Some things just never change. Harry Nillman, 75, had recently gained employment at his local supermarket as a Front Door Hospitality Technician.
"I say 'hi' to people as they come into the store," said Nillman, whose recent loss of his wife of 46 years directly contributed to his coming out of retirement. "I needed to keep myself busy once Lilly passed," reported Nillman. "And it feels great to be working again. I feel like a teenager with these part time hours and no responsibility."
A little bit too much like a teenager. After Harry had acquired the job, it did not take long for old friends to notice him while they walked in with their families.
For example, Bruce Latham, 75, was being escorted into the store with his 18 year old granddaughter pushing his wheelchair. Upon seeing Nillman, Latham put his hand to his mouth. "Aw, shiiiit, it's Harry Nillman!"
"It was just like it was back in the day," Latham recalls, "when I remember Harry serving me and my girl milkshakes at the local malt shop."
What ensued for Harry the Greeter was a type of mockery and embarrassment he hadn't experienced in nearly 56 years. "He was making all these snide remarks about my job," Harry reported. "Asking me for certain coupons for him to have, then dropping them on the floor for me to pick up, and mocking how I say 'hi' to the customers. Just like back at the malt shop, when he dropped his milkshakes on the floor for me to clean up, or mocked how I took an order from customers."
Eventually, Latham's granddaughter tightened his velcro shoes and pushed his wheelchair away from the entrance and into the store, much to Latham's chagrin. "Oh, I was just poking fun," he tried telling his granddaughter. "We were just goofing, right Harry?"
But Harry was distracted by the sound of another elderly customer coming in and saying,
"Aw, shiiiit, it's Harry Nillman!"
Some things just never change.