“Young man, please step away from the wall!”
The college-age employee turned, looked at me, and then—beaming slightly—stepped back from his work.
Aiming my iPhone camera, I asked …
“So, did you know that along with making Venti, 8 pump, single shot, nonfat, extra caramel, extra hot, upside down caramel machiattos—you’d also be cleaning urinals?”
Brightly, he said, “Yes, sir! My sister worked here before me. I knew exactly what I’d be doing.”
Excellent attitude, I thought. No griping, whining, complaining, or bemoaning. He’s no victim. He’s happy to be employed.
When I finished (taking the picture, that is), he went back to scrubbing.
No, wait, he wasn’t scrubbing, he was … polishing.
Yes, he was polishing the pipes!
This all took place a couple of weeks ago in the men’s room at the Starbucks of Dumont, Colorado, nestled in the Rocky mountains. I was in awe, but not just of the scenery outside.
I was in awe of this young man.
For those of us old enough to remember car phones (yes, I said car, not cell) who are convinced the work-mentality of young people today is more like “What do you mean I can’t take a two-week European vacation 90 days after starting here!?” than the attitude I saw in this fella, here’s the good news:
Pride still lives.
Pride—truly a multiple-meaning word. It can be negative, as in “pride goeth before a fall.” It can be humbling, as in “swallowing my pride.” And, written vertically, it can be instructive!
Ha ha, I like that … and not just because it fits the acrostic!
People today often talk about “doing life.” That’s cool, but how about doing life in an excellent way?”
Food for thought:
Am I taking personal responsibility for the quality of my work?
Am I going the extra mile, giving 110%?
Am I modeling excellence for my kids, staff, colleagues, and/or customers?
I visited the Dumont Starbucks again this week. I didn’t need to use the bathroom, but I went into it anyway.
I wanted to see the urinal.
I was not disappointed.
I could see myself in the gleaming pipes!
And, I must admit I felt a twinge of pride because I’d met the person responsible for the excellent work in front of me—the work of a person who cares enough to polish the plumbing.
I want to be more like that.
In your opinion, is “pride in one’s work” dead or alive? If you know a person like the young man above, tell us about him or her!
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