Chris’s Story – Home Depot in Chilliwack

Hello, my name is Chris Hanes. I have had a job since grade 9. I found my first job through a friend. His dad had a semi truck that always needed cleaning each week. My friend didn’t want to clean his dad’s truck any more so his dad asked me if I would like to have the job. I told him yes I will take the job. I worked at Associated Trucker Supply washing his semi and his 2 other trucks. I worked there from 2000 till 2006.

One day, when I was at with my mom at the Chilliwack Airport Coffee Shop, I saw a sign at the table saying they needed a dishwasher. I brought my resume back to the Airport Coffee Shop and applied for the job. I was interviewed on the spot and the owner was someone I knew from a local hockey league here in Chilliwack. He hired me. I worked at the Airport Coffee Shop from 2006 till 2009.

In 2009, I was laid off due to slow times at the coffee shop. At that time, I went into Career Tracks. They helped me look for a job. I told them I had experience in dishwashing and wanted to keep on dishwashing. Career Tracks helped me by driving me around and helping me drop off resumes. From doing that I got two interviews: one for Dukes of Dublin and another job interview at Bozzini’s. I was hired at Bozzini’s and I worked at there for eleven months.

I went to CLBC with my mom and we talked to a facilitator and she told us about the Supported Employment Program (SEP). My job coach supported me through interviews at Home Depot and Galaxy Theatre. I ended up getting the job at Home Depot. When I found out that I got the job, I was really excited. It has helped me build confidence that I didn’t have before. My job coach helped me buy new work clothing, through contacting STOLO and accessing their disability funds. My job coach supported me by coming to my orientation and training at Home Depot.

I was a little bit nervous but also excited to be working at my new job as a Lot Associate. Some of the things a Lot Associate does is helping out with customer carry outs and helping customers load up any of the products that they’ve bought at Home Depot. I also make sure that the outside is clean, make sure that buggies are put into the right places and garbage cans are in the right places and emptied out at the end of the nights. Lot associates help out other associates by flagging for the forklifts or making sure the aisles are clear for the forklift driver.

Working in the community is great because I get to interact with all the customers that come into Home Depot. I do like working with my employer because if I had any problems or any questions I could always go to my employer and ask. My favourite part of my job is talking with the customers while I help out with the carry out to their vehicle. I have always made someone’s day when I help them out.

I have always got along with all my co workers because we all work so well as a team. I see myself staying at Home Depot because there is a lot of opportunity to move up – right now I am in line for another promotion – and to learn new skills. Usually, if I have any questions about my job, I go to my co-workers and also my supervisors. When there are different events for associates, I am always invited. I have enjoyed the time outside of work getting to know more about my co workers. I have felt really accepted by my co-workers because I feel part of the team. My co-workers and I get along so well and we can joke around and have good laughs.

I work between 4 to 5 days a week and I work about 30 hours per week. After 6 months of working at Home Depot, I received medical and dental benefits. I would like to say working at Home Depot has been exciting and a fun place to work. I have experience that I didn’t have before. Also, I have made some new friends and I’m pretty excited about what the future brings me.

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