FLORISSANT, Mo. – When visiting the produce section of the Schnucks store along Shackleford Road in Florissant, you would expect to find lettuce and tomatoes. But on some special days, you might see some pizazz (and we don’t mean the apples).
Store employee Johnathan Heinle is well-known by customers and coworkers for getting down on the job.
“And the fact that the customers come in and they absolutely love me for it, it’s just a fantastic feeling,” he said.
And when Michael Jackson came on the radio this past Monday evening?
Customer Quiana Garnett was there and digging the performance. It now has more than 70,000 views on Facebook. Commenters said everything from “give this man a raise” to “get him on ‘America’s Got Talent.'”
“If that opportunity ever comes my way, I’d take it immediately,” Heinle said. “Because I just love making my customers happy.”
Heinle wants people to know that he is on the autism spectrum and he’s proud that it helps him be his true self.
“The difference between someone who is on the spectrum versus a neurotypical. The neurotypicals feel like they have to change themselves to impress other people. We don’t do that. We’ll just be ourselves,” he said.
And his employer is happy to give him the stage.
“That’s what I love about Schnucks,” Heinle said. “The fact that even my own manager encourages me to go for it, that’s just the best thing.”
Heinle says dancing makes the workday fly by and he doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.
“If you are happy with who you are, just be that person,” he said. “You should not be ashamed for being yourself.”