Jeff Quainton dressed for the spirit of Christmas, ready to welcome cus­tomers to Walmart. Reagan Gen­siejewski | Col­legian

A giant grin lights Jeff Quainton’s face as he throws his hands into the air. His voice booms as a cus­tomer walks in the door. “Welcome to Walmart!” Quainton exclaims and the smile of the cus­tomer instantly matches his. This is just an average day on the job for Quainton.

Quainton is Walmart’s cus­tomer host, and, according to some cus­tomers, his job is the most mem­o­rable part of their shopping expe­rience. 

Over the past three years, Quainton made a name for himself at the door of the Jonesville Walmart. With an ever­lasting smile on his face, he wel­comes cus­tomers into the shopping center day and night. His job, which he describes as a “blessing,” goes much further than checking receipts and aiding in cus­tomer returns. To Quainton, his position is all about making someone’s day. 

“The way I see it is to try to make everybody’s day a little bit better than yes­terday. If you walk in the door, if I can put a smile on your heart, I woke up this morning with a reason,” Quainton said as he handed a little girl a yellow smiley face sticker. Her face instantly brightened.

“That right there is what my day is all about,” Quainton said.

The com­munity shows how much impact Quainton has had on it by caring for him. When he fell last January, he needed surgery for his four broken ribs and punc­tured lung, and the com­munity rallied behind him to help cover expenses.

Quainton’s wife, Marie Quainton, started a GofundMe page which raised $850 from 22 donors. A little while later, Jeff and Marie Quainton received a knock at their door. 

“A neighbor who lived right down the road that we knew only by sight, came down, knocked on the door, and said to my wife, ‘my parents sold a farm. I got a check from my parents. Can I cash it and give you the money?’” Quainton said with tears in his eyes. “We did not know these people and they came and gave my wife $500 cash.”

Stories like this became normal for the couple as people con­tinued to offer help, many of whom they didn’t even know. The support of the com­munity speaks for itself when it comes to Quainton’s impact on Walmart shoppers.

Com­ments on his GoFundMe page read:  “This man brightens my day every time I see him,” “Your husband is a joy to see every time I walk into Walmart. He makes the shopping expe­rience a bit sweeter,” and “We need to have your smiling face back at Walmart.” 

Amber Leigh, a cus­tomer of the Jonesville Walmart, can attest to these com­ments and Quainton’s impact on the com­munity.

“Jeff brings a smile to your face as soon as you walk in the store. He has an amazing per­son­ality,” Leigh said. “I could be down about some­thing and as soon as he saw me down he was trying to put a smile on my face.”

In addition to his recent injuries, Quainton also suffers from short term memory loss and other neu­ro­logical dis­orders. But if any of this has taken a toll on Quainton, he doesn’t show it.

“I joke about stuff, that is how I handle stress,” he said. “I do not do stress at all, I have zero tol­erance for it.” 

His neu­ro­logical dis­orders have left Quainton with the unique ability to spell any word backward. Given the word pharmacy, without hes­i­tation, he spelled it backward, per­fectly. 

Fellow cus­tomer host Mary Huff-Phillips spoke pos­i­tively of her co-worker. 

“He is funny. He really makes the children happy,” Huff-Phillips said. “A lot of people really enjoy seeing him, he does make a lot of people smile.” 

Making people’s day is not in Walmart’s job description, but Quainton said he believes it’s his purpose. He loves his job and there is nothing else he would rather do. 

As another cus­tomer walks in, another booming “Welcome to Walmart!” Another smile. Another day made. 

“If you aren’t having fun you aren’t doing it right. If you don’t love your job, you are doing some­thing wrong.”