CHEERY shop assistant Graeme Watson has become an internet sensation after grateful customers set up their own fan page.
Graeme, who works as a customer assistant at Tesco Express, in Wiltshire Way, Hartlepool, is known as Throston Tesco’s Happy Man, after dedicated fans set up a page of the same name on social networking site Facebook.
The Scotsman’s jolly demeanour means he is either singing or humming to customers and colleagues virtually every second of the day.
He even sings as he counts out customers’ change.
But Graeme, 46, is taking his new-found fame all in his stride, insisting: “I don’t class it as stardom – it’s just work.”
Graeme’s fans on Facebook have shown their appreciation of his sparkling customer service on the site with such tributes as “the guy’s a legend, what makes him so happy?”, “the happiest Scot to walk the face of the Earth”, “I love this guy, sometimes I just go in to see him lol” and “if this fella does not win Tescos employee of the month every month, there is no justice!”
The page has more than 800 followers.
Graeme said: “I have got a bit of a habit of singing.
“It’s just whatever pops into my head.
“But to me, I’m just working.
“You just try not to watch the time and make the most of the job and I do my job to the best of my ability.
“It keeps me going.”
Graeme, who does till work, stacks shelves and tidies the store, said he was aware of the Facebook page.
He said: “I have looked at it once or twice and was pleasantly surprised.”
Graeme lives in Throston with his wife of five years Gillian, 46, a district nurse.
He is originally from Edinburgh and the couple met through friends in Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Graeme is a trained engineer, but was made redundant in 1987.
He spent a month on the dole before getting a job with Marks & Spencer in Edinburgh, where he spent 15 years.
He then spent a month working at Harvey Nicholls before moving to Sainsbury’s and then starting at Tesco in Edinburgh in 2004.
He transferred to the Throston branch in 2006 after meeting his wife.
Store manager Paul Rowe said: “When I first came to the store I was told about this member of staff who gives this unbelievable level of service and was always singing.
“I watched him and listened to him serve the customers, and was gobsmacked how true it was.
“Reading some of the comments on Facebook is unbelievable, they are an accolade not only to Graeme but to Tesco.
“He probably has customers that come to the store purely because of what he is and the customers service he gives.”
Paul said Graeme has been entered in Tesco’s annual Super Star awards, which see thousands of staff nominated for their commitment to customer service, and the winner will be announced in late summer.