By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
“Welcome to Wal-Mart, buddy! Have a grand day!”
Sound familiar? Then you’ve met Tabby Taylor.
The 31-year-old Portales Wal-Mart greeter has a style like no one else and an abundance of enthusiasm in her job, not to mention her volunteer work with five organizations around town.
Forty hours a week, Tabby can be found just inside the entrance of Wal-Mart wearing her signature hair bow and necklaces. She gives a word of welcome to everyone who comes in and a sticker to children.
Many customers smile and return the greeting.
“I love to talk to people, and I just love to be friendly to them, and they appreciate my friendliness, this whole town,” Taylor said.
The Nebraska native who moved to Portales as a high school student started working at Wal-Mart 2 1/2 years ago.
“This is a friendly, nice place to work and a great place to shop for sure,” she said of her reasons for choosing the store.
With an advocate from Eastern New Mexico Rehabilitative Services for the Handicapped Inc., Taylor applied for a job at Wal-Mart. She was hired to work in maintenance, but became a fulltime greeter “because I’m friendly to everybody,” she said.
“I like greeting better than maintenance work, I sure do,” Taylor said. “I get to see and meet everybody in the community and make new friends.”
While greeting, Taylor said, she likes to ask people how they are, welcome them to the store, wish them a “grand day” and call people “buddy.”
“I like to say those neat things to the customers, and it seems to make their day,” she said.
Taylor said customers react well to her, and the whole town likes and respects her. Wal-Mart customer Kayla Paulk of Portales is one person who does.
“There are a lot of things I learn just from observing her,” Paulk said.
Paulk said Taylor shows she loves her job and is always friendly. Paulk learned to have joy in her job and to treat people positively despite circumstances in her own life.
Taylor can cheer up people no matter what kind of day they’re having and is proud of her job, Paulk continued.
“Nothing gets in the way of her greeting people, and I think that’s great,” Paulk said.
Wal-Mart store manager Michael Hall said Taylor is the best worker he’s ever had. She not only greets everyone who comes in, but says hi to Hall every time he walks by.
Hall said Taylor never has a bad thing to say about anyone, is never mad and is always happy.
“It’s just refreshing, it really is, to have someone like Tabby working here,” he said.
On her weekly days off, Taylor volunteers at Consigning Women, Portales Senior Center, Portales Recreation Center and the Church of the Nazarene, which she attends. On her vacation days, she volunteers at the Portales Dream Center.
“They aren’t open on my days off, so I have to wait until I get a paid vacation from Wal-Mart,” Taylor said.
Consigning Women Manager Debbie Martinez called Taylor awesome.
“She does everything we ask her to do,” Martinez said.
During her weekly or twice-weekly working visits to the thrift store, Martinez said, Taylor talks to every customer she sees and tries to uplift everyone’s day.
Taylor said she has always been outgoing.
“That’s just my nature: be friendly, happy, energetic and enjoy real life,” she said.
A tribute to Tabby:
Welcome to Wal-Mart
By Kayla Paulk
I’m having one of those days – every woman knows the kind –
Where I just don’t seem to start off in the right frame of mind:
I’m running late for work, but I’ve got to grab some things;
And, while rushing into Wal-Mart, at the entrance, someone sings:
WELCOME TO WAL-MART, BUDDY! HAVE A GREAT DAY!
I’m a father with five children and my wife works every day.
Since I began the graveyard shift, shopping duties came my way.
I diligently clip coupons and always look for deals.
At Wal-Mart, as my kids choose carts with extra-speedy wheels:
WELCOME TO WAL-MART, BUDDY! HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY?
I’ve worked at Wal-Mart nine months now, the pay is pretty nice.
I’ve learned a lot and rarely do I make the same mistake twice.
I like the people I work with – it seems we get along;
But one employee somehow cheers me on each work shift with her song:
HI, BUDDY! HOW ARE YOU? ME? I’M PEPPY, PERKY AND SPARKLY!
No matter who you are nor what your station is in life,
No matter if you come to Wal-Mart with your friend or wife,
There’ll always be a cart for you, it’s been positioned just so;
And by that cart is a sweet, sweet gal whom everyone should know.
Tabby’s her name, welcoming’s her game, and she loves to let you know
As you come through those Wal-Mart doors and on your shopping trip you go,
You’re a special person just because you’re who you are!
Tabby, we think you are special; Portales Wal-Mart’s shining star!
Thank you, Tabby, for always showing the people of Portales the joy of each new day, and the power of a smile and encouraging word.