By Nan Bigot and Patty Hastings, Finance
Every Friday as a treat, some folks from the Finance Department choose a place to grab a quick lunch – usually to go. It’s a nice way to get out of the Hammer Central Office and breathe some fresh air!
Well, on Friday a few weeks ago, Patty Hastings and I chose to go to Burger King. I remember looking forward to the Cinnabon “Cinni-Minis” and Patty was thinking about a Whopper Jr. However, when we pulled up, there was a long line in the drive thru. So we decided to go inside, something we usually do not do … We are an ‘order as quick as you can’ kind of group in the Hammer Finance Department.
On our way into the building Patty happened to mention that she this might be the Burger King where Sherman Whitcomb, an individual we serve, works. As soon as we entered, the line inside became as long as the line of cars outside. This created quite a crowd of customers mulling around the self-serve beverage station. I eventually made my way to the drink machine and I placed my cup under the ice dispenser but ugghhh, no ice! I was so frustrated. I really wanted my ice – even more than the pop. I placed my forehead on the machine and kept slamming the cup against the dispenser (because that always helps, right?!).
At that moment I noticed just to my left, a hand with a towel, slowly wiping up a water spill. I followed the hand up to its owner’s face and saw the largest smile and brightest blue eyes staring back at me. It was Sherman, and instantly my spirits raised and I had a smile on my face. He reached for my cup and telling me: “Don’t worry, I got this. What kind of pop do you want?” My relief was so palpable I almost cried. “Coke, with lots of ice please” I said as I smiled back again. He immediately went behind the counter and filled my cup exactly as asked. After, I watched him as he proceeded to fill the cups of every person waiting for their food. Sherman was extremely professional and would politely ask: “Sir/Ma’am may I help you by getting your drink while you wait?” Because of Sherman, not one person left that day being upset about the wait.
When I spoke with Sherman’s Shift Manager, Linda Davis, she told Patty and me that she has come to rely on Sherman because “he always jumps up to help when needed, like filling cups or running orders to cars. Plus he is actually happy when helping, which is hard to find in any staff!”
With Hammer’s assistance Sherman has found a home and job that he loves, and on September 5, he will be joined forever with the love of his life Ashleigh. Yay Sherman!
I remember first meeting him; it was ten years ago. I had been at Hammer for six months and he came to live in one of our programs as a twenty-something young man. Sherman was a little bit shy and he had a tiredness under his eyes. He had a sense of humor then, as he does now. However, this Sherman at Burger King seemed different and in all good ways.
Now his laughs are from the bottom of his belly and full hearted. He exudes brightness, content and happiness. You can see how much his self-confidence has grown. There is no longer a weight holding him down. Instead, the world is his oyster. If you ever get the chance to hang out with him, you will enjoy every minute of it.
I couldn’t help but be extremely proud for him and touched at what I was seeing that Friday. This was the Sherman Whitcomb I had known for ten years. He is clearly living his life to its fullest and he couldn’t be happier with the support he has had from Hammer. His talents are shining through and he is making the world around him a much better place.
Patty and I are so glad we went to the overcrowded Burger King that Friday. Sometimes when things make you the most frustrated all you need is for someone to say “Don’t worry, I got this!”
This is so great. Thanks so much Patty and Nan for writing this. It made my day!
Great story, Nan. What a great way to illustrate why we do what we do at Hammer! This made me smile.
Thanks for sharing.
What an uplifting story. It made my day just like Sherman made yours!
Thanks Patty and Nan – wonderfully heartfelt story. Thank you so much for sharing with our community!! 🙂