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This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

They may not seem it as you breeze into Wal-Mart, but greeters are a crucial customer relations tool. Just ask store manager Jack Shimonishi, who believes he has the "ultimate greeter" working at his Capitola, California, location of Orchard Supply Hardware, a California chain owned by Sears, Roebuck & Co.: "I bet if you did a poll in our city, as many people would know him as they would the mayor."

Shimonishi is raving about Richard Staiger, 80, who has worked in customer service his entire life. We caught up with Staiger during one of his shifts.

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