Meet the Trailbreaker's Employee of the Month: Walmart greeter Thomas Holst

Meet the Trailbreaker's Employee of the Month: Walmart greeter Thomas Holst

When Thomas Holst arrives at work he's already smiling, and as the day goes on, his smile gets bigger.

Holst has worked as a greeter in Yellowknife's only Walmart for the past four years, but for him, that's "four years too short."

"I really like it here," he says while greeting customers coming through the doors, shaking their hands and handing out bright yellow smiley face stickers.

"I love meeting people … and I love making them smile by cracking jokes or just listening to them," says Holst, who has lived in Yellowknife for more than four decades.  

He greets most people with a simple "hello," or "how are you today?" but he likes to get a bit more personal with customers he recognizes.

"There's one guy who comes in here and if he doesn't insult me, or I don't insult him, we think something's wrong," Holst says with a laugh.

It's about relationships

Holst is one of the store's most beloved greeters, and is known among Yellowknifers as a friendly face with a kind heart.

"There is a couple who comes in here with their two daughters, and now when they come in they all want to give me a hug, and they even bought me a small turkey dinner," he says.

For Holst, forming relationships like that is what the job is all about, and he especially loves making kids smile.

"Unfortunately all of my family have passed away, and my old friends have their own families, or they've passed away," he said. 

"But with this job, I'm not as lonely … It's not like socializing in the sense of going out to people's places, but socializing like having them as friends."

Holst has spent most of his adult life working as a cook, but he says being a Walmart greeter tops his list of occupations, and he has no plans of leaving his job anytime soon.

"As I long as I can keep kicking, hey, I'll be here."

Who's the next Trailbreaker employee of the month?

We are looking to show some love to folks who make the Northwest Territories a better place just by being great at their jobs. 

Do you have a favourite gas bar attendant? Is it a lifeguard at the pool? A librarian or cashier? 

Call Talkback at 1-866-271-9957 and tell us who you think deserves to be the next Trailbreaker Employee of the Month, or email: trailbreaker@cbc.ca.