Ann Farabee: Be a greeter

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 18, 2020

I sneaked out early, before the family woke up. I was going to beat the crowd to the mall at a very busy time of year. I had a store in mind where I knew I could find a special gift for a special three year old.

I got the best parking spot. I suppose that was a plus.

I wasn’t wearing my PJs — but some may have thought I was.

Nope. I was there for one item. In and out quickly. Get what I came for. Head home.

Being inconspicuous was my goal.

But there she was: THE GREETER.

She was definitely glad to see me.

“Are you ready to get a magical adventure started?” she asked.

I made eye contact, gave a ‘half smile’ and buried my head among some items for sale, as I whispered, “I’m just looking.”

She cheerfully pointed out a couple of things she thought I would love, told me to enjoy my adventure, and to let her know if I needed her.

I hurriedly grabbed the item I wanted and walked to the other side of the store.

There she was. Greeter #2. Excitedly smiling, she said sweetly, “Good morning! Oh, I love what you picked out!”

I stopped. I glanced back toward Greeter #1 on the other side of the store. She waved. I then looked again at Greeter #2, who continued to beam with excitement over what I had picked out to purchase.

I gave up. I smiled. I talked with them about the item I was getting for my granddaughter.

I had switched over to a good mood. It really was simple. It was a lot more fun, too.

Against the wishes of my ‘stony’ heart that morning, I had given in and allowed myself to have a magical adventure – not because of the stuff in my bag – but because of the greeters in the store.

I felt I left with more in my heart than I had in my shopping bag.

Later, I decided to ask if I could become a greeter at church. They let me. Apparently, they were unaware of my poor attitude in the mall.

I love being a greeter. I say hello, have conversations, shake hands, get hugs, meet new people, answer questions – and offer them a peppermint – or two.

I have yet to ask, “Are you ready to get your Sunday morning spiritual adventure started?”

If I did, I think they would all smile and say, “Yes.”

The power of a smile and a hello.
You can use it anywhere.
It cheers people up.
It establishes good relationships.
It sets a positive tone.
It’s contagious.

Be a greeter.


Ann is a speaker and teacher. Contact her at or

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