Game-Changer … Will He Make It?, Part III of III

Game-Changer … Will He Make It?, Part III of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
March 2013

Part I began: During an errand to a home improvement center, I witnessed a “game-changing moment,” in my opinion. It unfolded before my ears – and my eyes. Then I was gifted with an opportunity.

I needed a tool. I walked with purpose. After seeing me repeatedly strolling the same aisle, an employee asked me what I was seeking.

He said, “That’s not here! It’s the only tool in our department that’s way, way over there!” I asked for the aisle number. He said, “Follow me.” He was accurate with “follow me.”

We briskly strolled from one end of the large store to the other. I followed; he walked three steps ahead of me.

That was when I noticed a frowning employee approaching in a sprint, lips pursed. I stepped back. Yet my radar was up; I thought I saw it. I watched the frowning employee’s intense focus.

The frowning employee never took his eyes off the young employee’s face who responded, speaking into the air away from the frowning man.

Part II began: The employee shrugged. Then that dude increased his walk until he was two steps in front of me.

I touched his right arm, startling him.

I asked if he knew the employee that he had assisted. “Nope. Started today. He’s just some new guy. Okay?”

I believe I smiled for the first time. To his back I said, “He is deaf. And he is way smarter than you.”

This news brought the employee to an abrupt stop. He stopped so suddenly that I almost walked smack into his back. Stunned, he made eye contact.

Part III: His eyes were soft. He stood only inches away from me when he softly asked, “What does he need?” He had stopped touching his store beeper. He removed the earpod within each ear. (That was when I knew I had his attention.)

I shared, “I have worked with and have been embraced by deaf adults and deaf children. He will need someone he can trust – especially if this is his first day, and there is no one to help him.”

The employee smiled. “I will keep an eye out for him today. That’s not my area. It’s way over there. I’m supposed to stay way over here.”

Then he said the words that meant much to me. This young man who had been so rude to me said, “Thank you. I never would have known. No one here knows. Thank you for taking your time to share with me.”

I asked what the probationary period is for new employees. (Court reporter focus here.) When he shared, “30 days,” I nodded and turned to walk away.

From behind he touched my right arm. When I turned back to him, he extended his right hand. I respectfully shook his hand. We closed the deal.

Recently, I was in the same store and saw an employee I have known for years. I strolled up, “I need to ask you something.” We both looked left and right – for supervisors.

I asked, “Just over a month ago I was in here, and it was the first day for a deaf employee. Do you know the man?” I did not wince; I waited while he thought.

Then he said, “Yes! I know the man. Do you need something from him? I can help you.” I paused – before I asked, “If I need something from him – I could have him help me? Yes?” (My code for “Does he still work here?”)

The man said, “Today’s his day off. What do you need?”

Softly I said, “I have what I need now. Thank you.”

What opportunity was I gifted with as I wrote at the beginning of my article here?

Ah, grasshoppers: quietly advocating to someone who could (then would) make a difference in a person’s new job. In so doing, that person then stepped ‘up’ the center to now become an advocate for others.

Moments unfold into experiences. Experiences then become game-changers.

My opinion is that I viewed a game-changing moment to quietly, respectfully advocate (in a home improvement center). That advocating assisted another person to assist a new employee to “make it on the job.”

You, too, have these moments. Of this I am sure. Indeed you do. Game-changing moments.

Part I of III is posted March 2, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part II of III is posted March 17, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part II of III is posted March 29, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at and

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