and hope for bigger and bigger successes.

4) I don't know the whole "Target discriminates" story well enough. I've read a half dozen different accounts where Target is replaced by Walmart or by Starbucks or whatever and gays is replaced by military . . . and as far as I know they're all urban legends. I get this crap sent to me via email all the time. The first place I look is snopes.com. It's invariably bullshit. And LOTS of people buy it hook line and sinker.

5) Is Target the hero of this "story"? No. I am. HAH! No, I kid. The cashier is.  The cashier who probably has had to deal with bullying, and therapy, and doubt and struggle all his life. Target deserves credit for not overlooking him. But he is an inspiration to me and the hero of the story; someone I hope my daughter will someday match. And there were random asshats that were dismissive of his role with the company. . .  "great, so they gave him a minimum wage job. . . some victory." That sort of thing. But really, as I look at where Lily is now. . . that minimum wage job (I have no idea what he makes) is as far from her imagined extrapolated future as Rocket Science. It's an awesome magical target (no pun intended).

6) I thought I WAS contacting Target when I left that on their wall. The idea all along was to get friends to comment and like it so there were a couple dozen views and then Target's facebook admin would see it and go. . . awww, look, someone doesn't think we suck or should eat a dick. They LIKE us!! And pass it along. And in fact about 300 likes in, the Target admin DID post a message indicating that she was happy we had a good experience with a member of the team and would pass my post along to the store's management team. I don't think she called it a team though. . . it was something all touchyfeely and corporate newspeak sounding. . .
Screw it. . . I copied and pasted it here:
Target Hi Jim - It's great to hear when our Team Members provide you with an enjoyable shopping experience. We'll be glad to pass along your comments to the Store Leadership team. –Thelma


Meh, turned out she did call it 'team'. My memory is both better than I thought and also somehow worse. Regardless it was very canned and boilerplate, but I appreciated it nonetheless. At that point, like I said, I had (in my head) HUGE (300) likes and so I was satisfied. But I thought about the comments that I should pass the information along to Target store management directly, and I think that's probably what I should do; what I will do.


7) A vocal minority of asshats would interject random "who cares" and "what kind of dumbass posts this story on a corporate facebook site" and "what's your point" along with the couple of other people who felt bad about having "Eat a dick Target" get buried under a flood of positive and so would interject as needed. Occasionally people corrected grammar assaulted character or whatever. . . you'll have that.

At the time of this post there are more than 53,000 likes on Facebook, and almost 1,500 comments. 99% of it, like I said. . . is overwhelmingly positive.

I did not count on that sort of response on Facebook. For me a huge response is like. . . 60 likes. It wasn't meant to generate attention or traffic for me. . . or really for Target for that matter. It was just supposed to be a heads up to the special needs community that Target does good things and a kudos to Target for doing them.

But. . . I love that people loved the story. I loved that people knew the cashier (whose name I now know, and whose line I'll now seek out regardless of the balancing math of number in line versus amount in cart) and thought the world of him. I loved finding out that he is on the spectrum. I loved finding out that he does more than cashier, and that people think he's a good guy; a gentleman. Today was a good day.

I hope Target appreciates him and what he does for them. I appreciate that they hired him.


For an update on this, See "Epilogue".

148 comments:

  1. Wait.

    wait, wait, wait, wait. Wait.

    Lily is autistic????

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    1. *nods* you make me laugh Smo.

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    2. Jim I'm not very tech savy how do I follow your blog..I have a 7. Yr old daughter on the spectrum. You make me proud to be a father of a child on the spectrum. Not that I wasn't before but its nive to see more men out there that deal with diversity. Thanks

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    3. There are a few ways. Do you have facebook? You can follow it on facebook and when I post it'll show up in your news feed (briefly). You can follow it via google friend connect. On the right hand column up the page a ways there's a place for you to "join this site" and it should walk you through the steps.

      Let me know if you have any issues!

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  2. I love this story and the flood of support you had, and your responses to the asshats is great. Your description of the cashier is very much like a description of my own son, so your experience - and the importance of it - really speaks to me. Thank you for sharing it, and for encouraging corporates in their support of our kids. I think that makes you awesome too :)

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  3. The world needs more people who think (and feel, and think about their feelings) like you do.

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    1. that's high praise, Jericha. Thank you.

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    2. Jericha took the words right out of my mouth. That was a wonderful thing you did, Jim. Good for you.

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  4. This was awesome to read! The restaurant manager in me loves that you took the time to let them know you noticed them doing something right, because it really is a rarity to get the positive compliments. On a different note - I hate that people are so quick to bring negative energy to posts online because they can do it anonymously. I get that everyone has a right to their own opinion, but man... there are a lot of unhappy people out there.

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    1. The negative is so tiny in comparison to all the positive. I take that alone as positive.

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  5. Don't you think that if we go about praising good actions, we might see more of them? Now where have I heard about positive reinforcement before? Great post, my friend. I guess we know where you'll be buying your bacon from now on! :)

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    1. I don't know. . . I've never been much of an optimist, but we know it works with our kids.

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  6. You're awesome, asshats are asshats. This story makes me a little weepy just because -- I mean, yeah, like you said, in a perfect world, people wouldn't discriminate. But in a world where maintaining the brand and keeping profits at the maximum possible often trump doing the right thing? It's AWESOME that they hired a man who seems to be on the spectrum, or displays similar symptoms. I can very easily see a hundred managers deciding to pass on him, regardless of his qualifications, to maintain a certain corporate image. Deciding that a man who hums and rocks to himself might be difficult to work with, even if he's perfectly pleasant and is sharp as a tack, just because of stereotypes. Or just because they think he's "weird." I've been denied promotions because of my Aspie tendencies--I didn't know I was an Aspie at the time, so they didn't know, but the symptoms were keeping me back despite my excellent work in all other areas--so, yeah. In the real world, it happens. The managers at that Target rock.

