Say hello to Melissa! Melissa attends HMEA’s employment services program and has been working at Stop and Shop for almost 15 years. We spoke with Melissa to learn about the skills she’s been working on, and what she loves about HMEA.
How did you hear about HMEA? How did you get started at Stop and Shop?
I went to school in North Attleboro and tried a program that didn’t fit me well. My teacher at the time, Lynn Lapointe, came over to HMEA to work as a job developer and told me it might be a better fit for me so I tried HMEA and loved it! Every time I walk in there are so many happy people.
Tell us about what you do at Stop and Shop.
I keep track of the carriages. For this, I go into the parking lot, gather the carts, and bring them back to the store. I also go around the store and put away unused carts.
I also am a bagger. I stand at the end of the register and put people’s food in bags to take home.
Finally, I’m a porter. We have a robot named Marty who pages us whenever there are any messes that need to be cleaned up. People tend to spill and drop food so I get to clean up after them.
Someday I hope to soon be a part of the produce department.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Stop and Shop?
I love my job and the people here! My favorite thing about working at Stop and Shop is seeing all the customers. I like to interact with them and give them a smile. I also like seeing my bosses every day. Since I have a smile on my face, they nicknamed me Smiley!
What kind of challenges have you faced at Stop and Shop?
Something I found challenging was stocking cereals. There were so many different kinds. My boss, Cathy, saw this struggle and helped me by changing my tasks around. I also sometimes deal with rude customers. When I do see them I put a smile on my face and pretend that everything is okay.
What are some skills you’ve worked on at Stop and Shop?
I am working on my customer service skills, like being nice to the customers, answering any questions they might have, helping customers with their food and carts, and scooters. I also am working on paying attention to the loudspeaker in case there is a spill that I need to clean up.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to see my friends at HMEA and go to HMEA events. I also like to watch movies! My favorite movie is the second Shazam movie.
Outside of work, we do online classes. We have fun classes and we have career skill classes. In the fun classes, we play bingo and sing karaoke! In the career skill classes, we learn about different coping skills and interview skills for when we get jobs.
Finally, I like going to the programs that The Arc puts on. I like them because I get to see my friends. My favorite program is going to Dave and Buster’s! I love playing video games there.
What’s your favorite thing about HMEA?
My favorite thing about HMEA is seeing all my friends, and talking to the staff!
Get to know more of the individuals we support.