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Wal-Mart says it wants greeter back, but family uncertain

Matt Wood

Herald Staff Report

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Tuesday it is offering Durango store greeter Matt Wood his job back. However, when contacted Tuesday night, Jessica Wood, Matt’s wife, said she is unclear if a meeting with store officials this morning will include a job offer.

“I’m not sure whether or not they’re going to ask Matt to come back,” she said. “I guess we’ll find out then.”

Wal-Mart Stores spokeswoman Betsy Harden told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the company looked into the matter and wants Wood to come back to work. Harden said Wood and his wife, who live in Bayfield, have agreed to meet with store officials today.

Wood, who suffered a brain injury in a car crash in 2005, lost his job as a store greeter after clocking in late for lunches, his family said. Jessica Wood told The Durango Herald that she should have been contacted first because she serves as his representative for resolving any problems at work.

Wood has worked for Wal-Mart since 2008. His wife said new managers complained about his time management and she removed his Kindle and cellphone to eliminate distractions as a result.

In 2005, during his junior year at Utah Valley University, Wood was involved in a car crash that left him with severe brain damage. He was majoring in computer science and had been married to his wife, Jessica, for about 10 months, Traci Barnes, Wood’s mother, told the Herald on Friday.

Despite the doctor’s prediction, Wood recovered from his coma and was not left in a vegetative state, Barnes said.

Now living in Bayfield with two sons, Matt and Jessica Wood both work to provide income for their family and pay for rehabilitation expenses.

abutler@durangoherald.com

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