For Alex Baker, Working Hard Means Playing Hard
Alex Baker is at the popular chain restaurant, Outback, in Southern Pines more than he used to be. When he first started working there a year ago, he was in the kitchen two or three days a week. Now, he's there at least five days a week, sometimes working overtime and unexpectedly on a day off to fill in. But Baker has no complaints. In fact, he'd like to take on even more.
"I enjoy doing my job the best I can. I really want to, hopefully, one day be a manager. I'd like to take on more responsibility," said Baker.
Baker works in the kitchen, often rolling silverware, peeling potatoes and anything else his crew might need. The fast-paced environment and team atmosphere are where Baker thrives.
"Sometimes it does get hectic. My boss always tells me I do a good job. All my managers recognize my work ethic, because if I have more time I help with other things too," said Baker.
Residential Manager at Monarch, Gerrell Watkins, said the pride Baker takes in his work is clear.Hetakes his job and responsibilities seriously. Things as simple as keeping a clean-shaven face, following the dress code and being on time are rules Baker wouldn't consider bending.
"He has not called out of work in my time working with him. He's so dependable and because he's a good worker, they've increased his hours and given him extra tasks to do," said Watkins. "It gives him a sense of belonging in the community. He's not in a sheltered environment where it's only people that have disabilities working. It gives him a sense that we're more alike than we are different, because he works with people who don't have disabilities," she added.
Baker has a lot of fun at work as well, chatting with co-workers and customers when time allows. The other fun part of working: a paycheck. Earning money allows him to pay his own bills and have some left over to enjoy his gaming hobby.
"Fable, Pokémon and Final Fantasy. I love playing those games," said Baker.