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    1. Agreed. I think of brands that have negative stories. . . like Hollister, where they only hire the pretty, and think. . . this is so much better.

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  7. Holy crap! You shop at Target?

    Great update on what happened. Did you actually read all of those comments? So nice to read about a day like that, after having the complete opposite when my kids heard the word 'cure' attached to autism for the first time :( Big heavy sighs. So thanks for giving me an antidote to that, Jim.

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    1. I read many many many of them. Far and away they were positive.

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  8. Thank you for your observations about the cashier and sharing the story. For all the asshat commenters who would denigrate the minimum wage job at Target, there are legions of people who are applauding and thinking that maybe, just maybe, there's hope for corporate America to find a place for our kids, too.

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    1. It's weird, but the ones that bother me the most are the ones who think Target made it up to get good PR.

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  9. People are so quick to ONLY give a negative experience, that the positive ones need told as well. I recently completely freaked out a waiter because I asked for his manager to tell her we had an awesome dining experience because I know they don't always hear that, but it was deserved. Our experience was great.

    It would be even better if the world worked as it should and we didn't have to highlight when someone is doing the right thing just because it's the right thing. Maybe if more of us do this, more people will do the right thing on a regular basis and make the world a better place. Probably wishful thinking on my part.

    Chucks are AWESOME for kids who like to drag their feet or toe walk. That's exactly why I buy them for my younger son. We were going through other pairs of shoes way too fast.

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    1. yeah, wishful thinking. Until then, tell someone who does a good job, "you're doing a good job"

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  10. I read that last night. Somehow it came onto my feed. I love it! What a great experience huh??? I've seen it a few times around here. Spectrum employees. When I saw your replies, I laughed thinking.. his phone must be blowing up with all of these responses lol Good stuff :)

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    1. I think it just sorta broke into everyone's feed. This is, I guess, what "going viral" means.

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  11. That's awesome. For some reason when Target, special needs, and the internet combine it tends to generate a big response! Are you familiar with the post about Target having a model with down syndrome that went viral last year? (http://noahsdad.com/target-down-syndrome/)

    I took my daughter to Target with me the other day and despite some ridiculous behavior on her part, no one tried to kick us out, so that was nice.

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    1. I AM familiar with that story. One of the bloggers I read has an ASD and DS kiddo, so I heard all about it. Awesome!

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  12. A facebook post of mine from last week. I see children/adults all the time and immediately can sense that they are on the spectrum. I see things in them that make me smile... because they remind me of my son... and, personally... I think he's fantastic. I want to reach out to those people. Tell the parents I understand... tell them of the wonderful things I notice... but I always say nothing. I want to applaud them for the little things I notice that would mean so little to someone who hasn"t lived autism. The smallest milestones and successes can move us to tears... because to us, they aren't so small. Thank you for noticing him. Thank you for saying something. This IS a big deal. :)

    I'm sitting here at the orthodontist office with Daniel... in the waiting room. A boy is here with his dad and brother... and immediately when I look upon his face, I know he has Autism. He is close to Daniel's age, but has the innocence in his face of someone much younger. He picks at his nose and ignores his father's quiet requests to stop. His father asks him "How was school?" and he replies "school". His father asks differently "Did you have a good day at school?". The boy does not reply... but grabs his father's hand... communicating in the only ways he knows how. This reminds me of where we were 13 years ago... and reminds me of how blessed we are with Daniel's progress and abilities. My heart aches for this man... his family... this boy. My heart also feels joy that Daniel has grown to be such an interactive child with communication and intellectual skills that far surpassed where we ever felt he would reach. My heart is in torment. Sadness and happiness at the same time.

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    1. Wow. Sorry for the double post. Guess my ADHD made me post twice :)

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    2. Sounds like you "Get it", Joy. Nice comment.

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    3. Wish I "got it" like you do when my Daniel was Lily's age. So much more understanding... so many more resources... such a greater sense of community in even the past 10 years.

      Kudos again to you for noticing and being pleased with what others might simply overlook. Yes... someday we want Daniel and Lily to apply and be hired for a job because of their vast array of abilities... not turned away because of their idiosyncracies, quirks or behaviors that are in no way hurtful... but simply fall outside "the norm". This gentleman gave you hopes of that... and as a parent of a child with autism... hope is an incredible feeling.

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  13. Morning, Jim. I just came across your article on Facebook and was extremely pleased. In the mornings my FB time is generally dedicated to animal rescue and advocacy, but your FB post caught my eye. I am very glad you took the time to say thank you for a seemingly inoccuous encounter at Target. This is the very thing we are lacking today...an ability to appreciate the little, sometimes mundane, things in life. And while, I am sure, this was anything but mundane to you, we as a people need to do more like what you have done. Keep it up...and thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Miami. I think parents of kids on the spectrum learn to appreciate little victories. And in the greater scheme of things it is just a guy getting a job. . . but I'll bet to that man. . . and to his parents. . . it's ENORMOUS.

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  14. I loved your post. It was a great example if promoting Autism Awareness...and it was at Target--my most favorite store EVER!

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  15. You rock. And check out the number of likes now!! Awesome!! It's so easy to witness something that needs a thank you and "never get around" to doing it. Kudos to you for taking action, such a simple but powerful action.

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    1. I really was being lazy, I thought. I wanted to say something. . . but didn't know who to talk to at THAT Target. . . so Facebook seemed easy. Probably Target corporate is happy I'm lazy this morning.

