Raymond Buehner (RB) started with Sunrise in the job sample and work assessment programs. He decided through this process that he wanted retail stock work. He applied for a position with his host site, Walgreens but he did not pass the online assessment and was so nervous at the interview that he struggled to fully answer all sections of the behavior based interview questions. We were saddened that he was not offered the job. So we created a skill based resume, practiced interview answers and coached him on appropriate assessment techniques. He applied with Fred Meyer, did well on the assessment and was more confident in the interview. They offered him work as a front end courtesy clerk but would not allow job coaches on site. A job coach was allowed to help him with the new hire orientation papers so we could get the full job description and assist him off site. They also became open to liaison services and allowed the job coach on site for brief check-ins with client and management to ensure placement success.
RB performs several main duties: retrieve carts, help customers, clean the bathrooms and the check stand areas. He readily caught on to the job duties but struggled with the interpersonal and customer service skills. It was hard for him to step up and initiate conversation with customers. So his supervisor mentored him and showed him how to engage customers. Sunrise made up a cheat sheet with short phrases to engage customers. His next challenge was to keep occupied while he waited to clean the ladies restroom. We gave him several options to stay busy and not stand at the work station. RB also needed encouragement to be assertive with coworkers who pushed him to do the work that required waiting under the supervision of managers. It was hard for him to take the initiative with co-workers, to refrain from “buddying up,” and waiting to clean the lady’s room. With encouragement and his supervisor assigning him tasks to work on, RB has been able to suggest he and his work partner clean the restroom together to speed it up; altering duties each hour; suggest getting the carts from more than one corral at a time to limit “buddy upping;” and model proper behavior to new clerks. His supervisor shared that RB had the potential to be a good role model and his faith in RB made all the difference in RB’s determination to please management. He knows that when it gets right down to it, he needs to follow the rules even if it means he must assertively redirect coworkers. They have since assigned RB to mentor new courtesy clerks. Although RB really wanted stock work, he has made friends in the courtesy department and opted to stay there instead of applying for a stock position. They have also given him more hours due to his flexibility and willingness to work the day shift when their need is greatest. RB loves his job and is adjusting well.