Marcus' story "I'm so proud I've got a job"

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Marcus, 22, is an Apprentice Warehouse Operative working at WHSmith ‘goods in’ department at their Greenbridge Estate site.

Marcus works in a team who are responsible for receiving pallets of stock, checking paperwork and inputting data on to the computers. He is also currently studying for his apprenticeship in warehousing. He was recently awarded a box of chocolates and a personal thank you from the Distribution Centre Manager for doing an amazing job setting up printers across various departments in the Distribution Centre.

Marcus is charming, approachable and extremely hard-working. He has Aspergers, a type of autism.

Marcus’ words

“I like being in the flow of the job and being able to get on with it. I am really grateful for my Manager, Lynette and my team leader, Ryan’s support. I also get on well with the other team members. I also enjoy doing the early morning shift as this gives me the afternoon and evening to do what I like outside work. It’s especially nice in the summer. Due to social anxiety this job is good for me as the social contact is ok.

“My skills are that I have good focus, good time-keeping and attendance. I think I have a good attitude towards my job and am really good at picking up new aspects of the role.

“The team here are kind and supportive. They arranged for me to have lunch time on my own however I have recently been having lunch with my team. Ryan and Lynn have been kind, helpful and patient. I like all the team, we work independently but I definitely feel part of the team.

“I have Aspergers, which is a type of autism. It affects my perception of social situations. I like routine and I get anxious over certain situations. I have high standards and I don’t like not meeting those standards.

“After I left college, I didn’t know what life was going to bring me. I went back to college to please others. It was difficult to find work as I didn’t know where to start or what I wanted to do. Also I had low self-esteem as I didn’t believe I could do any of the jobs I kept looking at. I eventually found Pluss.

“My Advisor was Johanna, and we did lots of training modules together, some of which I found challenging. The small classes were good for my social contact. I worked with Johanna to investigate jobs and apprenticeships that I might like and could do.

“Johanna encouraged me to think about my transferable skills and to identify volunteering opportunities with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Swindon Radio 105.5. Both of these helped me to build my confidence in both social situations and my abilities. Johanna supported me at interview and also on a tour of the WHSmith warehouse. Johanna also arranged and came with me to get a new bike so I could travel to and from work independently. I also attended Pluss job clubs.

“Now I am so proud I have got a job and feel I am good at the job. I am completing my apprenticeship, I am now travelling to and from work independently. I feel proud to tell people I have a job especially as it is WH Smith - a worldwide company. It’s also reassuring to know I have done well and made others happy.

“Working allows me to pursue my hobbies and save up to travel. I am able to pursue a dream of travelling to Japan. I want to continue to improve myself and take up new hobbies such as learning to play the guitar. I also want to visit the lego house in Denmark. There is no way I could have been this adventurous and independent before I started at Pluss.”

Lynette’s words (Marcus’ Mangaer)

“Marcus came for an interview with myself at the end of May . Marcus was painfully shy and made very little eye contact throughout the interview. We offered Marcus an Apprenticeship and Marcus began working on ‘goods in’ at the beginning of June

“At first Marcus did not really speak to anyone or interact. When it was tea break, rather than sitting with everyone, Marcus would go somewhere quiet to be by himself. Yet little by little, Marcus began to come out of himself.

“Fast forward to December, Marcus Joined the whole team for Christmas tea. He now sits in the tearoom daily and is a really well-liked member of the team.

“Marcus is smashing his targets on ‘goods in’, and his attendance and timekeeping are excellent. Marcus produces excellent work and is a pleasure to manage.

“Working with Pluss has made me look at working with people with health conditions in a totally different way and the journey with Marcus has taught our team so much. This has been a really positive learning experience for all of the ‘goods in’ team, and I'm extremely proud of my team for their compassion and friendship.

“Pluss have been so supportive and are always willing to help whenever needed.”

Lynette Walker, Goods Inwards Section Manager