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Everyday you’ll get his best April 13, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

While driving home from work last night, I decided it had to be done. I couldn’t help myself. I just wanted to see him in action. So after a slight detour, I pulled into the neighborhood Wegmans. Entering the store, I looked to my left and saw him immediately—Austin, on the job bagging groceries.

Don't even try to tell me the Irondequoit grandmothers aren't going to fall in love with this kid!

Making it past him undetected, I took position down an aisle and pretended to be examining some refrigerator magnets. It gave me a direct line of sight. So there I stood, for just a few minutes, watching him work—and feeling very proud.

In making the decision some months ago to adopt Austin, I tried very hard not to create too many expectations. But very early on, we agreed it would be great for him to have a job. I told him all about Wegmans—how it was consistently rated among the best place to work in the country and about the store located next door to the high school he’d be attending.

“You want me to work at a grocery store?” He never actually said it, but I could see it on his face. Wegmans meant nothing to a teenager from Kentucky, but he was willing to humor me. So as we sat in the Lexington airport, waiting to fly home, I pulled out my laptop and had him apply online.

One week after settling in at school, I knew it was time for Austin to make his move. “Walk in there and see if you can talk to a manager,” I told him. “A lot of kids apply to work here, so you need to stand out. Let them know you really want this!”

With Austin’s charisma, given the right opportunity, I had little doubt about his ability to make a connection. So while his first attempt to engage a Wegmans manager ended as a nonstarter, his second effort proved otherwise.

“So how’d it go?” I remember asking.

“Good,” he replied. “I told him about being from Kentucky and coming here to be adopted. He really liked that—told me I presented myself very well.”

In! I just knew it! And within several weeks, Austin was signing on as Wegmans newest employee.

Before long, he was ‘getting it.’ Everywhere we’d go, people would mention how hard it is to get a job there. Parents lamented about their kids never getting beyond applying. Now, only a few weeks into his new job, I really think Austin can appreciate what he has achieved.

After he got home last night, I admitted to him that I’d been spying. He couldn’t help but smile at the thought of me hiding behind the magnets.

I still can’t help but smile at the amazing evolution of my son.

Coming next: Blue grass meets sandy beaches—Spring break in Southern California!



1. jean kase - April 13, 2010

Aaahh…reminds me of my days as a Wegmans cashier! “Wonderful world! Beautiful people!” wearing brown and orange polyester! Thank God, that’s changed for Austin!

2. Frank Battaglia - April 13, 2010

Kudos to Austin! However I do have one question–just how many refrigerator magnets does Wegmans carry so that a grown man can “hide behind” them?!

As usual, another delightful piece!

3. Maureen - April 14, 2010


What a great story! I can just imagine you hiding in the aisle of Wegman’s pretending to look at magnets!!! Too cute! I’m so happy for you and Austin!

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