Heroes on the front line: Cory Basden
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A grocery store clerk has stuck to his mantra of service with a smile — even if the smile is now hidden behind a mask because of strict Covid-19 pandemic rules.
Cory Basden, 21, tries to be upbeat and focused as he packs bags at the MarketPlace supermarket on Church Street, Hamilton, despite potential exposure to the disease.
He sees his job as a public service.
Mr Basden said: “I get to make them happy and be there for them no matter what they're going through.
He added: “Basically, I'm putting myself at risk for other people to serve the community.”
Mr Basden, from Southampton, said that he enjoyed his job because it allowed him to help other people.
He added that it was important to help others because “you never know when you're going to need their help”.
Mr Basden said: “I like being helpful and being there for people. It feels pretty good when I give back.”
He added that the team at MarketPlace also helped to keep him motivated.
Mr Basden explained: “The people I work with are funny and kind.
“We have some ups and down, but, for the most part, everybody's there for everyone else and we all work together as a team.”
He said: “I want to make sure that I'm always there when they need me and I'm always willing to work.
“It makes me feel wonderful when I'm needed.”
Mr Basden used to volunteer at the Salvation Army seniors' feeding programme once a month, but had to stop after Covid-19 gripped the island.
He has worked at the charity for about 11 years.
Mr Basden said: “I like the people there — everyone's always polite and they thank me for coming. The seniors are always positive and enthusiastic.”
He sometimes sees some of the seniors at work and they are delighted to see him.
Mr Basden said: “They're always happy to see me and excited. Some say that they miss me.”
Seth Stutzman, the president of the MarketPlace chain, said that Mr Basden was well known in the store for his positive attitude.
He said: “Cory's like that staple that you can always count on.
“In my dealings with him, he's never hot and cold — Cory's always just really consistent and he's always got a smile on his face.”
Mr Stutzman added: “When he's serving customers who come to get lunch his common phrase to them is always ‘pleasant appetite'.
“He just takes the time to say things that mean a lot to people, which I think is a rarity in this world nowadays.”
Lorna Richardson, Cory's mother, said that she was incredibly proud of her son because he always managed to go above and beyond.
She added: “I think he just likes to keep himself busy.
“Even when he's home, he's always playing his music, he's got his headphones on and he just tries to stay upbeat.”
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