Friday, September 2, 2011

For More Than Money

This week I was in Chicago visiting family. While there we stopped at a bakery in Archer Heights. The smell was amazing. I wandered around deciding what bread to bring home with me. After I selected a pan de canela, the baker started bringing out items for us to sample as they came out of the oven:  cream cheese and jalapeno filled rolls and corn muffins. His eyes lit up as he described each to us. He watched as we smelled, tasted, moaned and tasted again and smiled when we told him just how amazing it was. His baked goods were some of the best I've had and his passion for his occupation was awe-inspiring. Even his helpers looked proud to hear our compliments.

I have been to other bakeries that are vastly different. The baker looks frustrated and stressed. The helpers look bored and tired. Their products are okay, but far from excellent. Imagine stopping by the bakery department of one of those big grocery chain stores and expecting the baker to come up to the counter and talk with you about all the details that go into making that boule perfect. It's not going to happen.

Most people work because they need the money. And it shows in their quality of work. They are in a hurry to get the work done and go home, rather than taking time to produce the highest quality they can. This goes beyond bakers and includes those in retail, offices, finance, restaurants, grocery stores and landscapers. You can tell just by looking at the end product if the person was in it only for the money.

You can also tell the person that takes pride in their work just by watching them at it. The baker who loves to just look at their bread at the end of the shift. The waitress who knows everyone who comes in the door. The barista who perfectly steams the milk and makes latte art. The nursing home worker who looks for opportunity to engage the residents and make them laugh.

We all have to make a living somehow. However, when we are in jobs that drain us, or that we lack passion for, we spend more money forgetting work. We go out and get wasted after a shift, or need to go shopping because we work too hard not to get a little something for it. This drains our money away and we have to start working harder and longer hours. Conversely, if we work in jobs we love, that passion fills us up with happiness and the rest of our lives gets better. This might mean a lowering of expenses. When I worked as a retail manager, I hated every moment of my working life, so I spent a lot of money to try to make myself happy outside of work. Now, as a proud baker, I am happy at work. When I am away from work, I don't have to spend as much money on stuff and entertainment, so I can easily live on a lower income. When I got into a passionate career, I bought my life back.

1 comment:

  1. And you add LOVE to your baked goods! I know, I've tasted them! I liked that bagel and it had things in it I don't normally like.

    I can't wait to try other stuff you make.


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