Our wonderful colleague Barbara Nixon has been going out of her way to provide fantastic customer service at our Portlethen store for 26 years – and customers have been getting in touch to tell us how much they appreciate her work.
Customers and colleagues say Barbara is "one of the best" who always has a smile for everyone and nothing was too much trouble.
Graham Haggerty commented on Facebook to say that Barbara was "a fabulous, friendly woman who's just the greatest person to meet, the most genuine and who's always smiling." Allan Barclay agreed, saying: "I know the Portlethen store well and I totally agree ... Barbara Nixon is just amazing ... you have a real gem there". Gloria McDonald posted too, saying: "Barbara is one of the best. I met her through my dad who lived in Portlethen, he liked Barbara very much, always a smile for everyone."
A very modest Barbara, says it's very "humbling" to receive such nice comments from customers.
She said: "For someone to take the time and effort to say something nice about you is lovely and I do appreciate it very much. It doesn't cost anything to smile or be friendly but at the end of the day I'm just doing my job – and I like my job!
"If I go into a shop and I receive good customer care I always make the time to make sure I thank the person.
"I like a resolution and if I can't get it there and then I make sure that I will get back to them one way or another and make sure they get the answer that they need.
"What I particularly enjoy is if you have someone who's been difficult and they have come in all grumpy and you turn it around so the person leaves a happy customer. That makes it all worthwhile."
Barbara, who has two children and three grandchildren, has been married to David for 48 years.
She said: "I'm a non driver so over the years that I've worked here my husband has dropped me to work most days. I've never not been able to come to work because of bad weather. Dave's made sure that he's got me to work. All credit to my husband.'
Barbara says she loves her job and gets on really well with her colleagues. She's pictured here with some of them before the pandemic:
"We've a mixed age range here but we all know and appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses so we can prop each other up," she said. "You see that happen on a regular basis. We do work as a team. During the pandemic we have all stuck together – we've all been singing from the same hymn sheet!
"For a lot of people we are the only point of contact so it's important that they feel they are being well looked after and that we do care about them.
Tracey Trewren, people trading manager at the store, says customers and colleagues all love Barbara.
She said: "If I could clone Barbara I would. She's an excellent colleague who's very diligent, very hard working and cares so much about people. She's very polite and softly spoken who can always turn a negative into a positive.
"She always has a smile on her face and always goes the extra mile for the customer. I'm not surprised that customers have praised her. She deserved it.
"She's the face of the customer service desk here and will always go above and beyond to help the customer. Her aftercare is second to none too.
"She's very well thought of in the store and whenever we train anybody we want to buddy them with Barbara. Even some of the managers here have been trained by Barbara. Everyone knows and loves Barbara!"