La Feria Texas restaurant employee performs sign-language for deaf customers

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LA FERIA, Texas – A typical stop at the drive-thru of the Stars location in La Feria had Valley resident Abel Gonzalez return home with more than just a warm meal. 

“I came home, I didn’t eat. It sat there for about 20 minutes,” Gonzalez explained after being left speechless at the fast-food restaurant. “I had to share the good news that I had seen with the rest of the world.”

A moment he witnessed firsthand and captured on his phone, a Stars employee giving a unique and compelling customer service experience to a deaf customer.

“She starts signing him the order back. I’m just like this is really strange I go ‘how many people in the valley know ASL American sign language?’ She’s really thorough she was like ‘do you want a diet coke do you want a regular coke?’ She was going through all the different signs,” he described from the compelling moment he witnessed.

The heartwarming moment went viral. A video of her performing sign-language for a customer reached over 15 thousand views online.

“I self-taught myself, I have an uncle who’s deaf. He taught me so I can understand better. I also did it because I have MS (Multiple sclerosis) and before it progressed any further, I wanted to take precautionary measures,” said Samantha Taylor, Stars Employee, as she prepped for another day at work at the drive-thru restaurant. 

This hidden skill set of Samantha’s surprised everyone including her boss David Aguirre.

“It was the first time I saw her in action I was very impressed. I liked that she was doing the social distancing as she was doing the sign language. It was a beautiful sight for sure,” Aguirre added.

It’s a skill she’s more than glad to use if it helps someone that needs it.

“It’s just something I can do to help people. That’s all I do,” Taylor said.

Though humbled from the positive response, there is a lesson to learn behind this moving moment.

“You know we’re locked in and during the time right now we need to focus on how we can best help out neighbors and help ourselves,” Gonzalez said about the moment. 

Gonzalez said he hopes this will raise awareness on the importance of implementing skills like American Sign Language in customer service work spaces.

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