KYLE, Texas – While we’re all particularly grateful for health care workers right now amid the coronavirus pandemic, one speech therapist who is still going into work at a nursing home is focusing her praises on the employees at H-E-B, a grocery store chain with more than 350 locations between Texas and Mexico.
Reagan Bow, who works at a nursing home in Wimberley, Texas, was having a hard time making it to the store, due to her and her husband’s work hours, so she put in a curbside order.
“I placed my order two weeks ago and got the first available spot (on Sunday),” Bow said.
On the day of pickup, she said someone from the store called her about an hour ahead of time to tell her there would be a lot of substitutions. She asked the H-E-B employee if he had any recommendations on how she could get the things that were missing.
“I really can’t come into the store myself,” she told the employee. “I don’t want to bring anything in there or take it to my nursing home.”
The worker told Bow another shipment was coming in the morning and that he would give her a call then to let her know if he’d be able to find her missing items.
“He called at 7 a.m. the next day and had some items,” Bow said. “He said, ‘I will set it aside for you -- let curbside know.'”
Bow said what happened when she got there to pick up the rest of her items brings tears to her eyes when she tells the story.
When she pulled up, she tried to explain the situation to the person who was helping her (it was his first day), but there was some confusion regarding her order.
But when another employee came out, Bow told her the whole story from the day before and that morning.
“’Oh wait, I know exactly who you are,’” Bow said the employee said to her.
“She goes back inside and comes out with my bag. She says, ‘We just want to thank you for all that you’re doing.’”
The girl handed her a thank-you card, along with the groceries.
“They had all signed it. I couldn’t believe it,” Bow said. “You’re going to thank me when you’re here working in the rain?”
Not only did store workers sign the thank-you card, but they told her not to worry about the rest of her groceries -- they’d been paid for.
Though she’s admittedly not someone who makes frequent posts to social media, and said she hesitated even this time, Bow said she really felt like she needed to, in some way, recognize the H-E-B employees working every day.
“They are seeing tons more people than I have, so their risk of coming down with something is greater than even mine,” she said.
Bow said the nursing home where she works has become a really sad place. The residents aren’t allowed visitors or to leave their rooms. Even volunteers who would come to walk around with juice carts or serve early-morning coffee have disappeared.
“I’ve been bringing my iPad to let them call their loved ones,” Bow said. “The only positive part is that some of them don’t remember they didn’t see their loved ones yesterday. Many others feel safe where they are, but they’re worried about their family."
So although she said she’s emotionally drained and her heart breaks for her residents, the gesture that was made by the H-E-B employees meant more to her than she could possibly convey.
As Bow attempted to tag H-E-B in her Facebook post, she said she noticed so many people leaving nasty comments or bad reviews about not getting items they wanted, or other situations within the store.
“I tried to tag them and saw all these negative reviews, and I’m thinking, ‘They can’t help it! They have no control over people who are trying to hoard the food. They are working 110% over capacity.’"
So along with wanting to remind everyone to be kind when they’re out and about dealing with people, she expressed the utmost gratitude for this not-so-small gesture.