Zack is a busy millennial. His talents are as vast as his interests.
Pre-pandemic, Zack had two paying jobs and two volunteer positions, which kept his mother Linda, who jokingly refers to herself as Zack’s ‘M-Uber’ (that’s Mom + Uber), busy meeting Zack’s transportation needs.
Although he could not work after March of 2020, Zack has now returned to both his paying jobs.
Zack returned to his job as an essential employee at the Mount Vernon School District Administration last Fall. He has worked there since 2010, rarely missing a day of work in more than ten years. His duties include keeping the common work areas’ tidy’ and sorting the mail. After the pandemic shut down schools last March, the District kept him on furlough through the spring, then asked him to return when school started in September of 2020.
Some of Zack’s post-COVID tasks involved having to ring a doorbell, sign in and wear a mask. Chinook supported Zack to adjust his task list to adjust from previous “in-person deliveries” and instead encourage employees to come to the mailroom to pick up deliveries and stay safely apart but still connect
“I’m really happy to be back,” said Zack. “I miss seeing my friends!”
In February of this year, Zack returned to work at Applebees in Burlington. Zack and Linda can still recall Zack’s first job interview. “They wanted to hire him on the spot,” said Linda. That was back in December 2012. Since then, Zack has worked nearly every weekend, that is, until Covid 19 shut down restaurants.
Over the years, Zack’s skills have increased along with his responsibilities which include hosting, bussing, serving, and general cleaning. Regulars so well know Zack; he has become somewhat of an Applebee’s celebrity. Zack is currently back to his regular shift of 12 – 2 on Saturdays and Sundays. Chinook has assisted Zack in learning new safety protocols, seating arrangements, and more—so that he can contribute to the safety of all guests and staff.
Currently, his volunteer positions at the Mount Vernon Library and YMCA have not reopened, but Zack plans to return as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
One might wonder what an active millennial does to keep himself busy during a pandemic lockdown? Then answer? Plenty!
First, there are daily walks in the neighborhood with his mom. Next, they enjoy weekly drives in the country listening to Zack’s favorite Beatles, Led Zepplin, Grateful Dead, and 60s music.
When home, Zack often watches his favorite movies and researches this favorite band of all time, The Beatles. Ask him anything about the Beatles, and Zack will have an answer! He is a walking Beatles encyclopedia, according to Linda.
While in lockdown, Zack and Linda started a brand new daily routine of scrabble. At the time of this interview, they had just finished their 195th game! “We’re a good match,” said Linda, “We each win about 50 percent of the time.” Zack posts the final score from each game on the kitchen door. As he posed for a photo, Zack said, “It’s really fun to keep track. We’ve been busy!”
Zack has some advice for anyone struggling with the pandemic. He said, “Find some hobbies…whatever you like. And do it. Also, write letters to friends and family. Keep connected.”
When asked what he misses most, Zack mentioned his guitar teacher. “He hasn’t seen him in a year,” said Linda. “He misses him.” But Zack knows the day is coming soon when he’ll be able to pick up his bass guitar and strum his favorite tunes with his teacher at his side when he smiles and says, “I can hardly wait!”
At Chinook, we are so grateful to know Zack and support his continued growth. Zack had become a role model for all of us to find the fun in life regardless of what challenges come our way.