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Tim’s Story

Tim is 52 years old. He grew up in Westport.

Diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease — a neuromuscular disorder — he worked as a dishwasher at a local riding club for 12 years.

In April 2013, his 18-hour weeks were cut to 12. His condition was deteriorating, and he needed Social Security disability benefits.

He wants very much to work — and, for the past 15 years, has continued to be employed in a 2nd job at the Black Duck.

The riding club began a remodeling project in March, and laid off a number of kitchen helpers. Tim was among them.

As construction wound down last week, Tim went into the office to see when he could return to work. He was told — by a secretary, not the office manager — that no hours were available.

Tim had more seniority than anyone in the kitchen.

Adding further insult, he was told the riding club did not write letters of recommendation. If a potential employer wanted to know about him, Tim was told, they could call for information.

Tim was a loyal dishwasher for years. He worked through holidays, went in at the last minute for emergencies, emptied grease traps and cleaned vents.

He has no idea how, at 52 years old and handicapped, he’ll get another dishwashing job.

He got thrown off this particular horse that he loved. But he can’t wait to get right back up.

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