Yesterday I spent an hour and a half at a running shoe store. I don’t run, and I don’t like shopping, but I’ve been at wits’ end with my dysfunctional feet and decided to see if I could get them some relief in a running shoe.

I mention this visit to the shoe store because the customer service experience was one of the best I’ve ever had in a retail store. Running shoe stores tend to be very detailed in their assessment of feet, so you’re likely in any such store to be tended to more carefully than in stores that sell other things, but what stood out for me about our salesperson on this occasion was that he seemed as though he really liked what he was doing. He wasn’t a running fanatic – that kind of enthusiasm can be a little hard to take if you just need some individual attention and information – he was just a guy who seemed to enjoy knowing about shoe structure and foot structure and facilitating a promising pairing of human and shoe.

I always love to encounter a person who seems to enjoy their work. I with it weren’t so rare. One of the best things about it is that when someone likes what they’re doing, they are often also committed to doing it as well as they can, which means their work offers something of value beyond the satisfaction they get from it.

I also love that when I come across a person enjoying their work, it’s not usually a glamorous occupation. Some people are well-suited to glamour, and probably thrive in it just as others thrive elsewhere, but it doesn’t seem to take glamour or prestige or (gasp) the highest of salaries to facilitate contentment and contribution.