FORT MYERS, Fla. – For four hours on four days of the week, 57-year-old Ken Williams considers bringing others joy to be his sole purpose on earth.
Williams has become a familiar face and voice to customers at the Forum Boulevard Home Depot where he works as a greeter.
In his five years as a store employee, Williams has formed bonds that keep customers like Bill Johnson returning. Johnson said he thought at one point that Williams’ enthusiasm would dwindle.
That never happened.
“I think it’s wonderful when somebody brings joy to their job. No matter what it is,” Johnson said. “I’d love to see a guy like him everywhere I go.”
Williams often sings to shoppers, creating a tune to shower them with attention when they enter the store. He hopes to touch hearts, he said.
“I do it because you don’t know what a person’s going through in life, and I think we should all be uplifting and be happy,” he said.
Leaving customers with a smile is his life’s work, Williams said. But he wasn’t always so chipper. The Home Depot greeter was a boxer and mixed martial arts fighter in his 20s before hitting a rough patch in life.
“I got off course one day back in the past and I had to get back on board, so I refuse to go and live that life all over again,” he said.
Williams moved to Southwest Florida, and when he landed his job at Home Depot, his life gained new purpose, he said. He grew from a fighter into a lover.
“I know this is where I’m supposed to be,” he said.
Williams delivers a high-energy performance at work, but he doesn’t let fatigue get him down.
“I just keep going,” Williams said. “I feel if I keep going, someone else will keep going too.”