Popular greeter leaving Walmart amid store changes

Popular local Walmart greeter David McBride loses his job after Walmart expands his position to include jobs he is unable to perform. July 7, 2016.

KNOXVILLE - A change in the way Walmart is greeting its customers at some stores is putting one Knoxville man out of a job.

WBIR 10News first introduced you to David McBride last week. For nine years, his bright smile has greeted shoppers at the East Knoxville Walmart.

RELATED: His attitude speaks volumes

His neighbor and close friend Sandy Wells tells 10News, however, McBride is not mad about his changing employment situation. Rather, he has faith something new and good will come along.

"If life gives us lemons, we'll just make some lemonade," Wells said. "God has a plan for us, and maybe this just going to be an experience for David to grow from, spiritually."

"God has it all worked out," McBride said. "I do not know what He has for me, but I am not worried about it."

Friday is McBride's last day working at Walmart.

"Once he got the reduction in force notification, he did fine with that. I think he's just a real trooper," Wells said.

Walmart is in the process right now of rolling out a change in how it welcomes customers at select stores. 

Many are familiar with the role of "greeter" - a smiling employee, who welcomes customers as they enter the store.

Now, however, some Walmart stores are replacing the role of "greeter" with one called a "customer host."

A company spokesperson told 10News that two-thirds of its stores are actually keeping the "greeter" role. 

As the company explains on its blog, a customer host is "an associate who greets customers, but also checks receipts where appropriate, assists with returns and helps keep entrances clean and safe."

With some of the physical challenges he faces, McBride can't perform all those tasks.

Wells said Walmart invited McBride and the other greeters to apply for other jobs, if they are qualified, but - again - McBride's physical challenges don't allow him to fill another role.

"I cannot afford to quit working because of all those bills I have to pay," McBride said.

Now he is praying for the best.

"There's going to be someone's whose heart is going to say, 'I need that man on my team,'" Wells said.

McBride is a man with a lot to give - to someone who will give him a chance.

These changes at Walmart, a company spokesperson confirmed, have nothing to do with the start of wine sales in grocery stores in Tennessee. Some people have asked 10News that question. Walmart is rolling out this new "customer host" role-- replacing the traditional "greeter" at select stores.

Read more about the change HERE.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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