What if we told you the Cat in The Hat works for us? Crazy right? Yes…yes, of course it’s crazy.
Thomas Roberts Jr. AKA “Cat in The Hat” has been part of the EverDry Toledo team since January 5, 2012. EverDry hired Thomas through Employment Connections. This is a service of the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Though Thomas is disabled, he hasn’t let it get in the way of his work-life balance at all. He is a part of the EverDry team and our staff has enjoyed the bonds and memories they have made with him along the way.
Thomas’ abilities, rather than disabilities are what get recognized here in the office. EverDry is beyond thankful to have had Thomas as part of the EverDry family the past seven years. The ability to focus and do good work. The ability to make people laugh so hard they want to cry. The ability to brighten up a cloudy day. Most important, the ability to have fun.
The Clean Routine
Early on, Thomas had a ‘book’ to reference for his daily tasks. He followed this schedule religiously, completing every task to the best of his ability, on time, and in the exact order the book had listed the duties in. Most of his work consists of keeping the EverDry office looking squeaky clean. Thomas is and always has been a great employee, but it’s his lively personality which makes him so special.
Thomas’ routine is so much more than cleaning windows and taking the trash out. He always gets people laughing, talks about all the fun stuff he did over the weekend, and what he has planned for the upcoming weekend. Another part of his workday includes two special guys he’s made an awesome connection with.
The Three Best Friends
Thomas has built great relationships with everyone in the office. “My favorite part about working here are all the friends I’ve made,” said Thomas. “Everyone here knows me.” Tim Despoth, EverDry’s Production Manager, took a special liking to him from the start. Tim always tells Thomas three things when he has to leave. “You can’t rush perfection, don’t pick up a wooden nickel, and we’re buddies for life,” as Thomas repeats the phrases back to him.
When asked about Thomas, Tim said, “The first thing I said to him is you’re gonna be my Cat in the Hat!” Tim explains, “It was off the cuff, I thought of Cat in the Hat because that’s someone you know you’ll be friends with,” and the friendship began. John started working after Thomas, but everything clicked for the trio.
“Those two knuckleheads are always distracting me from getting work done,” says Thomas about John and Tim. Every day Thomas comes in he clocks in and barges into Tim’s office for their ritual, “Locker Room Talk”. According to Tim, John, and Thomas, they start with a “king size” Slim Jim along with a few mini Reese’s cups. What they discuss behind closed doors is not disclosed. All we know is their chats are loud and full of laughs.
Lately they have been taking Thomas out after work for “Guys Night Out” around once a month. “We wanted to spend more time with him,” said John. “He never fails to make us laugh.” Thomas loves food, so they usually take him out for some good grub or cook something up themselves. His highlight of the night when asked the next day usually can’t be decided between the cheeseburger or french fries he ate.
Name That Tune
Familiar with that game show from back in the day? Well Thomas is bound and determined it should make a comeback so he can make his appearance. There is always music playing in the office and Thomas can name the song and its artist for every single song. If you can name an artist of a song playing before Thomas, it’s an achievement.
This is especially true with his favorite decade of music, the 80s. One note into a song that comes on and Thomas chimes in, “REO Speedwagon, by the way! Keep On Lovin’ You,” as he sings along to it. When asked how he knows all these songs so well, Thomas said, “I’ve been listening to this music since I was a teenager.” He makes it clear he loves his 80s music, but he has a heart for more than music.
An EverDry Family Member
His memory isn’t only crammed with music knowledge, though. Like his love for music, Thomas cares for his coworkers. Thomas has all the office staff’s birthdays memorized, and even some of their kids! “My favorite memories here are all the Christmas parties,” said Thomas. He remembers fine details of memorable moments he has had since working at EverDry.
It’s safe to say that Thomas loves the people here and the memories he has made with those people. It was hard for Thomas to choose his favorite part about working here. “I have a lot of friends here, and it is a good place to work,” Thomas said. Thomas has many friends here at EverDry. He loves all the great people that make EverDry the company it is.
Everyone here at EverDry has loved having Thomas the past seven years. We look forward to every morning he comes in and look forward to all the memories we can still make with him in the next seven. If your company is looking for some extra help, broaden your diversity endeavors. We are glad we did!
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