Steve moved to Florida in 2000. He worked at a few jobs, but never really felt appreciated. Even at his favorite job at a bookstore, he felt as if he wasn’t being utilized to best of his ability. At one job, a fast food establishment, he had a major panic attack and the Manager berated and mocked him in front of his coworkers. She poked him in the chest and told him to get over it. He quit a few days later.
Because of that incident, the thought of going back to work made him a nervous wreck. So he decided to go to Manatee Community College to study Computer Network Services.
While at college, Steve was connected with Vocational Rehabilitation and received a Job Coach who helped him get a job as a Wares Runner at Goodwill Manasota. Steve was still very nervous and very much out of his comfort zone because of his experience at his last job, but he started to feel calmer after a few days when he realized he was not going to be mocked or berated at Goodwill.
One day, he overheard two Assistant Managers talking to their trainer about how the books had become unmanageable since the Book Pricer had left Goodwill a few days earlier. Steve has a love and knowledge of books and he wanted them to know he could help, so he stepped out of his comfort zone once more and made a few suggestions. After seeing how well he understood books, Steve’s manager gave him a task: he was asked to alphabetize the hard backs on the sales floor. Steve was already up to the R’s when he was told that he had the job. Book sales doubled in that first week just because of merchandising and organizing. Eventually, Steve took over the books department by sorting, pricing, running and merchandising.
Steve states that working at Goodwill has made him more confident and more self-assured; and he hasn’t had a panic attack since he started here 2 ½ years ago. Steve said it best when he said, “This is Goodwill Manasota: they really do change lives through the power of work.” It’s what we do…