Mad for…Derek

“There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go.” –Frederick Faber

Derek Johnson (Day 9 of 365)

Here’s an outgoing, amicable face to brighten your day! Meet Derek Johnson. If you visit him at his place of work, don’t be thrown. His nametag says “Dee”. I asked his co-workers about that, and they all laughed like I was on the outside of a private joke. So, let’s just stick with calling him Derek for now?

Derek has the sunniest face I have ever seen behind a butcher shop meat counter. He works at Fresh Thyme, a small grocery store near my house. Because I unapologetically place a high value on good customer service, folks like Derek are absolute gems in my book.

Here’s the thing. This young man steps way past excellent service. He is a highlight in my day every time I see him. He reminds me of the old song “A Wink and a Smile”, owing to the fact that even when I pass right by him because I only came in for bananas or a gallon of milk, if he spots me, he never fails to give up a little wave….or a wink and a smile…even if from a distance. When Tom came with me to the store for the first time, Derek shined that big grin and said to me, “Ah, I see you brought your boyfriend today! Lucky guy!”

Cutting and packaging meat isn’t exactly a glamorous way to spend your day. Derek does his work joyfully. All the time.

When I asked him if I could take his picture and write about him, he replied, “Sure! But can you let me borrow your phone and take a selfie? I wanna look good!”

Trust me, Derek, with that genuine smile, it’s a sure thing! Thanks for making the day brighter for all around you and reminding me how important it is to always be generous with cheerfulness.

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