In 2012 I was working at a business my wife had started 32 years ago. I had been doing the cleaning business for 18 years and it was very successful – the 2 of us together had over 50 clients.
Then in March of 2012, with in a 2 weeks time, I lost my eye sight and was told I was legally blind and couldn’t drive anymore. After going to 5 different doctors they said that something had crushed the optic nerve in my brain – causing me to lose sight in both eyes at the same time. I knew I could no longer see well enough to clean, but my wife went with me and let me do it as long as I wanted. She went behind me and took up my slack because I couldn’t stand not being able to do anything.
And then one day I told her I knew what she was doing so I wanted to stop trying to clean. So we went to sign me up for disability and within 6 months I had it. However, I knew I couldn’t just sit home every day and let Gayle do all the work – it was killing me.
So I got to thinking, maybe I could get a job in a hotel in the laundry folding sheets and towels up since I had done that in the cleaning business we had.
For about 6 months my wife and I went to 3 or 4 hotels for 2 days out of every week, going to every hotel in Davidson county area, to fill out applications. Every hotel let me fill out an application, and Gayle would let them I was legally blind. However, we never heard from them.
Eventually, I heard that Hampton Inn and Suites on Elliston Place was having a job fair and we went. The boss, Christy Hewitt, called me in for a interview. She said I had too good of a personality for the laundry room – she wanted to hire me for the host in the dining room.
She was the sweetest person I knew since she was willing to give a blind person a chance to be a host in the dining area for breakfast. She even helped me with all the computer tests and other things I had to do to get started. She was my angel sent down from God because I feel like this job was sent from God.
I was really scared at first cause I couldn’t hardly see to get around, but she trusted me enough to give me that chance. I knew I was going to do my best to show her I would try my hardest. Everyone that worked there was so nice – helping me until I learned my way around the hotel.
So for almost 4 years I have proved to myself, being a blind man after being sighted for 60 years, I could learn to get around. I have had lots of good write ups on Trip Advisor and letters to the manager about me. Now of course the little girl I work with in the kitchen deserves some credit also because she does all the cooking – I can not see for cooking.
Christy went on to open up another hotel. She wanted me to go with her, but it was in Brentwood and Access Ride doesn’t go there and I stayed at Hampton Inn/suites on Elliston Place.
About 2 weeks ago the manager we have now, Jonathan, called us in his office and told us both we had been nominated as the best kitchen and breakfast crew of the year of 153 Hampton Inn / Suites! On the 20th of April I will be flying to Kansas City for 2 days for the awards night and will hopefully win.
It just goes to show, with a wonderful wife, great managers and a very good working partner, even blind people can achieve great goals. Thanks to God for giving me the Courage to keep trying.