Starbucks employee’s heart-warming L&D initiative goes viral

by L&D24 Feb 2016
Ibby Piracha is a regular customer at a Starbucks in Leesburg, Virginia. On a typical day, the deaf man would use his mobile phone to type out his order and show to the barista.
 
However, the 23-year-old got the shock of his life recently when the female cashier behind the counter used sign language to ask him what he wanted.
 
The barista then handed Piracha a hand-written note that read: "I've been learning ASL (American Sign Language) just so you can have the same experience as everyone else."
 
“I was like ‘wow.’ It brought a smile to my face,” Piracha was quoted as saying by The Independent.
 
“I was really surprised she had started signing. It wasn’t anything I had asked her to do. She had taken her own initiative and she had done it herself.”
 
Piracha was so touched that he took a picture of the note and posted it on Facebook with a post that read:
 
“Oh, I gotta love this place. Starbucks woman cashier, she wrote it to me and she knew I am deaf,” he posted.
 
“I am surprised she learning sign language because I attend to Starbucks 3 times in a week. She asked me ‘what you want drink?’ in sign language.
 
“I am so blessed with her. I think she realised Leesburg, VA have deaf people. Please share this post to everyone.
 
“I want hearing people would understand about hearing community supporting for the deaf community.”
 
The post has since gone viral due to the thousands of likes, shares and comments.
 
Piracha added that he has never before encountered a service employee who has communicated with him in sign language.

“I was glad to hear someone supporting the deaf community,” he said.

“Sometimes we feel kind of pushed away, and I wish hearing people were a little more assertive to learn more about us and our community.”

L&D Professional has previously spoken to McDonald’s chief people office Cathy Doyle about how the fast food restaurant liberates their people to come up with creative ways to delight their customers.

Related:
 
Why liberating your learners works wonders
 

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