WHOLE FOODS – HAPPY PLACE – HAPPIER PEOPLE:
Whole Foods Market Inc.,(WFM) hired me during April 1997 and since that time I have been working in the Grocery Department at WFM Ann Arbor, Michigan location. Most of my fellow employees recognize me as the “WholeDude who Loves Whole Foods.” A person from Lansing, Michigan visited Ann Arbor on April 10, 2015 and inquired if I am happy working for Whole Foods. He asked for my opinion about Whole Foods as a workplace. I politely responded that I do not believe in private conversations. I prefer to express my opinions in writing and I invite people to respond to my views by offering comments in writing. I could not continue my conversation with that person who desired to investigate working conditions at Whole Foods in general and at Ann Arbor in particular. I would welcome him and others to leave comment on this post and ask for any further information to validate my opinion on Whole Foods – “A Happy Place With Happier People.”
WHOLE FOODS – “A HAPPY PLACE WITH HAPPIER PEOPLE”:
I have demonstrated the fact of my Love of Whole Foods during a Life’s Journey precisely measured in Service Hours. Love and Happiness are purely subjective experiences. But, the fact of Love and the mental condition called Happiness can be accurately verified by using objective criteria to prove that subjective experience. Some of the tested objective standards used in evaluating the ‘morale’ of any workforce include factors such as 1. Absenteeism, 2. Discipline, 3. Financial Security, 4. Sickness/Personal Injuries at workplace, and 5. Stress at workplace. Using these objective measurements, I would like to claim that I Love Whole Foods for I find Happiness at Whole Foods.
1. ABSENTEEISM: Research clearly demonstrates a direct link between absenteeism and the happiness experienced by a worker at his workplace. I worked about 37, 300 Service Hours( not counting Over Time Hours ) without no recorded unscheduled absence from work. Over the last 17 years of my employment at WFM, I generally maintained a Full-Time Status with variable work schedules dictated by the demands of the workplace. Apparently, I do not find the Service to be dull, uninteresting, monotonous, tedious, or boring. In fact, some of those characteristics are often associated with the experience called unhappiness. Unhappy workers tend to be either tardy or remain absent or miss scheduled work.
2. DISCIPLINE: Compliance with the Standards and Ethics of workplace is clearly linked with the ‘morale’ of the worker. Unhappy individuals more often face disciplinary action as compared to happy individuals. I will not be able to claim that I Love Whole Foods and I will not be able to assert that I am happy working at Whole Foods if I do not maintain a “Clean Slate”, a record that is free from marks of discredit or dishonor. I welcome any interested party to verify my personal Record of Service kept at WFM and I fully waive my rights to keep such information as private and confidential.
3. Financial Security: In modern economic life, the true index for personal happiness in life is not the figure on the paycheck. Happiness at workplace is not consistent with financial insecurity. The level of personal indebtedness is a true measure of a person’s financial security. I make a living working at WFM without incurring personal debts or taking Credit Card loans. In other words, while being an hourly wage earner who provides labor at WFM without a signed ‘Contract’, I am able to live a life without experiencing financial insecurity.
4. SICKNESS/PERSONAL INJURIES: A number of studies reveal a relationship between a person’s susceptibility to sickness/ a person’s proneness to injury and the person’s psychological state or condition. Current medical research indicates a connection between mental health and happiness with immune function. Even when the working environment is clean and healthy, unhappy individuals more often report sickness or sustain injuries at workplace. During the time I spent at WFM, I have not missed even a single day of my work on account of sickness or personal injury.
5. STRESS AT WORKPLACE: Occupational Stress is clearly reflected in the personal habits of the workers. Individuals experiencing stress are often driven to find relaxation by using tobacco, alcohol, or any variety of Chemical Substances and Drugs used for recreational purposes. Secondly, workers often take ‘Time Off’ to escape from the stress experienced at the workplace. I do not use tobacco, alcohol, or any other recreational substance and this fact has been consistently verified by voluntary participation in periodic drug screening tests and during medical examination by physicians over a course of 25 years. Apart from my freedom from Chemical Substances, the fact of not experiencing stress during my employment at WFM can be substantiated by the number of ‘Paid Time Off'(PTO) Hours that I have accumulated. I accumulated about 2, 750 PTO Hours to which the WFM has assigned a cash surrender value. In reality, I have not experienced an urge to pursue a habit for its recreational value. I do not watch movies or visit places for personal amusement. If time permits, I listen to songs composed in Indian languages to preserve my language skills.
All said and done, I am not suggesting that personal motivation as the most important factor to find happiness in employment. Happiness is like the Sunshine. To find happiness, the dude needs an external source of Light that generates happiness. To write and state, “WholeDude Loves Whole Foods”, the dude needs to be in relationship with an external source of happiness. WFM has stated ‘Team Member Happiness’ as its Core Value, an Operating Principle to govern the Employer-Employee relationship at the Company. I am submitting that the WFM Core Value of Caring for Team Member Happiness is truly experienced by me. In conclusion, with a sense of great pleasure I claim that Whole Foods is, “A HAPPY PLACE WITH HAPPIER PEOPLE.”
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