And life imitates art once again

NEEDHAM, Mass. — A Massachusetts McDonald’s worker with Down syndrome is finally retiring after more than three decades at the restaurant, according to WBZ-TV.

After 32 years working at the fry station, Freia David’s face is a familiar one for many of the customers.

“She is one of the most beautiful and upbeat people you could ever hope to know and I know,” wrote loyal patron Christopher Sheehan on Facebook — Sheehan grew up with David and the two are still close.

His post inspired a stream of memories in the comment section from other Needham residents who met David over the years.

“Freia served me the last burger I ever ate at McD’s,” wrote Julia Frevold. “When I told her I was cutting them out of my diet she was excited to be the person to give me my special last burger from “her” restaurant. I won’t forget her smile as I told her I thought the name of a goddess suited her well.”

In addition to his usual lunch-rush duties–making sure the dining area, condiment island, and restrooms are clean and stocked–Ehrman spent 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday voluntarily sweeping and mopping the floor in the prep area, helping an elderly customer find her purse, and throwing salt on the icy walk outside the restaurant.

During the same two-hour stretch, 20-year-old Jenna Sanders, Ehrman’s direct supervisor, incorrectly prepared three orders, spilled a jug of oil in the kitchen, and had a 25-minute conversation about the band Slipknot with coworker Debi Price.

“[Sanders] double-charged me for a BK Big Fish Value Meal,” customer Terry Unger said. “Then she got my order completely wrong. I was about to storm out of there and never come back again when this retarded kid, all smiles, comes up and asks if I need help. Sixty seconds later, he hands me the correct order and change, and apologizes for the trouble. Finally, someone who understands how to treat a customer.”

Unger added that in addition to having the only clean uniform in the store, Ehrman seemed to be the sole employee with basic interpersonal skills.

“Maybe they teach it in the special-ed classes or something, but he’s the only one who actually speaks in sentences as opposed to grunts,” Unger said. “And when I asked for extra ketchup packets, he handed them to me and said, ‘Here you go,’ instead of rolling his eyes.”

14 thoughts on “And life imitates art once again”

  1. It’s most impressive that the subject of the piece seems to change sex between the top of the story and the bottom.

  2. Oh, hold on, it’s two different stories.

    Greg Cochran has a story of training mentally defective people to do electronics assembly work. It would bore most people to tears and then they’d make mistakes, but his trainees proved to be meticulous workers.

    Obviously this became a model for training many IT people.

  3. “It’s most impressive that the subject of the piece seems to change sex between the top of the story and the bottom.”

    Doubly impressive – because when the sex change occurred, so did the name!

    And what’s that string of dots doing there after the 5th paragraph, anyway? Very distracting.

  4. In English, a “string of dots” in a quotation means you’ve edited a bit out. Presumably that’s not how its done in your native language?

  5. A demonstration that the employment market is imperfect and that those employers who use their brains to look for ignored talent will benefit.
    It also demonstrates the value of putting a square peg in a square hole.
    If there really are all those underpaid qualified women out there then why doesn’t some woman entrepreneur hire them all? Oh wait, Steve Shirley did – but when the Sex Equality act came in she had to hire men who were better than the female candidates, which rather torpedoes the idea that vast numbers of women were being excluded just because of their gender.

  6. My local Home Depot employs 3 or 4 young men with Down’s syndrome, adhd and other mental issues. The only one who sometimes causes trouble has that thingy that causes hm to curse unexpectedly, and loudly. The regulars just chuckle quietly but others …

  7. “”I love it when I make a delivery and they’ve got that tard working in the back,”

    Restores ones faith and all that.

  8. Dearieme, AndrewC, you really suppose I am so clueless?

    Never explain the joke. Never explain the joke. Never explain the joke.

    Sometimes, following that advice is more difficult than one expects.

  9. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The main difference between Murphy and a kid with Down’s Syndrome is that the Down’s kid can be trained to do simple tasks whereas Murphy is utterly uninstructable. When it comes to their abilities not to be an obnoxious arse, the Down’s kid wins every time.

  10. The bit below the dots is a satire piece (can’t remember where – The Onion?) that Timmy mentioned a while back. Hence the life imitating art title.

  11. @John Fembup.

    Be assured. If there had been a joke, I would not have explained it.

    Besides, why assume my comment was addressed to you?

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