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.”