By Lindsey Boyington, Special to the Democrat, Tallahassee Democrat, Sept. 30, 2012
PANAMA CITY — The Bonefish Grill Restaurant in Panama City Beach has been a big part of Absalom Pace’s life for the past five years.
He began working at Bonefish rolling silverware. Since then, his duties have expanded to include such tasks as dusting, helping employees with heavy boxes and setting up chairs to prepare the dining room for hungry patrons.
Pace was born with a developmental disability and receives services from Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and APD is highlighting the workplace achievements of people with developmental disabilities and recognizing employers who hire them.
Restaurants do not typically hire silverware rollers anymore due to tight economic times, but because Pace has proven to be such a great asset Bonefish has never considered eliminating his position.
“Absalom has really opened up since starting at Bonefish. He is really helpful to his coworkers, and he brightens up people’s day,” said Jason Parker, Pace’s boss.
Pace said he has two favorite things about working at Bonefish — the money and making friends.
“I really feel as though I am a big part of the team,” he said.
His coworkers even surprised him with a cake on his birthday.
When he is not working, Pace loves watching sports. He enjoys watching football, basketball and baseball. Brigham Young University and Florida State University are two of his favorite college teams.