What happened to Wal-Mart greeters?
Like many people around the world, I make frequent trips to Wal-Mart. I used to be able to count on being warmly welcomed by an older person when I walked into the store. Nowadays there is still a staff member standing at the entrance, but instead of being friendly, the person is frequently scowling.
I can’t remember the last time I heard one of them say, “Hi. Welcome to Wal-Mart.”
There is a long list of reasons why I don’t enjoy going to Wal-Mart. And the replacement of greeters with scowlers just adds one more.
Wal-mart greeters gave hope to everyone that walked through the door. No matter how bad your job was, you could look at the person standing by the entrance and think to yourself, “at least I’m not a Wal-Mart greeter.” Or if your employment situation were precarious, you could find comfort in believing that in a worst-case situation you could always get work as a Wal-Mart greeter. If you did not save enough for retirement, it was satisfying to know that you could supplement your income saying hello to bargain hunting shoppers.
Did you know there is a training seminar for Wal-Mart greeters? According to the company web site, “proven techniques that provide Wal-Mart Greeters with the ability to create lasting customer satisfaction are taught in this valuable seminar.”
During the training, greeters are taught skills such as:
- Always wearing a smile;
- Delivering service in a welcoming manner;
- Being proactive rather than reactive.
Apparently some of the greeters I’ve passed lately didn’t attend the seminar or they didn’t assimilate the training.
I’m neither extroverted nor gregarious. But I’m pretty certain I could smile and say hi to people who walked past me, even without a training seminar and even if I’d had a bad day.