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Where Shopping is a Pleasure: Publix manager’s act of kindness takes customer service to a new level

Published: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you have ever been inside a Publix grocery you store, you know the chain prides itself on service. It is something engrained in the store’s culture since it was founded. The manager of the store in Helena, is takes it even further.

When an elderly customer started to feel lightheaded in David Meddick’s store a few weeks ago, he and his team jumped into action.

“Miss Sharon was out shopping for the first time in months because of the pandemic, making her rounds in the department talking to everybody and she got up front and became very weak and lightheaded,” he explains. “My team saw what was going on and responded to Miss Sharon and by the time I got to her there was a pharmacy associate, a cashier, a front service clerk, and a customer service manager at her side.”

Where Shopping is a Pleasure: Publix manager’s act of kindness takes customer service to a new...
Where Shopping is a Pleasure: Publix manager’s act of kindness takes customer service to a new level(David Meddick)

After determining that it was not a medical emergency, they asked her what she wanted to do next.

“She said ‘I just want get my stuff and go home,’ and I said ‘lets go,’” explains Meddick. “We got her stuff together, checked her out, and then I drove her home and one of my front service clerks followed us. We got her groceries inside and everything and made sure she was ok and then we came back to work.”

Their kindness and concern didn’t end there, store employees later helped set miss Sharon up with an Instart account so she can have her groceries delivered if she doesn’t feel like getting out, and Meddick checks on her regularly. He won’t take the credit though, he says it’s his team that takes such good care of their customers.

David Meddick and part of his Publix Team
David Meddick and part of his Publix Team(Shilo Groover, WBRC)

“We are like a family, we do a lot to keep our stores in good shape and take care of customers and having a team like that to help you make the right decisions and make it all happen is tremendous,” says Meddick. “That’s how it should be, should be friends rather than customers.”

What happened with Miss Sharon, isn’t that unusual for Meddick. He knows just about everyone who comes in the store, keeping up with their needs, schedules, and family.

“We are in 7 states now and we’ve become a pretty large chain, but we still operate like a mom and pop store,” says Meddick. “Publix is still a community store, We have really nice stores and different products but the culture of our company is treat everybody like a friend.”

Meddick would know, he has worked for Publix for 37 years. He started as a bagging clerk at one of the original stores in Florida. He remembers found George Jenkins coming into the store and carrying on conversations with all the customers.

“Working for a company like that for a founder like that, that’s what steered me to stay with Publix,” he says. His father also worked for Publix for 40 years. It’s also where Meddick met his wife.

“She was a stock clerk and I was an assistant store manager and we hit it off. A year later we got married. None of our kids want to go into the business though,” he says with a laugh.

Meddick says he knows that everyone is facing a battle at some point, and kindness really does make a difference.

“Treat everybody like you would want to be treated, or like your grandmother would want to be treated,” says Meddick. “If you do that you’re doing the right thing, and doing what Publix stands for, and what Mr. George would want us to do, doing the right thing is what we need more of in this world.”

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