A man wearing a party hat and sash that read "retired" smiles with his arm over the shoulder of a woman

Happy Retirement, Tom!

This story was originally published in October 2020 on our employment blog.

For Tom Fessler, it’s going to be strange not going to work each weekday. But, after 20 years at McDonald’s, he’s very much looking forward to retirement.

Tom, 55, recently retired from the North College Hill location, where he cleaned the lobby and bathrooms, took out the garbage, and completed various other tasks. “I liked the job, and the people that I worked for,” he said. “They all got along well with me and they were very nice.”

Before finding his job at McDonald’s, Tom worked at Beckman Adult Center, then operated by Hamilton County DD Services (HCDDS). “When we started Community Connections, some of us did job development and took people who worked at the adult centers into the community to look for jobs,” said Kelle Crawford, who now works as an HCDDS transition consultant. “He initially was just going to do the lobby, but we introduced more jobs as he mastered each one, like washing dishes or making fries.”

His mom, Jo, said she was happy her son got a job in the community and learned a variety of skills. “We were really proud of him when he was voted employee of the month,” she said. “They gave him an award, and it was shaped like the french fries box!”

Tom had been off work for several months because of COVID-19, and when he was called back to work, he decided it wasn’t safe to return and he would retire.

“I was really happy with my retirement. I’ve been very busy and a big help to my mom around the house,” he said.

Now, he’s looking forward to attending a new day program, and continuing to bowl and golf with his friends from Special Olympics.