Shelly Mesure, MS, OTR/L

How many of you will agree with me that we never fully turn off the internal therapist mode when we’re in public, outside of work hours?

What I’m talking about is when we see someone struggling or could use our help, we’re often very eager to jump in and lend a friendly (therapeutic) hand.

Well, I believe this could lead all of us toward a new career path: store greeter. If I had the time, I would love to approach the busy shopping malls, department stores, and so on, to discuss the need for therapist-based greeters to assist shoppers with dropping off their loved ones in front of the store.

I love to people-watch, but it always makes me nervous when I see a car pull up in front of a store to drop off an elderly loved-one. Half of the time they pull too close to the curb (but not close enough) so the person’s foot gets caught between the car and the curb. The other half of the time is watching the elderly person or their friend/family member use poor body mechanics when performing the actual car transfer.

Once they are safely on the sidewalk of the shopping center’s entrance, then they struggle to enter and/or exit the buildings (even when using the handicapped accessible door buttons).

So my thoughts are when we’re looking to make some extra cash for the holidays, this might be a new career opportunity to explore.

I would argue with the shopping centers that by employing someone with our credentials and backgrounds, we’re able to decrease their liability risks and save on insurance premiums. If we can work this angle, I think we should be entitled to the store employee discounts and other perks for performing this invaluable service.

Shelly Mesure (“measure”), MS, OTR/L, is the senior vice president of Orchestrall Rehab Solutions and owner of A Mesured Solution Inc., a rehabilitation management consultancy with clients nationwide. A former corporate and program director for major long-term care providers, she is a veteran speaker and writer on therapy and reimbursement issues.