A Team of Delight
I’m currently reading two books. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by John Krakauer, which is rather disturbing and intense and, to offset this distressing nonfiction book, The Book of Delights by Ross Gay. He wrote a short essay almost every day for a year about things, large and small, that he found delightful. Inspired by this exercise, I asked the shop crew what was something that delighted them about their jobs. Here’s what they said:
Chris (Beer Buyer/Cheesemonger) – Sharing a passion for food! When he worked in restaurant kitchens, Chris rarely saw a customer’s excitement about the food – he only knew when a customer was unhappy because they sent back a plate. At the shop, he can experience a customer’s joy firsthand.
Jimmy (Educator/Cheesemonger) – Educating people about cheese! Jimmy loves having genuine conversations with customers either behind the counter or when he’s teaching a class, answering questions about how cheese is made, its background, how it tastes, and why it tastes that way.
Peter (Owner/Cheesemonger) – Talking to people about parties and recipes! Peter will happily discuss parties you’ve been to or recipes you’ve tried and he enjoys knowing what we sell helped make fun times and tasty food happen. (Side note from me, his daughter: This doesn’t surprise me AT ALL. In our world of family and friends he is THE host and I try to throw a party like Dad throws a party.) He says the only bad thing about discussing recipes is that “it makes me hungry and disappointed I can’t have it NOW.”
Susan (Wine Director/Manager) – That work life balance! Coming from the restaurant world, Susan really appreciates getting to have a life outside of work and see her family on holidays, not to mention getting to bring all the cheese and wine to family gatherings too! And she’s delighted that her job is teaching, and learning from others, about wine.
Brie (Cheese Buyer/Manager) – Our team! Brie says she is constantly thinking about how wonderful it is to be “surrounded by the best people” (awwww, Brie!). And Excel. She loves a good spreadsheet.
I know all the exclamation points are kind of lame, but that’s actually how everyone talked to me. They had a sparkle in their eye and a jaunty tilt to their figurative caps. I forced them to choose one or a couple delights, so I guess I should hold myself to the same standard. I find it delightful to cut a piece of cheese to the exactly to the correct weight. I feel a flash of joy when it (rarely) happens. And last one, I promise. I delight in seeing my dad at work every day and that I still find it delightful after four years.
For the love of cheese and DELIGHT!