A picture taken at a Denton Whataburger has gone viral after it revealed the kindness of strangers and the drive of a person with a disability to succeed.
We’ve all been in this situation: It’s late. You’re hungry. The line to get your food is long and moving slowly.
Kolbie Sanders says she found herself in a similar situation at a Whataburger in Denton Saturday night.
Taylor Pope, who is deaf with cochlear implants and reads lip, did his best to wait on customers at the cash register. The line grew longer. The 20-year-old had trouble understanding one couple and had to repeat themselves.
"I think the one thing that stood out was his smile,” Sanders admitted.
"There was a really long line,” the restaurant team leader said. “All I could think about was just getting it over with."
But while the situation had all the ingredients for those in line to lose their cool, Sanders said customers spoke slower to accommodate Taylor or gladly jotted down their order on paper. She waited for someone to get upset or say something rude but that never happened.
"It was just very nice to see everyone come together to help him while he was working,” said Sanders.
"With all the people helping me with the orders, it made me feel happy,” admitted Pope.
Sanders posted the picture and story of kindness and immediately went viral.
"It's very indicative of Texas because in other places, there would be some judgment or some frustration,” said David Bladel with Whataburger.
Pope says it was hard to get a job once prospective employers learned he was deaf. He's been working for Whataburger for two years.
The show of compassion by customers that night brought Pope’s mother to tears.
"I just couldn't believe it,” said Jennifer Pope “It was the sweetest thing that I've ever seen."
For the rest of us, there's a lesson to learn from those customers about kindness. For Pope, he hopes it send a different message.
"To show all the people with disabilities to not be afraid about who they are,” said Pope.
Pope is a manager in training and is on his way up the ladder. All of the employees at Denton store learned sign language last year so they could wish Pope a happy birthday.