Bulger's Beat: Courthouse employee serves with humor - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: Courthouse employee serves with humor

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

One man is a regular at the Metro Courthouse, but it's not because he keeps appearing before a judge.

For the last 15 years, Ryan Smith is the man who runs the register at the little restaurant inside the courthouse building, and he does it all without having the ability to see.

The people who interact with Smith every day describe him as amazing, and, in a way, he kind of wishes they didn't.

"I'm just a person just like you are," Smith said. "Here, I just happen to be the person who runs the cafe."

The food at the Metro Courthouse is the main draw at lunchtime, and Smith at the register is the bonus.

Before he rings you up, he's likely to crack you up with a joke. And for the customers there, their 30 seconds with Smith and his humor may be the day's highlight.

Blind since he was 14, Smith handles the business with precision.

"I run the place. I get here at 5 a.m. I'm the first one here and the last one out every day," he said.

It works, he said, because most people are honest.

"I have customers that will try to slide by without paying. Some will come in and hand me a $1 and tell me it's a $20," Smith said.

Bill-reading machines keep Smith's business solvent, but it's his attitude and smile that makes it such a success.

"Yes, I'm told all the time that I'm amazing, and it's not something that does anything for my self-esteem just because I'm not doing anything that anyone else trying to make a living isn't doing," he said.

So, if a traffic ticket has ruined your day and forced you to spend some time down at the courthouse, here's an idea: head over to the cafeteria and say hi to Ryan Smith. Good food and a good man will ease the pain of that traffic fine.

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