NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A deli worker at the Green Hills Kroger in Nashville serves up more than meats, cheeses and salads, customers say she blessed them more than they could imagine.
"I approach every person as I would want to be approached way before they're a customer. They are a human being. And that's my philosophy of how I approach customers and which is why they are able to engage with me as well as me engaging with them," said Green Hills Assistant Deli Manager Janice Howard.
Howard started at the store in 2020 and worked her way up to assistant deli manager.
"I really, really enjoy my job because the deli has a lot of working components. We're moving in and out of each component all day when we're dealing with customers," Howard said. "Which works perfectly with my personality. Because I am not really comfortable standing still, I like to engage the people, I love conversation. I love helping people."
Customers told NewsChannel 5 Howard stopped to pray with them, helped them pay their grocery bills and even offered a room at her home for the night when they had no other place to go.
"Before I am a deli assistant manager, I am a Christian. And I love people and I serve God through serving people," Howard said. "That's first of all, and when people are distressed, it's easy for me to recognize that because I start my day with prayer. I start my day engaging God, what I should do today and the people that will come across my path today. So that's the first thing and it opens the door for me to be able to engage people on that level."
Her manager, Camden Jordan said he has seen her go above and beyond firsthand.
"It's very evident," Jordan said. "It's obvious that she is really a people person. I remember a situation probably about four months ago where a customer had actually put her phone in the recycling bags out front. And so those bags actually go to our back room, and you know, they're set off to recycling but during that time frame, she had come over here and said she was pinging her phone from another one and noticed that it was actually pinging to this store, kind of behind the deli department. So Janice took it upon herself to really try to call the phone, and actually I just happened to walk by and notice what she was doing. She actually found the phone in the recycling."
Howard said she hopes others will pass the encouragement on to another person after receiving it from her.
"I just am very grateful that I'm in a position where people feel comfortable in speaking with me about things when they may not be having a good day. And by the time they leave here they feel much better," Howard said. "And I think Kroger and being here in the deli gives me that platform, and I think that's probably the main reason why I really love this position so much."