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  16. Very cool. That is certainly a huuuge response! (80k+ likes as of this morning)

    I too have encountered some special-needs cashiers on Target. Much like you experienced, they were competent workers but noticeably different.

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    1. Yep. competent and different. What's Temple Grandin's line? "Different, not less"? I can never remember.

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  17. Just came over from FB and you're up to 83,000+ likes on the post. Wow. And here is can say that I read Just a Little Blog *before* you went viral... that makes me like, old school! **pats self on back**

    But seriously, it's so rare that we see people doing the right thing anymore and even rarer still that we recognize people for it. Couldn't we all just take a lesson from ABA are realize that good behavior is repeated when it's rewarded?

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    1. punch it in, homey! (I think that's old school).

      Yeah, you like that line about positive behavior as a reward? Sound familiar?

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  18. Good post! My son (now 22) interviewed at Target twice and did not get the job. He didn't get the job at any place where he had to give a 1:1 interview because he drops his gaze to his feet, shuffles, mumbles and looks a little sloppy even when dressed appropriately. After telling a friend about my concerns regarding his inability to interview face to face, she told me of the drug store where her son worked - the "interview" was 50 multiple choice questions over the phone. You only had to hit buttons 1,2,3,4 to prove you were aware of the importance of issues such as loss prevention and general work environment. He was hired sight unseen as the result of that electronic interview and the recommendation of the friend's son who was employed there. Since then he has earned "Employee of the Quarter" twice and people often approach to tell me that he's the friendliest cashier in the store. So, that's our local Target's loss - but it's good to see they aren't all so quick to judge from a less-than-stellar interview.

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    1. Some people, ASD or NT just don't interview well. It's hard to blame the company because they really only have the interview to go on. . . but when they take the time to understand WHY the interview might be bad but the candidate might still be good. . . well then you've got good management in place.

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    2. True - I have encouraged him to self-disclose at some point during the interview but he does not have any interest in doing that. Anyone meeting him or seeing him in action who knows anything about autism will put the clues together for themselves, but he never wants to tell people he's autistic.

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    3. That's his right, I guess. Sometimes sharing helps. . . sometimes it hurts.

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  19. THIS is truly awesome. I'm glad you posted it. Glad for Target. Glad people liked it. just the whole thing is awesomeness. And I hope the shoes work out well for Lily.

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    1. Thanks! They will. . . she'll be stylish and old school at the same time, too!

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  20. That's a really awesome story! We tried to get my son who has Asperger's to apply at our local Target this summer, but by that time he had applied at about 20 places and was very discouraged and depressed. He ended up with no job all summer and put on antidepressants. Hoping next summer will be better.

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  21. I knew you when you were just a snot-nosed, new little blogger on the block.

    I knew you when bacon was just an occasional side item on your breakfast plate.

    I knew you when you were just a starry-eyed dreamer. Alright, maybe not then.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, don't forget me. The little people, Jim, it's all about the little people.

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    1. My people will get with your people. We'll do lunch.

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  22. I am a fellow snopes.com detective, so I am happily surprised that this is a real post about a real cashier. I wish we would create a society that integrated everyone because they found real value in every person.

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  23. What an awesome story to read first thing in the morning.
    You've made my entire day, Jim.
    Stories like this restore my belief that people are genuinely kind, which is tough because there are so many stories that make you start to believe the opposite.
    Now I'm dying to see Lily sporting her new shoes. :)

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    1. Woohoo! I thought about waking her up last night and putting them on her little feet just so I could have a picture for the blog post. But didn't.

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  24. Your facebook post popped up on my blog yesterday and made me grin. This blog post made me grin even more. I love when good things are celebrated. :)

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    1. Yay for grinning! Thanks for the comment!

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  25. When I read your post this morning..I cried. It brought so much joy to my heart. My Timmy is 18, with Asperger's and a senior in high school at St Marys,PA..just a little north of youns:D. This young man is the most polite, sweetest,coolest, funniest and smartest fella I know. He is a "rockstar" of his school..my heart justs skips when in public I hear "Hey,Timmy..how's it goin'" This kid works at the local Goodwill a few hours a week and helps deliver meals on wheels with his life skills class. He works damn hard and his work ethic would put alot of people to shame. These children are priceless and a treasure..I am so proud of my son! Kudos to this young cashier!! Next time I venture to Target...Insteadodf Altoona..it's Ross Township! Thank You for making my day!!! God Bless you and your family!! Signed, A VERY PROUD MAMA!

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for the comment!

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  26. Jim - I SO much appreciated what you did with your little post. It is clear that your one little positive message had a giant impact - and we need way more of that these days. Small acts and messages of kindness and and appreciation do have a much bigger impact than we realize, and we don't always get to see those results. Your message was itself warm and powerful, but the publicly visible results are also a reminder to us all that speaking up can make a difference, whether we see the results or not.

    I am one of the people who said something to the effect that Target is just doing what any smart company should do. However, please know that even though I wish that recognition based on ability were the norm, it does not mean that I (and throngs of others) don't sincerely appreciate and agree that the praise for being forward thinking is a necessary and powerful means to get there.

    I live in Minneapolis - HQ of Target Corporation. We are overall very proud and fortunate that they are an extremely influential part of our community. The anti-gay thing? That was because they gave money to a very-anti-gay gubernatorial candidate a few years ago. That made a lot of people mad, and people don't forget. Especially since Target has been and touted itself as supportive over the years. It's like your favorite big brother insulting you behind your back. They say it was just a financial/political decision that wasn't based on the candidate's social views. Whatever. Overall, Target is an excellent business. But they ain't perfect. Nobody is. But some people will stay mad about that forever, and I can't blame them. But I would still take Target over most any other corporation.

