I had the most wonderful experience at Walmart yesterday.
I was looking for breadcrumbs, and must have been having one of my "duh" moments. An employee was in the baking aisle, and I asked him if he knew where they were.
He didn't answer. Rude.
I asked again, and still no answer.
I finally tapped him on the shoulder, because I really needed those stupid breadcrumbs, and he immediately began waving his hands as if asking me to stop.
He then pointed to his badge, and underneath his name was the word "Deaf".
He looked for a piece of cardboard and his Sharpie, and I tapped him and signed the word, "No."
I then asked him in sign language, and...they were right behind me.
I talked with him a bit more, thanked him, and told him to have a good evening.
Now, why am I bringing this up? Because about 30 years ago a family moved into our ward that had a handicapped deaf young man who was in his early 20's. His skills were such that he was in Primary (3-11 year olds) for much of the time the family lived here.
He was assigned a teacher, and there were many of us who decided to learn sign language to help him feel included and welcome. I remember the first time some of us felt proficient enough to talk simply with him, he had a grin that spanned his whole face. His world was silent no more. He had people to communicate with him besides his own family.
They moved away after several years, and I haven't done much signing since.
But, when I needed to use the skill, it came back to me in a flash.
God bless the Walmart worker, who had the same look of both surprise and gratitude on his face when I "talked" with him.