I’m in Reykjavik, Iceland, and while rolling along en route to the really amazing Blue Lagoon natural spa, we went by (and I’m totally not making this up) a mayonnaise factory and a bacon factory.
My joke, and I wish it were true, was that next door was the bread, the tomato, and the lettuce factories, too.
But then I was thinking: how lame must it be to work at the mayonnaise factory? I mean, a job’s a job and I get that, but there can’t be a human in that shop that’s thinking, “You know, because of me, today some child is enjoying their tuna sandwich a whole lot more than they were when they had to use crushed glass to mix it.”
Quick Update for Emphasis: I’m not so much saying that my job is cool and his/her job is stupid. I’m glad he/she has a job. I’m sure they’re happy to bring work home. I’m thinking about the PRODUCT of that job, not the actual worker. I’m thinking about what passion must be required to work on the product of mayonnaise. Sorry. Didn’t mean to sound like I was crapping on someone’s livelihood.
But that’s jerky thinking. Mayonnaise and all the other condiments the world uses need to show up somehow. And someone needs those jobs. And I’m sure that people who work there live fulfilling lives in other aspects. You know, because we work in some really cool jobs, we forget that other people don’t come home and talk all about work. Not every job is the kind where you find yourself fixing a sandwich for you and your significant other and saying, “Honey, you’ll never believe this. Gary Vaynerchuk retweeted one of my posts!”
And yet, they’re just as important. And they’re every bit as noble (probably more) than most of what we do. At least there’s a product at the end of it all.
I was reading somewhere that “fatigue” is a rich man’s disease. It’s not untrue. The example used (and I’m really sorry that I can’t remember the source) was that no one working at a parts factory ever tells the boss, “I’m just feeling a bit fatigued, is all.” The answer would always be, “Great. Get back to work.”
But to wrap this up, and to bring it at least vaguely close to something that fits topically with this site, here’s the question: what would you do to make it cool? If someone paid you to make the mayonnaise factory (or the brand overall) cool, what would you do? What stories would you tell? How would you make me give a rat’s ass about your mayonnaise?
(And truly, if Reykjavik is hiding a BLT factory, I might find it before my flight out tomorrow morning.)