Jul 17, 2012

Tales from the Service Counter pt. 5

The other day, I was talking with a co-worker about a customer who came in one evening while I was in the middle of closing the dept. The customer was looking to have a large amount of steaks cut with a specific thickness. At the time, I apologized to the customer and told him I couldn't do it because the cutting room was cleaned and, furthermore, the dept was technically closed because it was after 9 p.m. As I told this story to my co-worker, he nodded and then said, " I would have cut the order for him." This caught my attention.
"Really?" I asked. He nodded again. "It wouldn't have taken that long and I like cutting besides." He answered. I was stunned into silence. My co-worker took that to mean our conversation was over and walked away.

The rest of my shift I thought on what he had said. Combined with other small details I knew about him I came to the realization that my co-worker had complete job satisfaction. The idea was novel and I had a hard time believing it so I asked him outright. "Yeah," he said. "I like cutting meat, the hours are guaranteed, the customers are generally nice and for the most part, I like my co-workers." I was silent again, but not from shock this time, but jealousy.

I struggled to think of the jobs I'd worked and if any of them gave me complete satisfaction. I thought of three, two in within journalism, one in education, but as I thought of each, a single fact reminded me that while these jobs were great, they did not offer complete satisfaction. Not enough hours, tumultuous workplace, unpaid. There was always something.

While I am envious of my co-worker, his situation give me some hope. Perhaps there is an ideal job out there for everyone. I haven't found mine yet, but I will.

Jul 4, 2012