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Imagine trying to communicate when you can’t hear your own voice. Imagine walking around in a world full of noise, unable to hear any of it.
Although there are members of the deaf community who can speak and read lips well, that is not the case for all. Completing simple tasks would seem like conquering Mount Everest if we couldn’t fully communicate what we need or want.
Likewise, the simple task of ordering at Taco Bell would seem daunting. That was what one hearing-impaired customer experienced as he tried to ask for salsa and sour cream on the side. The customer was unable to communicate what he needed until 18-year-old Caleb Francis stepped in.
For two years, Caleb has been taking sign language as an elective. He could have taken art or music but he had decided to take sign language to try something new. Other students were taking languages like Spanish or French but the thought of taking this language class piqued his interest.
Signing turned out to be something Caleb loved and easily picked up. It came in handy when he helped this frustrated customer get what he needed. As Caleb helped the man, another customer thankfully caught it all on camera. Quickly, the video went viral.
Caleb’s manager, Jimmy Dickens, said that he has always been great with customers, so he wasn’t surprised to watch Caleb communicate with his customer with ease.
“When I saw the video, I was very happy and very proud. It’s exactly what Caleb would do,” Dickens said.
While Caleb was glad to help and to make his boss proud, he explained that his real joy comes from finding someone who knows sign language, who he can communicate with. Now that the word is out, Caleb has had more hearing impaired customers come to place their orders with him. It looks like he will have plenty of fellow signers to chat with and he’s excited for the opportunity to use his skill.
Now that the word is out, Caleb has had more hearing impaired customers lining up to place their orders with him. He’s excited for the opportunity to keep using his skill.
What do you think of Caleb’s decision to go against the grain by learning sign language, and his willingness to help his customer? If you’re inspired by the knowledge and leadership skills this young man possesses, be sure to share this story with friends and family on Facebook!