How does someone who dreams of a desk job become one of the best donut icers in town?
Not everyone can ice the donuts at Tim Hortons. There is as much art as science in creating the perfect Boston Cream. It involves dipping the donuts into sticky fondant and then flipping them over and using a spatula to even the icing all out. It sounds easy enough, but requires more skill than you’d expect.
Employment Specialists (ES) at BACI’s Employment and Supported Training (BEST) are responsible for assisting individuals who want to work, but often need help with where and how to start.
Calvin was one job seeker who was determined to find employment. After being referred to BEST by CLBC, he went through a “discovery” phase to determine what he was interested in and what skills he excelled at.
Calvin may have been shy and reserved, but he was independent and had a good eye for detail. In addition, it was discovered that he had strong computer and communication skills. Putting all this together, the BEST Employment Specialists determined that Calvin would be an ideal employee in a sales-related position.
Calvin was still set on his vision of working at a desk until he was asked questions that got him thinking beyond what he knew. In particular, being asked if he was interested in working at Tim Hortons sparked his imagination. To help Calvin become more familiar with the process of getting a job, a “casual meeting” – or practice interview – was arranged for Calvin at Tim Hortons.
On March 18, 2015, Calvin went to the Tim Hortons at Granville and Nelson in Vancouver with his ES. Calvin had no expectations. He thought it was only an informal meeting at a place he hadn’t envisioned himself working. But the meeting went so well that after it ended, he skipped down the street screaming, “I got a job! I got a job!”
Although this job was outside of his ideal realm, Calvin was ecstatic to be a part of the production baking team. There was a lot he was going to have to learn, but Calvin didn’t realize how much this job would allow him to grow as a person and develop confidence in himself and his skills.
With time, Calvin learned the routine of the baked goods. But there was still a skill he knew he wanted to try – icing the donuts. A couple of weeks ago during one of the slower days, one of the bakers taught Calvin how to ice the Nutella donuts. These donuts are a little more complex than just icing a Boston cream or glazed donut. There are four steps involved in creating and icing this donut.
Calvin surprised his ES by making these donuts the next time she came to visit. He did it with lots of confidence, proudly showing that he could do something that she couldn’t.
Calvin had been hesitant to learn how to make the Nutella donuts because he was worried about making mistakes. But having someone professional show him what to do and ensure him that making a mistake was okay, allowed him to move past his worries. This is now Calvin’s favourite task among his duties, but now that he has accomplished this, his next goal is to learn to make sandwiches!
All of Calvin’s great qualities are being recognized and his responsibilities are continuing to grow. He has recently been invited to train as a Lobby Attendant — a part of the Front Of House team that helps to make Tim Hortons such a warm and welcoming place. Congratulations, Calvin!