The Joy of Work

Joy of Work

The thinking behind a food franchise is that a meal in one location should be identical to that same chain in a different location. At Dunkin’ Donuts, then, a cup of coffee is a cup of coffee is a cup of coffee. You order. Robotic employees pour it in a cup and hand it to you. Their employment tenure is likely measured in weeks and you are likely to see a different face each time as the Pez Dispenser spits out another one, replacing the last.

Except for Joy.

Joy greeted me with a smile and a hearty “Good morning!” (now who does that remind me of…?). She took my order and my money. She complimented my coat as she handed me my Joe and directed me to the napkins holder behind me before I could ask. She even expressed concern that the coffee was to my liking.

You go, Joy.

Now, I’d imagine that Joy does not bound out of bed in the morning, anxiously anticipating another day of DD order-taking. She would likely be somewhere else doing something else. But for whatever reasons, she works here, likely for minimum wage, in a job that has little to no hope for advancement.

But you’ll never convince Joy of that.

Joy did her simple job with, well, joy! It’s as if she decided that she was going to save the world one cup of coffee at a time. Joy recognized the fact that she had a choice: She could do her job like a lemming or she could do it to the best of her ability, happily and purposefully.

Before I left the counter, I leaned in to her and gave her some advice: Don’t ever stop. Someone, some day, I told her, is going to come in, recognize her superior attitude, and hire her away. She giggled in disbelief, thanked me, and actually blushed.

We all have choices to make regarding our job. We can dredge through the activities, cursing the mundane nature of it all, or we can channel our inner Joy and do our best work, even and perhaps especially the mundane tasks.

Someone calls in for an annoying quote on one or two color business cards on three different stocks in quantities of 500, 1,000 and 2,500. Know the type? But you joyfully (pun intended) do the estimate and quickly respond. You even thank them for the call and the opportunity to provide pricing.

Nine hundred and ninety nine people who make that call won’t notice your attitude and pleasant nature. They’ll just thank you and call the next printer to see if they can save a nickel.

But that 1,000th caller just might be different. He just might recognize greatness. She just might be in charge of purchasing $250,000 of print a year and have great power to decide where that work is done. And that is why you should always strive to do your very best at work.

Just like Joy.


~Source: Bill Farquharson for


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