When high school students reach their junior and senior years, they often have the choice of taking an elective class. Those classes might include a language, art class, something related to business, or any one of a number of subjects.
Typically students choose electives in their area of interest and then pursue the subject further in college, while others take a class or two in high school and never touch the subject again—but Caleb Francis had a different experience.
Caleb wasn’t sure what elective to choose in high school.
When it came time for Caleb Francis to choose an elective he wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to take, but he was sure what he didn’t want to take.
“I didn’t want to take art, I didn’t want to take ceramics … everyone I know here takes Spanish, French, my dad speaks French,” Caleb told News 5 Cleveland in 2016.
One of his options was American Sign Language. He was indifferent towards it, but decided to enroll in the class.
To his surprise he picked up on the language quickly and ended up taking it for two years.
He eventually settled on American Sign Language.
When he first started to learn the language he knew it might become useful one day, but he couldn’t imagine how.
Fast forward two years and one day while he was working at Taco Bell a deaf customer came in. Caleb, now 18 years old, noticed the customer seemed a little confused, so he stepped up and offered some assistance.
Caleb had no way of knowing he would use the language while at work.
Another customer captured Caleb and the deaf customer on camera conversing.
The customer wanted to order a side of salsa and sour cream, but was unsure how to communicate the request to the Taco Bell employee.
Caleb was able to take the customer’s order.
“When I saw the video I was very happy, and very proud … it’s exactly what Caleb would do,” Jimmy Dickens, Caleb’s manager, said. “He’s just so super with customers.”
His conversation was caught on camera.
Caleb told News 5 Cleveland that since the video of him using sign language went viral, he’s had three other customers come into his Taco Bell to sign their order.