When Isaac Abraham bought Kramer‘s hardware store in Brooklyn, New York, he noticed the special employee who would do wonders for the business. A man named George had (and still maintains knowledge of) every piece and its quantity in the store memorized in his head. Abraham eventually discovered, that not only did George have autism, but he could also be considered a savant.
About 10% of individuals with autism have savant-like abilities. Like other savants, George has the gift of memorizing styles, numbers and even directions. Abraham even references the popular film Rain Man. The film, starring Dustin Hoffman, depicts an autistic savant with similar abilities like memorizing numbers. Abraham commented, “He [George] qualifies to be Rain Man number two.”
Keeping in mind that George doesn’t drive, one of the most amazing skills George has is that he is able to tell you who the hardware suppliers are, and give you directions of how to get there.
The symbiotic relationship between George and Abraham shows how there are many faces to autism. And the fact that George is employed, of all places, in a hardware store also proves how common autism has become. In the end, Kramer’s will continue to prosper while keeping computer costs low, thanks to George, the autistic savant at your local hardware store.