The Greeter at Walmart

Today I had to fill a prescription at Walmart. I used to avoid Walmart at all costs. I’m more of a Target lady. You know the “hundred dollar store”… I can never leave that joint without spending $100. Walmart is a different story, especially for prescriptions. $4 for generic medication like amoxicillin and ibuprofen. Plus, if you use the GoodRx app you get a discount on just about anything.

After I dropped off my prescription, I waited while it was filled and began milling around and looking at lotions and potions. I began listening to the greeter seated by the front door. She was an elderly African-American woman with a huge smile and a loud firm voice. She wasn’t quietly sitting in her chair saying hello as you walked past or flat out ignoring you like the little dude who sits there sometimes. She was making a statement. She was shouting things like “Hey there! Welcome to Walmart. You look beautiful today”. “I love your shirt!” “What a beautiful little girl!” “Your hair is so pretty” and “Have a great day now, enjoy the sunshine!” This woman changed the environment.

I was amazed by her. She came up with so many different ways to compliment people and say hello and goodbye. She was really good at her job. Truly what a greeter should be. It’s really not an essential job but it’s one of value. Value to her and value to others. Maybe there’s a little girl who someone told she was nothing and that greeter said “Hello beautiful, you look amazing today!” It could literally change the course of that child’s life. Or what if a person who was coming in to purchase materials to end their life and the greeter says “Hello, it’s wonderful to see you today.” and smiled ear to ear. That could cause a change of plans maybe. I know that’s an extreme example but it could happen!

This brings me to the point of my post. Our words are weapons. I know for a fact that I am guilty of using them improperly. I sometimes let newts and hop toads spill out in my moments of frustration but…. I’m working on it. If we could focus on the one good thing we can find about a person and then try to find a way to share that, we have done a great service.

There are days that I feel totally rejected. I have dug deep on this issue and know that this is one of the paradigms I have when people say certain things to me. I feel rejected even when it’s something that has nothing to do with me or a person’s acceptance of me. Perhaps it has to do with my acceptance of myself but it gets filed as rejection. I can see it when other people interpret my own words as rejection.

The fact of the matter is this: We can try to add bits of praise to our conversations. They can really change the tone of an interaction. They can change the course of a person’s day or perhaps even a life. I’m working on taking the negative judgments out of my life and not placing so much value on opinions when it comes to my self worth. One great way to improve our outlook is to seek the good in things. Harvest the Good! Sometimes it may seem impossible but you can harvest the good from the worst of things. The greeter at Walmart taught me that just making a positive statement about people, greeting them with a smile and a compliment can brighten their day AND yours. By the way, you look great today. Thanks for being you. Smile.

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