Trader Joe’s employee ‘goes beyond call of duty to show kindness’ |

Trader Joe’s employee ‘goes beyond call of duty to show kindness’

Karl Horeis, Appeal staff writer

When someone knocked on the door last week, 16-year-old Ginny Clementi was afraid to answer it. Were collectors looking for some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed for her father Vic’s liver and kidney transplants? With him in bed and her mother on the phone with the hospital, she had no choice.

“So poor Ginny walked to the door and then she saw the Hawaiian shirt,” said Vic’s cousin Dawn Hart-Kocsis. “She opened the door and there’s Carol.”

Carol Wedel had volunteered to deliver groceries from her work, Trader Joe’s store in Reno, on her way home to Carson City. The groceries were ordered by Hart-Kocsis, a Saratoga, Calif., artist, and her husband Dave Kocsis. Hart-Kocsis knew her cousin was facing massive medical bills after his multiple organ transplants and wanted to get his family a gift they could use. The Clementis returned to Carson after months at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center on July 26.

“I thought it might be kind of nice to have groceries magically appear at their door,” she said. “I wanted to buy some fresh flowers for Kim because I knew they would make her smile.”

So she looked into ordering the goods from Saratoga and having them delivered.

“But according to the manager of my own store they don’t do that.”

Enter “Ship’s Captain” Sam West. Trader Joe’s uses nautical terms for their employees, and West is the Reno store’s “captain” or manager.

“My own local Trader Joe’s told me they were sure they couldn’t do it but this guy did it any way,” said Hart-Kocsis. “He said, ‘One of my employees works in Carson and she’s the kind of person who wouldn’t mind doing that kind of thing.'”

West is on vacation and could not be reached for comment and Wedel just shrugged the act off.

“I’ve delivered other things to people,” said the full-time merchant who has been with the store since it opened 10 years ago.

What was her motivation?

“Customer service.”

“Trader Joe’s really went out of their way — They went above and beyond the call of duty to show kindness,” said Hart-Kocsis. “I just think what they did was really wonderful.”

She asked Wedel and West to each take a bouquet of flowers for themselves too, but they refused.

“They said they were doing this as a kindness. She is a sweetheart and so is he,” Hart-Kocsis said.


Send help to:

The Clementis

285 E. Applegate Way

Carson City, NV 89706

Call: 883-3511

The Victor Joseph Clementi Benefit Fund has been set up at Bank of America: Account No. 004966550823