September 25, 2012

National Food Service Workers Day

"Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can't deliver good service from unhappy employees." - Tony Hsieh

It's National Food Service Workers Day!

When I decided to eat the year, I had no idea just how much of a commitment it was really going to be. And the truth is, there have been incredibly low moments.

But there have been incredibly high moments, too. And that's what I want to focus on. Like the way my family and friends have supported me every step of the way. I've sacrificed a lot of time on this - time I could have been spending with them.

I'm also incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support from all the companies that have sponsored this adventure - which is exactly what it has been. My hope is that they wanted to be involved, because they knew I could actually do it. That even now, with two and a half months, they're rooting me on and are proud of what I've accomplished eating the year entirely on a plant-based diet.

But today, it's all about the unsung heroes of this project: the food service workers. Because, really, without them there would have been plenty of days I would have been at a loss for. I've been in the industry and I know what a thankless job it can be. Please know, "food service workers," this particular freckled kid respects, appreciates, and values all of you. Seriously, you're as much a part of Almanac of Eats as I am. And there's a few in particular I want to recognize and send a big, big thank you to...

- Hannaford in Lewiston, ME
(The folks who work in the produce section are some of the nicest people I've ever met. They always say hello to me when I'm there - not because they have to, but because they're just THAT nice. And they do it in a way that makes me feel at home. Which is a good thing because of how much time I've spent here this year.)
- Whomever manages the Whole Foods, Portland, ME Twitter account
(Thank you for answering all of my ridiculous questions all of the time. You've saved me a great deal of hassle, and have pointed me in the right direction dozens of times. I so appreciate how attentive and interactive you are via social media. It makes me feel like your a company that actually listens.)
- Jeanne at Starbucks in Auburn, ME
(SJeanne... trust me when I say I am forever indebted to you for your unparalleled kindness, creativity, and genuine friendly, approachable disposition. You overextend yourself to your customers - at least to me - and I don't think I deserve it. Without you, this year would have been exponentially more difficult than it already has been. Thank you for existing!)

... and all the other places this year that helped me celebrate to this point and everyone else who may have waited on or helped a girl who told you it was some random national food holiday that you may or may not have believed at the time.

Happy National Food Service Workers Day!