    (PDD-NOS in my family. Also, I have been very fortunate to work with the state on some efforts re: disabilities and employment. So YES! I very, VERY much appreciate your post!)

    -Keira

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Keira. The response was unanticipated (I guess that should be obvious, right?). I do think it's the right thing to provide that sort of positive reinforcement for companies or people who do the right thing. A little praise goes a long way, and since the time of that post I have made up my mind to contact the Ross Township Target directly.

      I do recognize that a lot of the good that corporations do is done in order to get something in return. . . tax breaks, good will, forgiveness. . . whatever. I don't think you can live in the US without making your peace with how business works. Still. They did a good thing.

      Thanks again for stopping by the blog to speak up.

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  27. I think if you really want Ross Township Target to know you like what they have done, find a manager at the store next time you are there or call the store. My first job was at Target, and that Target is my neighborhood Target. Some of the people I worked with are still there. I don't think you would have that kind of employee longevity if Target treated its employees poorly. That being said, not all Targets are the same.
    Also SensiGirl has a hard time at Target...she plugs her ears and squeezes her eyes shut for most of the time we are in there. The sounds, sights and vibrations in there are a bit overwhelming. She goes with me there about once a week and we get a little bit better at it every time, it helps that she gets an Icee at the end of the trip. I also should add that Target employees have been nothing but nice about SensiGirl and all her quirks. Good for you for saying what needed to be said.

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    1. Thanks, Lori. I think I will do that very thing. Does the hum of the fluorescent lights bother her? I know some autistic adults who have told me it gives them awful headaches. It doesn't seem to bug Lily at all.

      Delete
  28. I love everything about this. Because for employers who operate in a world biased against the disabled, it is a risk to hire someone with a disability, visible or not. So good for Target. And good for this cashier for showing Target and the public that people with disabilities can be exemplary employees. And good for you for telling Target that you see it and you appreciate it. And good for all of us who commented and liked your post and told Target that we agree as well. Maybe next time it will feel less risky to hire someone with disabilities. What happened here isn't just some little thing, Jim. It is something that I'm sure is being noticed and will hopefully encourage more of what you saw.

    Aaaaand now I feel a little dirty about so much praise. I'm going to go comment on "Target, eat a dick" or something.

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    Replies
    1. hahahaha. Well said. I mean. . . the first part.

      Delete
  29. I sat here crying for that young man. Not pathetic, sorry tears, happy tears. Our local target has some adults with developmental delays and they always make me smile. I've come to realize that everyone has their own personality and I am so glad they do. My brother is ASPY and I am a special Ed teacher. It breaks my heart to hear the bad stories, the ones I want to forget, so you're a positive ring to my ear.

    Thank you for bringing attention to Target. As for the naysayers, they can go jump off a cliff. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Elyse. Too many bad stories. . . I know I want the truth, but that doesn't mean there aren't any good stories that are true.

      Delete
  30. Just checked (I've been at work all day...please forgive.) Almost 130,000 likes. HOLY HELL JIM! You are FAMOUS!!!

    No, seriously, go you. I loved the post when I read it last night, not just because it was an awesome post, but because it was YOU. You're a good guy. When things are bad, you say so. When things are good, you give them their due. It's one of your awesomenesses.

    I like that people think you were a Target troll. Hee! If you are, can you get me some giftcards or something? They have these brownie-madeleine cookies over there that are the BEST THINGS EVER and I DREAM of them. Target is my FAVORITE. Sigh.

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    1. My sister thinks I'm famous now. Tomorrow when she comes to my house I'm going to sign autographs for her so she doesn't think I've let the fame get to my head.

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  31. That's great Jim. Or, you're the most elaborate PR trick ever. I still haven't decided yet.

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  32. You have arrived...with a big red bullseye! Such a great story! Oh, and I hope the sneakers worked out!

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    1. they're school shoes, Andrea. . . she's not allowed to wear them until next week. I'll take pictures.

      Delete
  33. Looks like all of the attention has really RUNG your bell. Heh.

    I already consider Target a magical place where I can buy clothes and wine in one stop, with those ridiculously long carts that I can still stuff both of my children into, but now this! It's too good! Thanks for sharing with the world. It's been too dark in our corner of the internet lately.

    Also, I only buy Chucks for my boys. Not for the toe-scraping, but because they are the only shoes my kids will leave on all day at school.

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    1. *grumbles at you*

      Thanks, Erica! Do you buy PINK chucks for your boys?

      Delete
  34. Thanks to the WWW you are being "read" all over the world. I'm in Australia and couldn't not leave a comment.
    You're right, diversity should be the "norm". Let's hope not only Target in the USA is such an employer, may loads of companies worldwide take this on board.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Woohoo! Aussie Aussie Aussie oy oy oy! Isn't that what you people say?

      I agree it should be universal. A lot of the "negatives" had to do with the fact that Target wasn't doing it out of "the goodness of their hearts" but because they're incentivized. My take on that is, I don't have a problem compensating people for doing good.

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    2. Totally agree!!! Good on ya!!!

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  35. This was posted by a blog I read, so I "found" your story this way. I have to applaud you for being the one to say something about someone doing good. I know people have said it before, but again, most people only say the BAG NEGATIVE things not the good things. I attempt to make it a priority to tell everyone good or bad thank you, and even when I'm in a bad mood, I try to warn them too. It's only fair. I think it's great that this is out there for everyone, because I really do think people need to learn to appreciate those around them, no matter what their differences are, because you honestly never know what someone else is going through/or what their world is like. Bravo and thank you very much for sharing. (and Bravo to the awesome young man in your story :)

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    1. Well, thank you very much. There are always negatives to balance out the positives, but too much of what we hear and retain is negative. I have to give kudos where they're due! Glad you found me through a blog! May I ask which one?

