Ever been in line at the store and the cashier can’t even be bothered to get off her cell phone while she rings up your purchase? I will never understand why that is OK now, in a time when jobs are few and demand for them is high. But it has made me take notice of the opposite—the seriously great people who work here in our town and make Asheville an even better place to live. I want to share a few shopping scenes—from bagels to electronics to groceries.
Bagels: I live towards Fairview and drive far out of my way for bagels because of the people who work at Bruegger’s Bagels up on Merrimon Avenue. Well, the bagels are pretty darn good too, but that really isn’t why I go. The manager, Tammy, is so genuinely friendly and hard working, and her employees follow her lead: employees like Leigh up at the register and numerous others whose nametags I forgot to read prior to this letter, who just make you smile—even as they are taking your last $2! They are as efficient as they are friendly, and [could make] you develop the same out-of-the-way addiction I have.
Electronics: Recently, I watched an elderly man treat a sales guy at Sears so badly for no other reason than the salesman was attending to the three other people ahead of the man in line. This particular guy, Brandon, was an incredibly nice and knowledgeable person who asked me how my weekend was going (amid this disgruntled exchange) and actually listened to my response. I just couldn’t help but think the store is awfully lucky to have this guy.
Groceries: The last examples are local kids (I guess) who work at the Ingles by Reynolds High School. I don’t know their names, but I would guess anyone who lives in the area will know exactly whom I am talking about: one is tall, thin and blond; the other is a medium-build kid with slightly longer brown, curly hair. I usually encounter them together at checkout, and they are both an absolute riot and about as friendly as they come. These days teenage guys aren’t always the most personable, but these two set [another] standard. They’re usually telling jokes between themselves and seemingly enjoying their time at work, all the while never forgetting to pay individual attention to each person they check out. I’m not sure whether it’s seeing teenagers working hard and taking pride in that, or just enjoying the time spent in front of these two, but I think they’re great. Now if I could only get them to stop calling me Ma’am! I am only 29, for goodness sake.
There is always something to complain about in letters to the editor, and that’s fine. But I hope after reading this, everyone takes an extra second to notice those great individuals plugging along in today’s work force, truly earning wages I doubt are high enough, but really making a difference in the lives of everyday people like me. Thank you!
— Minouche Holcomb