The Smiling Faces Of Des Moines Retail


Hello shoppers… 

A very famous person often said, “Bring your smile with you or stay where you’re at.”  That very famous person was my grandma, who is famous only to me but that’s enough. 

She tended to offer these sage words of advice to me at moments throughout my childhood when putting a smile on my puss was the absolute bottom rung last thing on my “to do” list. Over time I learned to follow her advice – first because it was safer to do so, later because it became a habit and now because I’ve grown into the man my grandma wished me to be. 

For those who stand on their feet for 12 hour stretches serving the not always patient public for not always substantial compensation, the idea of smiling may also be somewhere other than top-of-mind. Yet when we as shoppers are greeted by a grinning host, clerk, server, greeter or any employee working the front of the store, it is transformative to our heart, like a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer, wrapped round our soul. And so those on the other side of the retail counter who consistently smile at us, should be rewarded – with our personal thanks and our shopper’s loyalty.   

Here, then, is a tribute to the smilers among us – 24 employee smiles during a 24 hour retail journey throughout Des Moines, plus a few sage utterings on the subject, from people who likely learned the words from their grandmother. 

I dare you not to smile back. 🙂 


“Before you put on a frown, make sure there are no smiles available.” – Jim Beggs 


Abbey, Romantix

“Everyone smiles in the same language.” – Unknown 


Allan, G & L Clothing

“Smile – sunshine is good for your teeth.” – Unknown 


Amy and Linda, Midwest Connect

“A smile is the universal welcome.” -Max Eastman 


Carrie, Kum and Go

“Smile – it increases your face value.” – Unknown 


Chastity, Gamers

“A smile is something you can’t give away – it always comes back to you.” – Unknown 


Chelsea and Brittney, Regis Hairstyles

“If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” -Andy Rooney 


Chelsea, Wynsong Theater

 “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” -Mark Twain 


Deborah and Christina, YMCA

“People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.” -Lee Mildon 


Gentrie, Quik Trip

“You haven’t lost your smile at all – it’s right under your nose. You just forgot it was there.” – Unknown 


Harry, The Smoke Shop

“If you see a friend without a smile, give him one of yours.” -Unknown 


Jake and Jazz, Shock City

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”              -Lee Buscaglia 


Jenny, McDonalds

“A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime.”       -Unknown 



June, Artistic Bead

“The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief.” -William Shakespeare 


Kate and Nicole, All Play

“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face. And show the world all the love in your heart. Then people gonna treat you better, you’re gonna find, yes you will, that you’re as beautiful as you feel.” -Carole King 


Miriam, Embassy Suites

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” -Joseph Addison 


Nicki, Casey's

“Smile! It irritates people.” -Unknown 


Richard, Taco Johns

“Children learn to smile from their parents.” -Shinichi Suzuki 


Robert, Petco

“Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you grow up in greater love for each other.” -Mother Teresa 


Sandy, H&R Block

“A smile is nearly always inspired by another smile.” -Unknown 


Sarah, Executive Cleaners

“A smile will gain you ten more years of life.” -Chinese Proverb 


Shieanne, Harrison's Sports

“The shortest distance between two people is a smile.” -Unknown 


Steph, O'Reilly Auto Parts

“Smile! If you can’t lift the corners, let the middle sag.” -Unknown 


Tanya, Simply For Giggles

“A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.” -Charles Gordy 


Tim, Book Trader

Have a nice day! 



Jonnie Wright is a customer service evaluator and trainer, professional secret shopper, marketing strategist and radio show host. “The Unsecret Shopper” can be heard Saturday mornings from 8-9am, on 1350 KRNT. Email him at

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