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  36. Hi Lily

    My name is Jenna. You are a brave courageous fighter. You are a special miracle from god, a gift from above, earthly angel,and you are a smilen hero. You are full of happiness, life, smiles, joy, fun,love, and spunk.

    I was born with a rare life threatening disease, and have 14 other medical conditions, and developmental delays.

    I wrote this poem
    Each of us are Special
    Each of us different,
    No one is the same
    Each of are us are unique in our own way,
    Those of us who have challenges, we smile through our day.
    Those who of us who have challenges, we smile through our day.
    It doesn't matter what others say
    we are special anyway.
    What is forty feet and sings? the school chior
    http://www.miraclechamp.webs.com

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  37. I have worked at Target for 9 ys. Seems like as soon as something bad is said it gose viral and everyone hates Target or which ever company it maybe. People can't always believe what they read online and when they should they don't. We have an openly gay HR who is married to another man. I live in a tian where there are 3 air force bases we do so much community service in the town and a lot is with the military. So I appreciate that you have shared your nice experience for others to enjoy reading something kind for once. We also at our store have a girl who works in Softlines that is autistic she's a big talker she loves to help people and she dose a good job of folding and putting things away! We love having her here!

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  38. Thank you so much for letting me get a glimpse of the future for my son. I worry so much about what and who he will become, how he will make a living, if he'll ever be a ble to drive, or work, or live away from his parents and have some independence. It's great to hear of others on the spectrum being successful and this particular story just warms my heart! Glad you posted it and it went viral!

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    1. Thanks, it was nice for me to see as well.

      Delete
  39. Thanks for your post... I have a 13 yr old with Asperger's and your story not only opens eyes but provides parent of an Autistic, Asperger, ASD with hope. Ur spry actually brought tears to my eyes. I know when my son because legal working age that he will face challenges and I am scared for him. This story gives me hope that there employer that will take a chance and give special needs ppl the opportunity that they are deserving of... I am do glad u shared!!!

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    1. It's my pleasure. Sharing the good stuff is way more fun than sharing the negative.

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  40. Thank you for taking time to pass along a compliment to Target and to share the background of your experience with us. My 21-year-old son has High Functioning Autism. It's so difficult for him to compete with those without challenges trying to find their way...especially with employment. This story warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

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    1. I'm glad! Thanks for commenting, Tamara!

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  41. I teach autism-spectrum high schoolers, and we head back to school tomorrow! For various reasons I have not been looking forward to the start of this school year, but reading your post reminded me why I do what I do, and I think it will be my inspiration to get me back into the game tomorrow! Thank you!!!

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    1. speaking only for my daughter, I know the amount of drill and repetition that goes into mastering even the smallest goal. I know we slip in our discipline from time to time, and really admire the work you do at school moving our kids forward!

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  42. Good for whomever hired him for seeing HIM and not just his quirks, and good for YOU for pointing it out! Your post brought tears to my eyes (and I'm clearly not alone in this). From one parent to another, thank you for such an inspiring story.

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    1. Thanks, Shanna. I was just back there yesterday. I didn't see him at work, but commenters on the post who claimed to work with him said he does more than just cash register, so maybe I just got lucky.

      Delete
  43. Keen might be a good brand for your daughter to wear if she wears out the front of her shoes.

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    1. I looked them up. . . I can see why you say that. Who sells them? Everyone? I've never really noticed them.

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  44. hi i have autism sometime i will tell a parent i have autiosm if i see there having trouble wioth there child i can spot a litte one like me mile away lol .why would some think the targart storey was fake .some of us work

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  45. Hi Jim,

    I work for an Australian parenting site and your Facebook post has been all over Aussie Facebook walls too! I would love to talk to you about this - I was wondering if you have an email address I could use to contact you?

    Thanks
    Melanie

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! Do you have a twitter account? I'm @blogginglily on twitter. You can tweet me or DM me there, and we can exchange email information.

      Delete
  46. Thank you! My son has SPD. Sometimes it is so lonely. God bless your family.

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    1. I know a lot of great people in the SPD community. The blogosphere is very supportive of its own. Let me know if you are interested in some good websites.

      Delete
  47. Hi Jim,
    Great post. I've reposted the Huffington Post on Facebook because I think it sums up, in so many ways, how you just can't win in this game. Someone's always more right and someone's always got a counter argument.
    I love your honesty and wit, and your take on the whole game.

    Cheers,

    Valerie

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    1. Thanks, Valerie. Everyone really is approaching it from his/her own angle, and you can't blame them for it. We're all sort of the sum of our own baggage, and what strikes a nerve with one may touch the heart of another.

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  48. while the hope for society to accept and honor people of all diversity forges on. We need to look for the cause of autism. Please dont vaccinate.

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    1. Thanks for reading. I encourage everyone to research the options and make a decision regarding vaccinating that they think is in their child's best interest. Whatever that might be.

