Front Line Customer Service with a Smile

At the end of the checkout line of a Publix Supermarket in Riverview, Michael “Kaleb” Dees bags groceries for customers with a smile.

Dees has been working for Publix for four and a half years, and his job coach David Phaneuf described his transformation from someone who was quiet and nervous at the start of his job to a gregarious worker who is not afraid to initiate conversations.

“Through coaching and positive reinforcement, Kaleb really blossomed into a social person and is always the first one to jump in and volunteer to help someone in need,” says Phaneuf.

After searching for a job that would allow him the money to be more independent, Dees started working for Publix. His current job duties include doing “go backs” (restocking items customers change their minds about buying), retrieving carts, cleaning the bathrooms, and his favorite: bagging groceries for customers.

“I like to meet new people and make friends. I also like being part of a team,” Dees says about his customers and coworkers at Publix. “I really like my boss and coworkers.” Dees has never gotten a negative comment or review from any of his supervisors and has a great work ethic.

Jeff Westbrook, Dees’ manager at Publix, has nothing but great things to say about him.

“Kaleb has a wonderful personality and a positive, can-do attitude, and he truly enjoys serving our customers. He goes out of his way to ensure their shopping experience was pleasurable and remains constantly busy engaging our customers or maintaining the appearance of our store. Kaleb also has a great smile!”

When Dees is not bringing smiles to the faces of those at Publix, he keeps busy with many activities, including singing, working out, dog sitting for neighbors, and photography. He also enjoys culinary pursuits. His favorite workouts include dancing, lifting weights at the community gym, and riding his bike. He loves his bike so much that he even rides it to and from work! He also enjoys spending quality time with his friends and family, especially taking vacations and cruises together.

Dees mentioned that he would one day like to go to college to further his artistic interests. He hopes to one day get his own place with a roommate. Most of all, he wants to continue to work at Publix and advance to cashier or stocking shelves!

Manager Jeff Westbrook and Kaleb Dees