Location: New York, New York
Summary: During her three years with Banana Republic, Bibi has enjoyed helping customers just like any other store associate – she just happens to be deaf.
Bibi Salim is like any other BR associate – she’s friendly, helpful and eager to come to work every day. The only difference is that she happens to be deaf. Her manager, who works with other disabled employees, partners with each one to enable them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Bibi has been offered sign language interpreters, but finds that written communication also works. She took a few minutes to share her experience working at our Rockefeller Center store.
What companies did you explore when you were looking for a job?
Gap Inc. was the only company I explored. During the interview, the people and managers seemed really nice.
How long have you been an employee at Banana Republic, Rockefeller Center?
Almost three years.
What are your favorite and least favorite tasks?
My favorite task is working with the accessories, belts and shoes. I also like the clothes on the floor and filling in to make sure the customers have their size and style. My least favorite task is back stocking … Sometimes the shelves are high, and the SKU numbers are sometimes confusing.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an employee?
For me, it could be the communication – it’s tough at times. Sometimes it is difficult to lip read, but I am getting better at it. So the fix is using a pen and paper to communicate when my job coach, Pamela, is not with me. They are really patient with me.
How has working at Banana Republic impacted your life?
Meeting people and earning money to be more independent has definitely impacted my life. I have also made some friends and I like working together as a team with the managers.
What words of advice would you offer to other candidates with disabilities who may be looking for employment?
I would tell them to apply here because everyone is really supportive. I would also tell them to apply because I am the only deaf person here and it would be great to have another person to work with who can sign.