I’ve not talked about this with many people, but my younger brother is mentally handicapped. He is 34 years old with the mind of a child. Of course you’d never know this by the way he will talk your ear off, but if you pay attention to the pattern of his conversations, you’ll realise that he talks mostly about things kids talk about. I don’t always like talking about him, I will admit, especially after these last few days, but since I’m having trouble talking to my friends about it directly, this is my option.

My brother lost his job he had with a local supermarket chain on Thursday. One of his many tasks was to bring in the shopping carts from the parking lot and apparently he accidentally ran into a customer’s car with the carts and they got pissed off and complained. Why this should warrant firing is beyond me, unless something else happened that I haven’t been told. Before you comment that we should file some claim against the company for firing him under such flimsy pretext, I will tell you now that it’s a road my parents refuse to travel.

Back in 2000, he was fired from another job after being a put in a position that he should not have been put in, running a cash register for a major pharmacy/store. He got conned out of money and was sacked because of it. It made me furious then and while I was ready to take them to court, my parents refused. So I’ve boycotted them ever since and refuse to shop in their stores.

I don’t know what to do this time. I know it’s not entirely up to me, because I am not my brother’s guardian and not responsible for his livelihood, but I am concerned. It ticks me off to no end that companies hire disabled individuals to cover their asses so no one can claim they discriminate against anyone, yet they make it a million times more difficult for those individuals to keep their jobs. Companies will use any excuse not to keep disabled individuals working for them.