A 99-year old man who works at a Nordstrom department store in Arcadia, Calif., is the company’s only U.S. greeter.
Ted DiNunzio, who will turn 100 in December, has worked at Nordstrom for 14 years, greeting customers at the store, which is about 15 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
A retired meat cutter, DiNunzio said he was killing time there one day when a store manager first noticed him, KABC-TV in Los Angeles reported.
“I was retired and I would go in the store every day and talk to the boys and have conversations and all that,” he told ABCNews.com today.
The manager asked him to have a cup of coffee and offered him a job to be a store greeter. He works now on Fridays and Saturdays from about 10 to 5, with a one-hour lunch break and 10-minute rest period.
DiNunzio is the only greeter of Nordstrom’s 248 stores in 33 states, a spokesman for Nordstrom confirmed.
When asked whether he will ever stop working at Nordstrom, he said, “I will keep on working until I can’t work anymore.”
“It’s very nice,” he said of working at Nordstrom. “All the people who come in know me and give me a hug.”
DiNunzio, who has a son, two granddaughters and plenty of nieces and nephews, said he is especially popular with children.
“A lot of children come up to me and ask if they can give me a hug,” he said. “Girls who grew up in the store and go to college come back and say, ‘I remember you from when I was a little girl.’ I make a lot of new friends.”
“He just makes this place a fun place to be,” Nordstrom store manager Marcille Hughes told KABC, explaining that customers look for him if he is not working.
“If he’s not here, they will absolutely make a call to me or they’ll go to customer service. They are always concerned,” she said.
As for the key to his longevity, DiNunzio said he eats a lot of vegetables and steak once in a while.
“I smile at everybody,” he told KABC. “I say hello to everybody, even when I’m walking outside, out on the street.”