Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Bookstore’s New Employee

I am a reading addict, with no plans to entirely rid myself of the habit. So I am sure that it comes as no surprise to you that the gift I always request for holidays is not white desert wine, a new outfit, or even chocolate: only BOOKS. So near to any holiday -near enough that I think I can hold off reading till the holiday arrives—you’ll find me in the bookstore one unexpected, busy morning.
So with Yom Kippur coming up, and after that a frenzied few days till the Sukkos holidays, I decided to visit the bookstore while I still had a reasonable chance of fitting it in.
The bookstore I frequent is one of my favorite places, and not just because of the books. The proprietor told me once that he has a copy of the Hebrew translation of Babies with Down Syndrome, and I understood that in some way the topic was close to his heart… the child of a relative, or the like. It showed in his behavior.
He has always been great with Ricki, ignoring any misbehavior on her part, and speaking to her without any condescending tones. Recently he even gave me a children’s encyclopedia at cost price when I said it would help Ricki in school.
So today I was pleasantly pleased to see his new worker: a young woman with mental disability was at the desk, patiently applying his store’s sticker to the inside cover of new books. (He has such a turnover that this is probably at least a half-time job.) She put one of the newly-stickered books on my pile of intended purchases, so I moved them. She quickly said “I was only putting it there for a minute.” I realized that maybe she thought I didn’t want her touching my books, so I said “I don’t want to interfere in your work space..”
Such a simple idea for a job. Apparently the flux of people around her helps make the job a bit less boring, but it IS a job that was done by the proprietor until now. I hope I can someday find something good for Ricki(better than sticking stickers); I hope her rough-edged personality will smooth off by then, to help make it possible….


Terri said...

Maybe this is just one task of her job? Or maybe it is a place to start and next week they will add another task? Gotta hope!

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

At my college Library there is a woman there that is mentally disabled, I don't think she has DS though. But her job is to return all the books to the proper places, which I imagine is hard in a library that is so big. She also knows all the rules and is very strict about it, so if she sees people talking on phones or eating she tells them they are not allowed to.

Ricki is still young to start thinking about jobs. When she gets to that age I'm sure it will be easier to figure out.