He landed the opportunity through a portal and now he is one of the most popular and loved employees at the outlet.
A man with Down Syndrome retired from McDonald's after 32 years of serving smiles and joy, reported The Epoch Times. 50-year-old Russell O' Grady is a beautiful example of will power. For 32 long years, O' Grady has spread smiles and joy to customers at a McDonald's outlet in Sydney, Australia. He was born with down syndrome and when he wore the uniform as an 18-year-old, he was looking to gain experience.
This picture was snapped when Russell O'Grady started working for McDonald's in 1986, where he worked for 30 years and retired in 2016.@McDonalds@McDonaldsQatar#DefinitelyAble #Qatar pic.twitter.com/dEBXTJNpRg— Accessible Qatar / Definitely Able (@DefinitelyAble) March 25, 2018
As reported by Independent, he found this opportunity through JobSupport — an Australian government initiative to help those with intellectual difficulties find paid jobs. His co-workers have nothing but wonderful things to say about his commitment, dedication and work ethics which has been perfect since day one. In fact, he was so good at his job that he was offered a permanent position within a few months at the establishment.
Now, Russell has spent over three decades at the restaurant and has been assigned with many responsibilities. Some of them were packing party boxes, cleaning the restaurant, and serving customers. He also became one of the iconic people at the outlet next to Ronald McDonald. His presence at the fast-food joint was so popular that many would frequent the branch just to meet him. According to a report by Daily Mail, he's even been dubbed the "best-known person in Northmead."
In an email to CTV News, the assistant manager of JobSupport, Wynn Visser said, "We've got regular customers who come in to see Russell on Thursday and Friday, and the staff look after him, so we're going to miss him. Everybody knows him and they really love him because he always stops to shake hands and say 'Hi' to everyone he knows. He has only told me he will miss seeing his friends at work (who are mainly young girls who make a fuss of him), his boss and all the people who call in to see him."
She continued, "As his family, our objective is to find him new activities to keep him both healthy and active in his community." Now, Russell plans to spend his retirement by spending time with his friends, going to dog therapy, and indulging in his favorite hobby of ten-pin bowling at the Northmead Bowling Club. Russell's brother Lindsey said, "He's kind of blase about it but loves his work very much. He's pretty cheeky sometimes. He's my big brother and he keeps me in line."
Russell O'Grady was just 18 when he worked his first shift for the fast food chain in 1986 - more than three decades on, he's retiring https://t.co/ZMNub2wIHH #Ablemag #DownsSyndrome #McDonalds #Accesswork #Inclusivework #BetheDifference pic.twitter.com/OHifGA5lOB— Able Magazine (@ablemag) December 30, 2018
His father chimed in, saying, "He's very affectionate, dearly loved and appreciated, to such an extent that we just don't believe it. Somebody said to him 'are you handicapped?' and his answer was 'I used to be when I went to school, but now I work at McDonald's.'"