'Incredible' colleague Michael is going from strength to strength after getting a job at Asda

January 8, 2021

Colleagues at our Swindon Haydon store say they're so proud of 21-year-old Michael King who's really grown in confidence and is going from strength to strength since he started working for Asda two years ago.

Michael, who is autistic, has become a firm favourite with customers and colleagues alike and is doing so well that he won an Asda award for his friendly customer service.

He first started working at the store on Saturdays but, after impressing his managers, it soon became two days and then four.

He's worked on the checkouts and as a porter, before volunteering to become a Covid safety marshal.

Michael said: "I'm really enjoying my marshalling role. I like to feel I'm doing my part to help out others in this difficult time. I try to keep the store as safe as possible. I seem to get on with the customers, they always say thank you to me.

"I really do enjoy my time on checkouts too. I like to be helpful and friendly to all the customers and I offer to pack for them if they need it. The colleagues are nice here too. We get on really well and work well as a team.

"I'd like to thank Asda for the opportunity as I think I've achieved a lot and I really enjoy working here."

Hannah Evans, the store's customer trading manager, says Michael's a fabulous colleague.

She said: "He volunteered to be a safety marshal just for a couple of hours as trial but he did such a good job of it that every time he comes in now we ask him to do it.

"I can't count the amount of compliments I've had about Michael over the last couple of months. Customers say Michael gives them a nice warm fuzzy feeling when they come in.

"What he's done has been absolutely incredible. He's really engaging with customers and his confidence has sky-rocketed.

"He is very switched on and very approachable. He was quite quiet when he first started and he didn't really interact with colleagues very much, however now he's like a different person. He is so confident, happy and outgoing."

Her comments were echoed by our store's community champion Jane Atkin, who said: "Michael has progressed in leaps and bounds. He always has a smile on his face and is so happy to help."

Michael, who's a black belt in taekwondo, lives at home with his parents Tony and Deborah, and Tony says the whole family is proud of him.

"Michael as really progressed since he started working at Asda and we've seen him grow in confidence so much," said Tony.

"He saves his money and doesn't waste it – and one day we hope he will be able to get on the property ladder and be self-sufficient.

"He clearly has the ability to learn, but he learns in his own way and that's why he has done so well at Asda because they have allowed him to learn by doing the job.

"I'm amazed by how well he's done and I keep hearing these great reports from Asda. He certainly has his challenges but he is quite determined."

Tony says Michael's development issues started when he was aged just two.

"He had sleep-related epilepsy, so he would have seizures when he woke up and these would go on for quite a long time," said Tony. "They put him on medication and ever since then we noticed a change in his development. When he started pre-school the teacher said straight away that he had speech and language difficulties.

"As he progressed through school, it became clear that it wasn't so much speech and language issues, but autism and by the age of age of nine he was diagnosed as being high functioning autistic."

Michael went to Swindon College and then Chippenham College, where he focused on maths, English and media. When he left he did some work experience in a local supermarket before getting his job at Asda.

In his spare time Michael loves heritage railways and film-making and has even got his own YouTube channel.

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