A guy and a sandwich.

At a pretty typical workplace cafeteria there are your normal offerings of a salad bar, pizza, soup, cold sandwiches and the grill. In this cafeteria, the grill is at the end of a large island. There is a duo who work together at this grill to create delicious wraps and subs for their clientele. They are both warm and welcoming. They work well together in an intrinsic dance that shows the comradely of two individuals who enjoy working together.

The end result is a delicious sandwich or sub and a few minutes away from their customers hectic work day.

Recently there was a change up.

There is a new individual working the grill.

His approach is rather impersonal and his sandwiches are just…. inedible. I struggle with saying this because he is new to the role. But after ordering a few sandwiches from him I find that I can only speak the truth. The new employee’s lack of joy and happiness is obvious not only in his demeanor, but also his sandwiches.

In the same role, we have one employee whose joy in his work could be seen not only in his actions but also his product and another who seems completely disengaged without any regard to the end product.

Why?

This is the question I asked myself after I had to suffer through another failed sandwich attempt. What brings the first employee such joy and the second so must unhappiness?

Is job satisfaction really that important? Maybe people will say that the first employee shouldn’t be happy with his life as he just makes sandwiches for a living. But how do you put a value on providing a nourishing meal and a sandwich made with care?

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