Walmart employee James Philips works as a greeter with the Walmart store in Blue Ridge, Georgia. He enjoys greeting customers by telling them to ‘have a blessed day,’ and had done so for years. But when one customer complained, Philips was instructed not to use that expression anymore.
In response, supporters flocked to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to express their anger toward Walmart and support for Philips. ABC13 even reports that hundreds of fans took trips to Philips’ Walmart store to meet him in person. "I wasn't trying to start a movement, but I am very appreciative that people thought enough of me to stand up for me this way.
“I want to just be one of the best greeters I know how to be,” he tells WSBTV.
As Philips’ story gained media attention, the Blue Ridge community rallied around the Walmart greeter and took a stand against Walmart. The overwhelming public support for Philips forced Walmart to ‘cave,’ as WSBTV reported, and the mega store decided to allow Philips to begin using the phrase again.
In an attempt to explain its change of heart regarding its decision toward Philips, Walmart published a statement: "We greatly value our associates and appreciate his work of the company. He is welcome to continue sharing his greeting with our customers."
Philips supporter, Crystal Ayres, tells WSBTV, “I'm glad they made the right decision to support James and his well wishes for our community.”
Michael, Philips’ son, says his dad believes in what he is saying. Philips claims customers say they are put in a better mood when they hear him speak the words ‘have a blessed day.’ But Philips doesn’t claim responsibility. He tells WSBTV, “that's God working, not me.”