I told you what the funniest part of my grocery store adventure was ... now I'll share with you the sweetest part.
Our checker, Alex, talked a mile a minute. Or more. He would hold up my items and ask me where I got them and then tell me I was getting a good deal. 'Cept he told me all this at top speed. Elizabeth's patience was wearing thin with him and she suddenly piped up with, "You talk way too fast! Slow down there!" I'm sure my face was beet red.
Alex apologized and said that he had been working all day and when he got tired he tended to talk too fast. He then noticed the logo on my jacket - San Gabriel Unified School District - where I worked for five years, just prior to my move to Texas. He asked if that were in California. And yes, it was. Of course that opened up a full blown conversation about Cali (no, I don't usually use that term of endearment) and we each discovered that we had lived one city apart. Alex was in Chino Hills and we were in San Dimas. Truly neighbors. Alex then blurted out that he had gone to a special high school in Chino Hills and he even wrote it down for me when I didn't seem to know where it was. 'Ayala High School' Alex had scratched out in between ringing up my Halloween masks and Agave nectar (still don't know what that is...) And then suddenly Alex proudly (and I mean proudly) blurted out that he had Autism. And he wanted to know if I were a teacher.
One can be caught off guard when someone tells you they have Autism. In fact, one might not know how to react. Honestly, I've never ever heard anyone tell me they have Austism. I'm around kids with Autism but they certainly don't go bragging about it ... and yet ol' Alex had the need to tell me.
Alex and I chatted for quite a bit. He learned that I'm not a teacher but I do work at a Special Ed school. Were they big kids? No, they are little ones. He threw terms like PPCD at me, that only someone around it would know. Alex was happy to meet someone who was not only chatting with him (and struggling to listen to his mile a minute chirping) but also had a common interest. And you know what? Alex was an expert cashier. He talked AND he got his job done. I was very impressed. And when we were done, he quickly was on to the next customer in line.
Know what else? When I came back later that night to try to claim my lost bag ... Alex waved to me. I'd have set him up with Elizabeth if he could've slowed down his talking ... and if she hadn't turned a deaf ear to him almost immediately.
And if he headn't given my Halloween masks to the wrong person.
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