Count on Granny Reeves

Chris Williams,

Added 10 November 2012

normareevessweetiewoman

The morning sun was focused directly on her. So too was everyone that passed by. The shouts, greetings and hails of “Morning, Gran!”, “How you, Granny?” and “Hi, Granny” made it clear that she was the centre of attention. Her name is Norma Reeves, and on closer observation it’s easy to see why she is a magnet for children and adults alike at the Grazettes Primary School gate. Her personality is genuine, and her voice is relaxed and gentle with a little cheerfulness in it. She is the sweetie woman. A mother of four boys and two girls, Mrs Reeves has been selling at the school for more than 35 years. Before she came there, she had worked at a number of establishments in Bridgetown, including a popular restaurant called The Chatter Box, which she said was located on Broad Street.When her days of working in The City were over, she was still restless and did not want to sit around in an unproductive state. Hence she ventured into selling sweeties to the students at the Eden Lodge Primary School, and after a short time she switched to the Grazettes Primary School, as it was nearer to her home. By today’s standards and definitions, an entrepreneur is someone who is successful in setting up a business and keeping it functioning. Granny Reeves may not see herself as an entrepreneur, but she can surely teach a few CEOs the fundamentals of commitment to operating a business. Her first lesson could be in the philosophy of business. She is not alone in the area of the school where she sells, so there is competition, but this charming woman lives by the philosophy that everyone will get his or her share and one must live in harmony with one’s fellowman. Greed does not work. She recommends kindness and understanding towards customers. For her, it is prudent to move with the times. Years ago when she started out, some of the snacks were home-made. With the influx of mass-produced items and a demand for them, she hardly makes such things now. So, like any other business manager, she obeys the rules of demand and supply. Reliability and consistency are also hallmarks of this seasoned vendor. Each schoolday she is at her station at 7:45 a.m. and returns in the afternoon in time for the three o’clock dismissal. She takes pride in what she does, and interacting with the children, parents and the staff is done with respect – and for that she also receives respect. On the surface, Norma Reeves is just the sweetie woman at the school gate, but there are lessons to be learnt from her long service to the community, pleasant disposition and commitment to her job.

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