      Delete
  49. Context and Origins for "Target Hates Gays" Claims

    Dear Jim,

    I found your story about the Target cashier heartwarming and worth sharing - and I'm glad that you were able to amplify it. However, I was very concerned that you also used your newly amplified platform to disseminate the idea that Target's anti-gay history is merely an urban legend. While the story has certainly spun out of control and lost a lot of its original nuance through time and the echo chamber of the internet, there is real history there. So, I'm from Minnesota, where the events took place, and I'd like to tell you the story:

    Target started, and is still headquartered, in Minnesota, and to some extent this may seem like a local issue, but because of certain changes in campaign financing, Target's actions in a 2010 election campaign became the subject of national attention. "Target hates gays" is an oversimplification, but particularly because up until that point Target had a very good reputation in the GLBTQ community, many took their actions in the 2010 election as hypocritical, and a dangerous sign that otherwise gay-friendly companies would be willing to trade gay rights for tax subsidies.

    In 2010, Tom Emmer ran for governor of Minnesota against Mark Dayton. Target donated $150,000 to a political action committee called Minnesota Forward to run ads in favor of Emmer. They said they had done so because Emmer was "better for business" than his rival, but many in the GLBT community contended that their rights were not politically negotiable. Emmer has fairly extreme views on GLBTQ people - especially for Minnesota which has a history of fairly liberal social policies. In addition to opposing gay marriage and civil unions or same-sex partner health care benefits, as well as anti-bullying, same-sex adoption, workplace non-discrimination, AIDS prevention, and comprehensive sex education legislation, Emmer also supports a ministry which has spoken in favor of executing gay people - and although that last connection may be a tangential, along with his voting record as a legislator on the above mentioned issues, it does show the kind of decisions about gay rights he might have made as governor. After the media attention garnered by their contribution, GLBTQ organizations in MN asked Target to make a similar donation to a Gay Rights organization, and Target refused.

    On Target's Contributions to Emmer's campaign:
    http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2010/08/target_ceo_greg_1.php
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/28/tom-emmer-anti-gay-pol-ge_n_662535.html
    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/target-best-buy-fire-campaign-contributions-minnesota-candidate/story?id=11270194#.UEcqvKOT-So
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20011983-503544.html

    On Emmer:
    http://thecolu.mn/7243/emmer-says-anti-gay-stance-cost-him-job-at-hamline
    http://minnesotaindependent.com/58393/gop-linked-punk-rock-ministry-says-executing-gays-is-moral
    http://www.google.nl/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CC0QtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DzXnZorTLGiY&ei=7ihHULGGI5OFhQeusoGQCA&usg=AFQjCNFuhRYhp-s_KGgkIxjdHY5jAf-xhA

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    1. I had heard that Target supported him for reasons completely unrelated to his stance on gays, and that when they were confronted with it, apologized and backed away. . . do you know if that's true?

      Any dismissal of Target's stance on gays was a complete accident on my part. I freely admit I don't know as much about it as I should and I hope my post doesn't come across as a dismissal of the importance of LBGT rights. That was not my intention.

      Delete
    2. They apologized and didn't back away - i.e. they refused to make a counter-donation or to distance themselves from Emmer. Which is exactly the problem with their stance that they were only funding the fiscal part of Emmer's campaign - they want to have this both ways - the GLBTQ community's support, and their "pro-business" but anti-gay candidate. But politics doesn't allow you to choose only part of a candidate's platform. By choosing Emmer they supported a candidate who opposed the exact reforms which won them friends in the gay community - like workplace non-discrimination, same-sex partner health benefits and so on. If Emmer had been elected and pursued his agenda to lower Target's taxes while making it illegal to give partner benefits, Target would have won at the expense of GLBT people. Target apparently thought that was a bargain worth making - lots of people disagreed.

      Thank you for reading and responding to my comment - in your post you call this story an "urban legend" and while certain people's use of it may have become distanced from the actual story, I just wanted to link back to the fact that it did come from a real incident.

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    3. I said I assumed it was. I will be completely honest that no research went into that. Most of the negatives I've heard back about the story on Huffington Post were related to my dismissal of the LGBT angle. And clearly in this case where there's smoke there's some fire.

      Delete
    4. This story is the reason I haven't shopped at Target in a few years. But because of your dismissive mention of it I did some more research. What I found backs up what blacksquirrel says, with one change. Apparently in early 2011 they made a deal with Lady Gaga to stop supporting anti-gay politicians in return for exclusive rights to one of her singles. However, apparently the deal fell through when (at least in her opinion) they continued to support anti-gay groups. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/03/09/reports-lady-gaga-ends-target-deal-after-alleged-donations-to-anti-gay-groups/

      On the other hand, they do offer spousal benefits to same-sex partners and have other pro-equality policies. It is not black & white, but the political donations are a real stumbling block for me.

      Delete
    5. Thanks for the followup, kperantie!

      Delete
  50. Such a small act to have such a tremendously positive outcome. I am certain you had No Clue when you made your original post. The world truly needs more people like you. God sent an angel to spread GOODWILL and you Sir,are that Angel!!!

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    1. Hardly an angel. But i do like to give credit where credit is due. Thanks, Dottie!

      Delete
  51. As the mom of a 28 year old young woman who is also on the "spectrum,", I want to say how happy I am about the young man in the story.

    But, let me share mine.

    My daughter is very high functioning. She has graduated from college (at age 26 because she went on a part time basis). She had a decent GPA too, 3.3. She is not "stupid." And she has a good heart. At Christmas, every year, she goes to Walmart and chooses a child's "wish list" from their tree and fulfills every single wish on it. She buys gift certificates to various local restaurants and sends them anonymously to people she knows are having a hard time in this economy. She's quite the social butterfly; I would not know my neighbors if they bit me on the nose, but she knows all of them.

    But she also has her idiosyncrasies. Her special, comfort-giving movements, differences in tone, pitch, and the prosody of speech.

