Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welcome to WalMART!

My husband’s telephone headset went on the fritz a few days ago and he’s been going through withdrawal. Not from talking any less on the telephone, but from multi-tasking while he’s on the phone. Without a headset, he’s pretty restricted. So I took pity on him last night and headed over to Walmart to pick up a new one. Figured I could stock up on some bland food, too, since neither of us has been feeling terribly well lately. (Fortunately for you, I won’t go into detail!)

As I loaded up the cart with soup, yogurt and sugar-free pudding as well as one hands-free headset, I looked around at the other people in the store. While there were a few interesting customers, none came even close to the photos on the “People of Walmart” website, Maybe people in Columbus, Ohio, simply don’t wear scary colored multi-hued hair, mullets, hats and sparkly, spangly, furry and barely-there outfits covering bodies that definitely need additional coverage. Either that – or I’m just not there when these characters make an appearance.

There is, however, one character that both Vince and I vividly recall and still talk about. Cecil, the greeter at the Morse Road Walmart, was a nattily dressed older gentleman who greeted each and every person who entered the store with a robust “Welcome to WalMART!” with a funny emphasis on the second syllable. And, as customers walked out of the store, he’d call after them, “Have a nice day!” in a Paul Harvey-ish sort of voice.

Vince, ever the bashful one, immediately walked up to the greeter and started up a conversation. (That’s how we found out his name was Cecil.) Vince shook his hand and told him he was doing a wonderful job and we really appreciated his personable greeting. While chatting with Vince, Cecil never missed a beat and continued to greet customers entering the store or suggesting to departing customers that they have a nice day.

Once in a while you meet someone who is truly good at their job – and Cecil was one of those people. In an earlier life, he may have had a completely different job with a far different set of responsibilities, but he took his greeter job quite seriously and did it very well. And we still remember him to this day, though I do admit that when we say we need to stop at the store, we call it “WalMART” in homage to Cecil. And we smile.

Have a Nice Day!

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