November marks Dan Kentley’s two-year anniversary at the Market Basket in Littleton, MA.

The grocery store hired Dan, who is supported by CRJ/CS’ shared living programs, when the store first opened in 2014. Dan is a bagger but does many things to help the store run smoothly and to make customers happy.

“I bag, and I make sure there are customers that come into my line,” Dan said. “I watch for customers. I wave my hand up to signal customers that certain check outs are open.” He said he also retrieves items from the shelves for customers. “If the eggs are broken, I’ll go back and replace them.”

Dan enjoys helping customers. “If a certain customer has a motorized cart, I would go out there and assist them to the car with their groceries and bring the motorized cart back into the store,” he said. He talked about helping the elderly and making a child’s day by given the child a red dot sticker if parents allow it. “They love stickers.”

Dan connects with co-workers as he does with customers. “I made some friends that I communicate to,” he said. “I’m getting along with everybody.” He listed several friends he has at work, highlighting two in particular. One works in the Market Kitchen area of the store. “She makes me smile a lot,” he said. “Every time she comes by me, I ask, ‘Where’s my cow?’ She says, ‘I think that cow is down the road a piece.’” Laughing, he added. “She just makes me laugh. She makes everybody laugh.” He spoke about another co-worker who gives him feedback about his work each shift.  “She gives me a grade like a B+ or A+, so she tells me how good I’m doing.”

Although Dan likes helping customers and getting along with co-workers, he said that the best part of his job is “making the money so I can go on vacation.” He said he plans to go to Florida or California, but he isn’t sure where he wants to go yet.

Dan takes the good with the bad at work. He said the hardest part of his job is “dealing with customers when they’re crabby.” He talked about times when customers snap at him when he starts bagging with plastic bags when they wanted paper. He also said that, sometimes, customers don’t respond when he tells them to have a nice day. When this happens, he said he tries to “make them smile, bag the groceries, and have them be on their way.”

Dan offered advice for those who would like to enjoy the success he has at his job. “Try to smile and try to do the best you can and try to keep working hard,” he said. “Don’t let customers bother you if they get you mad.”

Congratulations, Dan, for a job well done!

By Kellyanne Lynch