May 4, 2016, came and passed like any normal May day. For some, it marked a Star Wars-related holiday. For others, it was a normal Wednesday that included a typical workday and family time. I worked on this day. At Whole Foods Market OKC, it was certainly a typical day. The rushes roared at peak hours contrasted by a light but steady stream of guests during off hours.
For me, though, this day wasn't just any Wednesday; this was exactly one year since my first paid day at Whole Foods. Exactly a year ago on that day, I began a training process that would propel me into the best job I've had to this point in my life. On May 4, 2015, I sat down upstairs in a classroom-like atmosphere surrounded by four other people. As I've done with most of my previous jobs, I wondered how long I would be at this job. I thought of what it would be like after 6 months, 12 months and so on. I knew I'd be there until August, but I was entirely unsure of what would happen after that.
The one-year mark has since come and gone. While the rest of the world progressed, I took some time to be thankful for this job. This isn't just the job that has paid my bills and absorbed many hours of my life for the past 12 months. This job may have changed the direction my life was previously headed in. Never before have I been as strong an advocate for health, organics and natural remedies. Never before have I cared as much about the environment or economic empowerment as I do now. Never before have I been so appreciative of a team.
I work with some of the most humble people I've ever met. I serve some very gracious, earth-loving guests. I work under some of the most capable, understanding and intentional management I've ever experienced. Perhaps most importantly, I go to work knowing that I'm not just earning a paycheck. I work for the better of every single farmer we source from; for every formerly impoverished soul that is now earning livable wage, thanks to the Whole Trade Guarantee; for every team member I have the honor of working with; for every guest that enters our store pursuing a healthy lifestyle, specifically those who face restrictive dietary needs. When I can help a guest find a product he or she was looking for, when I can assist a team member or when I can make a guest smile, I'm reminded of these things. Not every day is a perfect day, but I can't imagine working anywhere else right now.
Whole Foods is an amazing company and I'm blessed to be employed by them. As I reflect on the last year, I hope I can continue my employment with this conscious business. I should note that I'm the only remaining team member of the original five that sat in that upstairs classroom in 2015. Every one of them has since moved on. Even as I progress further into adulthood and pursue other means of professional development, I still wish to maintain my employment for many years to come. This isn't for the benefits (although the discount, insurance and wage are certainly attractive); this is, rather, for the cause. I love this company and I want to continue to serve it.
Cheers to you, Whole Foods Market.
*Header photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market.