Kansas McDonald's employee recognized for customer service, infectious smile

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DERBY, Kan. There can be a lot of power in a smile. Tuesday morning a McDonald's employee in Derby was surprised and recognized by her community for her making other people's day better.

When you're around Sakeenah Shabazz, it's hard not to smile. Especially when she's calling you baby or honey.

"Hi honey. We got a large coke, two burritos, a hot sauce and a hash brown," said Shabazz.

Since last July when she started at the Derby McDonald's on Rock, customers have taken notice of her glowing smile.

"It's infectious," said Teresa Chvilicek who regularly sees Shabazz in the drive thru. "She is amazing. The joy comes out through her smile."

Monday morning she was herself, but one customer thought it was extraordinary and posted about her on Facebook. That got the attention of a Derby Facebook group, then the attention of the owners, Lane Enterprises.

"You can go get her," said Kristin Marlett, PR Manager for Lane Enterprises.

Tuesday morning they all got together to surprise her.

"We just wanted to be here and say thank you for being you," said Marlett.

When you're just being you, it can be hard to believe other people are taking note.

"Thank you everybody. You made my day," said Shabazz.

They gave her a dozen roses, candy, movie tickets and a card.

That card held the most value. Not because of all the cash donated from the community, but because it had pages of Facebook comments, all praising Shabazz.

"I didn't know I touched so many people here at McDonald's. I'm just being me, doing my job. I didn't know the Derby community loved me the way they love me," said Shabazz.

The reason behind her smile was never to get anything in return. It was to show customers she loves them and her job.

"You have a nice day love," Shabazz said to one of her many customers. "You're very welcome baby. Buh bye."