Walmart greeter has Facebook page created in her honor

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Lisa M. Schmelz
Thursday, April 29, 2010
— Store greeter Doris Wild spends her days putting a smile on the faces of others.

But a Facebook fan page set up in her honor is giving thousands of admirers a chance to return the favor.

Wild, who works at the Walmart Supercenter in Delavan, has been off work on medical leave.

Noticing she hadn’t been around for a while, two Elkhorn teens—Cristian Valadez and his sister Maritza Valadez—set up a Facebook fan page that quickly drew thousands of admirers.

Called “Dorris, the sweet Wal-Mart greeter,” (yes, they apologize for misspelling Doris’ name) the page has hundreds of comments from people who have crossed paths with Wild over the years.

Cristian said they know Wild from their frequent trips to the store, and they figured there must be others who would appreciate a fan page in her honor. But Valadez said he had no idea that it would quickly grow to be in the thousands.

Fan pages such as Wild’s are increasingly popular and have popped up to honor greeters in Wausau and in Sedalia, Mo.

Facebook user Teala Mass, 20, of Lake Geneva sums up most of the posts on Doris’ wall best: “I looove her!”

Wild, 62, has short hair, big glasses and an even bigger smile. She never seems to tire of welcoming shoppers.

A life-long Walworth County resident, she grew up in Lake Geneva and graduated from Badger High School.

Through the years, she has worked in factories, as a maid and stuffed envelopes.

She was a Kmart greeter for seven years, but her hours were cut back when business there dropped, and the store eventually closed.

After watching her in action, a Walmart manager encouraged her to apply at the new store being built at the time in Delavan.

Wild remembers saying a prayer. “Dear Lord,” she said. “Please give me a job that I can do well and enjoy.”

Shortly after, she said, her prayer was answered.

Most days, Wild adorns her trademark blue vest with a flower of some type. In addition to a heartfelt welcome, shoppers might get a sticker or an unsolicited recipe for chicken.

Wild is recovering from a back injury she sustained while exercising, but she is fully committed to returning to work.

So what does Wild—who doesn’t own a computer and has never surfed the Web—think of all the Facebook fuss?

“I am easily moved to tears,” she said after being read some of the posts. “I think it’s so sweet for people to call that in or type that in. Do they call it in?”

No, Doris, they type it.

“Oh. Well, I had no idea I reached quite that many people. I thought I could brighten their day, but I didn’t think they’d remember me like this.”

Wild can’t imagine doing anything other than greeting shoppers.

“I love my job,” Doris said. “I like to make people smile and help them improve their day and pour down God’s blessings. People smiling are like God’s love notes to us. He tucks away his love notes in our smiles.

“Pretty much, if I’m feeling down, once I get to work, I’m back up. Greeting people is not compatible with depression,” she said.

Richard Beers of Delavan is a regular at the store, a Facebook user and fan of Wild. He holds a masters degree in psychology and organizational performance improvement and works as a private consultant, helping businesses increase their efficiency.

“She is tirelessly optimistic, tirelessly upbeat,” Beers said. “Just from a brand management point of view, there are thousands of small business owners who would kill to be able to get 3,000 fans in less than two weeks.”

So how long will Wild keep greeting customers?

“I plan on working as close to full-time as I can tolerate until I’m 70, and then I’ll cut back to part-time. I just love my job.

“I don’t ever want to leave.”

Last updated: 1:19 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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