James Pue retires from Walmart
by Johnny Weeks | May 11, 2019 1:27 pm
After 12 years, the “Walmart Man” James Pue has retired from his favorite spot at Walmart. James Pue’s smiling face has greeted Manning residents when they visit Walmart since Feb. 3, 2007. When Walmart decided to discontinue the position of people greeter, Pue and many others found themselves out of a job. Walmart did offer different jobs within the store, but Pue decided to decline and retire to focus on his passions with family and close friends.
Pue is active in his church and other musically entertaining groups in the local area. He is also one of the performers in The Back Porch Players who are performing Saturday, May 11 at the Weldon Auditorium.
Pue was born in Aiken then moved with his family to Philadelphia PA to be closer to family. Pue grew up there and received training with computers and obtained a job at a local bank. While working at the bank, Pue discovered his life’s calling to be a musician. He traveled with his nine-member band called Jammin’ James Enterprises performing wherever they could. The band auditioned and was accepted to travel and entertain through the USO. They toured throughout Spain, Italy, Greece, Rome and Germany performing for U.S. Military members at various stops. After returning from the tour, Pue loved to play blues and jazz for various venues, and met his future wife, Lisa while performing.
“It was 1986. I heard him sing and had to meet him,” said Lisa. “ After we moved to Connecticut, there was a shooting nearby, so we decided to move to Manning.” The Pue family had visited the area many times with other family members living in SC, and felt that it would be a safe place to raise their family.
After working in jobs, such as pipe fitting, materials handling, and making ATM machines, Pue landed a job in construction. He helped that company to build the current Walmart building in Manning.
Pue continued to work with a builder laying water pipes, but the pay in South Carolina was much lower than it had been in Connecticut. After completion, Pue applied for a job and was hired at the Manning Walmart.
Originally, Pue was hired to unload the merchandise trucks that were delivered at night. After four shifts, Pue injured his back and was put on light duty as a people greeter. Following his release to resume his regular position, Pue decided that he loved the people greeter position and wished to stay there full time. Pue received Associate of the Month in the fall of 2018.
“I already miss the job and most of all the people shopping at Walmart,” said Pue. “I do have some plans in the future to occupy my time. I’m going to enjoy my retirement.”
Pue has loved his job as people greeter and has looked forward to going to work each day. He says that he has met a lot of people over the years and has made life-long friends as a result. He will continue to shop there and talk to his friends at Walmart.