Take a trip into the Home Depot in Parry Sound, and the first smiling face you’ll be sure to see is that of Carl Dalrymple. Carl, who has a developmental disability, is a well-known and even more well-liked greeter for the store. It was a job he’d aspired to for many years, but wasn’t quite sure how to get initially. With help from ODSP Employment Supports, he was given the tools he needed to not only apply for the job, but to land it!
“The part of actually applying for the job was very stressful for Carl,” explains Taylor Robinson of LINC Employment Services, an ODSP service provider. “So we helped Carl develop a resume and cover letter, and we helped with the application process to Home Depot as well.”
This included LINC making a follow-up call to Home Depot to confirm they received Carl’s application and to let them know about the support they offer to employers who hire people with disabilities.
Fast-forward to today, and Carl is a valued and dedicated member of the Home Depot team.
“When I come in, I go and get my flyers and I have the map in front of me,” says Carl. “And the first person that comes in, I say, ‘Good morning, how are you? Can I be any help to you?’ And I’m enjoying working here very much — it’s been really wonderful.”
While Carl has his day-to-day routine at Home Depot down pat, Taylor comes in every once and awhile to check on how Carl and Home Depot are doing. LINC also offers job coaching anytime there is something new that Carl needs to learn, but Taylor says Carl is quick to pick-up on new tasks and couldn’t be a more perfect fit for the job.
“It’s good to have a guy like Carl at the front door saying, ‘What do you need? I’m going to send you in the right direction,’” says Taylor. “He has all of the skills that were required of the job, and we encourage all of our employers to hire based on ability and not on what people can’t do.”
Moira Ritchie, Carl’s manager at Home Depot, couldn’t agree with that perspective more.
“We as a company pride ourselves on inclusiveness and diversity,” she explains. “And we always want to make sure when customers come into our store that they’re feeling welcomed — that’s why we have Carl there to greet them as soon as they come in.”
Moira says everyone adores Carl and that she’s actually not sure who enjoys having him there more — the customers, or the staff!
“I love having Carl here,” she exclaims. “Carl is a friendly face; Carl is prepared to do whatever he can to assist anybody. And I think employers need to look beyond someone’s disability and just look at what they can bring to the table.”
For Home Depot, that means having one of the best greeters around.