    At age 19, she was hired at the local Target store in Willoughby, OH. She cannot drive (yet, but we're working on it) so I had to drive her and pick her up. She only worked there for about 6 weeks, but I knew that the job was not going to last very long. They never did.
    They started her off on the floor. After about two weeks, they tried her as a cashier. Then it was the coffee/hot dog shop. That's the routine, you see. When a customer complains about her perceived "rudeness," (lack of eye contact, inappropriate tone, etc) they move her to a different job. After the third move, they fire her. It had already happened at two grocery markets, a bagel shop, a wholesale club, and a fast food place (Wendy's)


    In the evenings, I liked to arrive early and browse a bit or just sit and enjoy a soft drink in the little coffee shop. One night I was there. My daughter was in the back, washing things at the sink. The manager of the shop was at the register, and a female customer was causing a scene by complaining that she had to pay tax on her hot dog. She was loud, rude, and profane about it, behaving in a way my daughter never would. I felt sorry for the manager.

    Then, two days later, I dropped her off at the store for her 10AM start time. By the time I got home, the telephone was ringing. It was Niki, crying. She needed me to come pick her up because she had been fired. And they did it in the cruelest way possible.

    She told me that she had been called into the manager's office as soon as she punched in. The young female manager had told her she was being fired because of the altercation she had caused in the hot dog shop three evenings before. That's right, somehow, even though she had not been working the counter during the incident with the nasty customer, she was being blamed for it.

    She was also told that other employees had reported that she had been saying terrible things about some of the management staff in the break room. She denied it and asked who had said such a thing. "That is confidential," she was told, "but we have several witnesses."

    My daughter denies ever talking about anyone. No, I have no "proof" she didn't, but it is not in her nature. In fact, she spent as little time in the break room as possible because the other employees made her feel like she was back in middle school, with snide looks when she tried to say hello to someone, and laughter when she left the room.

    That woman humiliated her. I'd never seen her so broken in spirit before. It took her nearly a year of counseling to get her to build up the courage to go back out there and try again.

    This is getting longer than expected, but let me say that she has now been working for Walmart for nearly three years and is engaged to be married to a nice young fellow. So happy ending, but I will never darken the door of a Target store ever again.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. awful story. i certainly understand your decision never to return. I wouldn't either. I've heard (over the course of this post's amazing ride) that some stores are good, some stores are bad. That's not hard to believe. So what was good about this store may be horrible in another. I'm sorry your daughter experienced that. I'm glad she's enjoying her new stint at Walmart.

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  52. I am certain Lily will grow up to be a wonderful human being. Spectrum or no spectrum...she has you for a father.

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    1. Very kind of you. Thanks for commenting!

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  53. Thank you for sharing hope. I appreciate the manager at that Target, just as I appreciate the manager at the Walmart where Dsard's daughter now works. It is those people, those caring human beings, that I hope my stepdaughter will one day have the opportunity to come across should she ever wander towards that "awesome magical target". I hope they find them wherever they choose to travel.

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    1. agreed. Thanks for commenting jane!

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  54. Interesting how people come together. My son is 17 and has been diagnosed with autisum now for a bit over 10 years. Your daughter will probably blow your mind when she gets older. My son speaks to me and I almost feel inferior, the brilliance these amamazing children have "normal" folks don't have the capabilities to understand. I take my son to talk to his DR. When he feels the need to talk science, physics, and coding on his Linux computer. I'm not saying I'm not smart but when our children need challenged. Intellectually. Ive had to learn its ok to step back and not take it personally. Good for you making sure some corporation like target was informed of one of their prized employees.

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    1. I know that 70% of those diagnosed with Austim have intellectual disabilities, but regardless of what happens with our little Lily, we've got her back!

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  55. I saw your post on FB and then also on the Huffington Post today, which led me to your blog. When I read the article today (as well as the FB post), I knew exactly what you were talking about. My 26yo son has Aspergers. It has been brutal to have watched him be bullied, excluded, etc., his entire life. His life has been hard, and yet, at 26, he is entering his senior year of college. People still don't "get" him (including myself sometimes). The roommate thing at college hasn't been great, but it is life experience. Your post was a good piece.

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    1. Thanks. It's a hard road. The bullying thing is the piece that scares me the most. Right now Lily is still young enough that kids find her behaviors novel, and fun, and they want to drag her around like a baby doll. A couple years from now is when the cliques and social exclusion start. . . not looking forward to it.

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  56. Whoa fancy, now you're on HuffPost!

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    1. SOOOOO fancy, right?? *smokes pipe*

      Delete
  57. It is a sad state that people look for more than just the message in your post. Having worked in retail for over 40 years it has changed so much with the interactions of customers and workers. Good for you on commenting on a positive thing. There is so much negativity in this world already. Good for Target for hiring that young man.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

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  58. I, too, am the mother of a child on the Spectrum, and was touched by your story. I wanted to share with you what I just posted on the Target site on facebook. Lily is lucky, she has a father who is more than willing to see his child for the beautiful, wonderful, autistic that she is, and knows the love that will come back to him, by being honest with her, and accepting her as she is, thank you.
    "just read the story about the great autistic cashier, and want to thank Target for seeing in him, what parents of Autistic children see every day, that they are capable young adults, needing someone to believe in their abilities. Autistic children are diligent when given tasks they enjoy and find themselves capable of doing, and doing well.
    Every child is this way, not just Autistic children, and if more parents would take notice, and praise their children, while teaching them Work Ethic, we might have more teens willing to actually be proud of their jobs, instead of going to work and expecting a paycheck for just standing there. Too often I hear from teens how they don't want to do the work, and won't, but they expect that pay check. My own son is Autistic, and we are teaching him, at 14, that in order to be respected, he should do his best no matter the job.. Thank You, Target"

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    1. awesome! Thanks, Mamma Rhea!

