November 13, 2012
Worker Voices: Longtime Safeway Cashier and UFCW member Ms. Nita says Customers Make it Worth Her While
Last week, the Washington Post featured Nita Robinson, a 67-year-old cashier and UFCW member at a La Plata Safeway, in the “Fist Person Singular” section.
In the article, Nita tells her story about starting out at Safeway in 1982, making $4.75 as a salad bar person, and then being made a greeter due to her willingness to “talk to anybody.” The fact the Ms. Nita has worked at Safeway for 30 years now is impressive, but what makes her a remarkable employee is her dedication to her customers and working hard for her company.
Ms. Nita knows that people like being cared for, and she cares for her customers, whom she says have become her family, by asking about their families, and helping those in need, such as a homeless young man whom she once stopped from stealing in her store.
After suffering a heart attack recently, Nita was about to take some time off, but couldn’t stay away from the job for long. Nita needed two weeks to recover, and with the help of her union and the respect of her employers was able to do so. She returend after that time, saying: “I know it’s a long way, but, baby, it’s worth it to me. When I saw a lady today that was coming to find me to meet her son — a 9-month-old little boy — that makes it worth it. The [customers] in the area have always treated us with respect, and the [new] ones will learn to know us. But I know it’s gonna be all right, because you gotta know me. Once you get to know Ms. Nita, it’s on. ”
We are grateful to hear stories about people like Ms. Nita, who work hard for their customers and get treated with respect in return. The long line that is always in Ms. Nita’s checkout lane speaks for itself.