People greeter adds cheer to Walmart shopping experience
Retirement didn't suit Roland Eck. The Fargo man had spent his career in retail. He bagged groceries as a teenager. For 23 years, he managed stores for Kmart. He spent more than four years as a Walmart associate. Six months after he retired, he a...
Retirement didn't suit Roland Eck.
The Fargo man had spent his career in retail. He bagged groceries as a teenager. For 23 years, he managed stores for Kmart. He spent more than four years as a Walmart associate.
Six months after he retired, he applied to work at Fargo's new Walmart at 3737 55th Ave. S.
"I wanted to do something just for time sake. I quickly realized after working for 50 years that I just couldn't give up that routine," Eck said.
The only job available was that of people greeter. "It couldn't have turned out better because I really love it," he said.
Eck, 62, works from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. four days during the week plus a four-hour Sunday shift. He's been in the job for about three months. He credits good co-workers and managers for making his job enjoyable.
"At my stage in life, that's probably the most important thing there is," he said. "For the first time in my life, I work because I want to, not because I have to. That's a wonderful feeling."
What does being a people greeter entail?
I think that a people greeter, if we do the job the way we're supposed to do it, we can positively affect our customers' shopping experience. I try very, very hard to enthusiastically greet every person when they come in the door and sincerely thank them when they leave.
The reason I think it's important is because in a store like this, many times people greeters and cashiers are the only people that have any interaction with our customer. If it's not a positive experience for that customer, I think we failed as a retailer.
What do you like about your job?
I'm a people person by nature, so I like to be around people, and I like to feel like I've added to the store's attractiveness, if you will, to new customers when they come in the store.
I like to greet people. I like to talk to them. I like to make them feel comfortable. I like to feel like I've added something to the store.
What's your least favorite part?
Sometimes when it's slow, the time goes kind of slow.
What part of the job do people not understand?
I think that a lot people, with all due respect, look at the job that we do as maybe anybody can do it or it's not that important. I disagree.
I think if we give our heart to the job and do it the way I feel it's supposed to be done, it's not really a job everybody can do. I think you need to be pretty outgoing and people oriented.
You greet so many different people each day. Which interactions are memorable?
I like to talk to all people, and I like to talk to their children because I'm a grandfather myself. I like to talk to the children, and I think that makes the customers feel good when I do that, as well. I really, really like to talk to military veterans, especially Vietnam veterans because I come from that era, although I wasn't in the military. I try very hard to show them how much I appreciate what they did. ... You can learn a lot from anybody you talk to if you just listen to them.
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