      Delete
    2. Through reading some of the posts on here, I can tell you are not alone in raising a wonderful Spectrum child. Yes, things do get rough, as my son, Cullen, has been bullied by children and teachers, alike. I even had a Super Intendent call my son a "monster", and looked him square in the face and replied, "MY son is Autistic, he is NOT a monster, give me his records, he is out of your school." I home school, and the first four years was literally unteaching him what they had "taught" him, and working with his interests. Please, learn all you can about your rights as a parent. I knew it was time to pull him, when there were three other boys, who were more disturbing than my son, and more violent, who were allowed to go on field trips, and Cullen could not unless I was with him. My son was not violent unless beaten by the other children, but I was the one who had to accompany him or he missed out. I have been lied to by the school counselor, after making a cloth book with trims used to express his emotions, and told the principal I could easily make one for each child in his class, and instead, I found it buried in his desk, and was told he was allowed to use it. My son told me when he came home, that she had lied to me, that the other kids wanted one, so he was told he was NOT to use it, because it was not fair to the others. They were shoving him in a "resource room", throwing worksheets at him with little teaching, and expecting him to learn. Please, do not let that happen to Lily

      Delete
    3. That's pretty awful. I know a lot of folks who homeschool their kids for reasons like yours.

      Delete
  59. Cool. I also post comments on corporate Facebook pages when I get good service or if I like a product. I also complain, which is much easier for some reason.

    The gay rights thing is complicated. I wouldn't call it an urban legend, though. They supported supposedly pro-business politicians, and one of them was famous for being a big homophobic douche. It's not easy for a company to avoid controversies like that, I suppose. In their defense, though, this.

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    1. Yes, I've since been edu-mah-cated on the whole story. . . or at least the whole story as told from the point of view of a LGBT advocate.

      I think from a practical standpoint, in a two party system, if you support one or the other side, let's say you always vote GOP because they're typically in favor of tax breaks. . . then you're associated with the entire platform. Same is true if you vote for the other guy. You're either a communist or a nazi. I mean. . . not YOU. . . i mean in general.

      Delete
  60. Hello

    My name is Cristine, forgot my Google account, yet I want to give my name. I think first of all, I can imagine how much patience and love it must take for you and your family to be a family. I think that is beautiful. I always think that the best people, the ones that give the most love are ones that are not concerned with all the crap outside of them. They come from a very pure, loving place. Basically they think way too much. I hope your daughter is successful in her life and never loses what I can imagine is so much love.

    I also wanted to say that you made me laugh. I hope you keep going.

    Sending my goodness to your family.

    Cristine

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    1. Thanks, Christine! Never give up, never surrender!

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  61. I can't believe I very nearly missed this!! You rock!! So does Target and the cashier! Great story, thanks for brightening my day. And making me happy that I can and do shop at Target now!

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  62. Jim,

    I don't have a google account so I'll post as anonymous and tell you my name.

    Thanks for your story. It's amazing the things that we as parents of autistic children notice. As the father of a low functioning, but making gains, autistic boy this gives me hope for his future. You're right...'never give up...it might only be 5 minutes until the miracle happens.' ( I stole that from his last case worker at the community services agency [grin])

    Thanks again.

    Nate

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  63. I found your blog from the link on the Huffington Post within your article on Target. I am a high functioning autistic who is approaching 50. When I was young, I naively thought if I just did the job really well, people would hire and keep me. I found out differently--numerous times. I have been fired for "not being a good fit" and it had to do with not being politically correct or subtle enough. I would encourage those on the autism spectrum to learn a skill that can be done from home so that when finding a job out in public seems insurmountable, you will still have marketable skills to earn money--hopefully, to make a living.

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    1. Sometimes NOT working with people is better than working with them. I wish I had marketable stay at home work skills sometimes. . .

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  64. Thank you for sharing this with us Jim, I came upon your blog post after reading a local blogger's post and your post made me feel warm inside :) I do hope that everyone will get a fair chance at employment.

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for commenting, Kenshin!

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  65. lol Jim, in a way i hope that not everyone will seek out his line like you do, if not, the cashier will have too much work to do. haha
    Anyway, GREAT story, my collegues are curious why a 30 yr old man is teary in the office haha.

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    1. You're absolutely right! Thanks for the comment! *passes you a tissue. . . a manly tissue*

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  66. Hey I just wanted to share with you an idea for shoes for your daughter. I have a friend who owns a line-x protective coating franchise and he recently coated the toe of a softball player's clears because she wears out the toe from dragging it while the rest of the cleat is okay. Perhaps you have a place in your area that installs the spray in truck bed liner that could coat the toes of your daughter's shoes. They might even do it for cheap/free if you go in and speak to the owner/manager directly. The stuff comes in so many colors and the cleats still looked pretty cool, and not like they had been covered in electrical tape. Check it out and pass this tip on to anyone else that may benefit from it. I personally am an OT and my passion is working with people on the spectrum. I get so happy when I can help solve a dilemma that a patient or family is experiencing.

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    1. This reminds me so much of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". If you didn't see it, it's actually pretty funny. The main character is an inventor, and he invents spray shoes. In his case, however, the problem is that the shoes, once sprayed on your feet. . . can never be removed.

      We're probably getting closer to an age where your idea makes sense. When kids are little, like Lily has been. . . shoes are relatively cheap. Replacing a pair of $12 shoes isn't a huge deal every few months. Now the shoes are starting to get a little more expensive. . . $20 - 40, and her feet aren't growing as fast. It's an intriguing option. I'd be curious how they'd go about it.

      Thanks!

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  67. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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