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With Labor Day upon us Monday, we wanted those who see their work as labor of love to tell us why. And a number of you did, with gushing enthusiasm suggesting either straight-from-the-heart zeal or an eye on the boss’ corner office.
OK, so we’re kidding on that last part. But you were quite serious about your passion. And we figured in a sometimes-darkened economy, others could benefit from some on-the-job sunshine.
So take a look at our snapshots of five people with probably a million reasons — oh, if we only had the space — to love what they do. Who knows? It just might inspire some to work overtime at finding an outlet for how they would really like to spend their working life.
Where he works: Aviation firm marketing specialist
On the job: Vice president of marketing for Carmel’s Holstein Aviation for three years.
What’s to love for the 42-year pilot: The Columbus resident cites mature, professional co-workers with a great sense of humor and fun, strong Christian faith among staffers, a company commitment to client service (for firms ranging from Cummins Inc. to the Mayo Clinic) and a solid sense of teamwork. “We make good decisions quickly,” he said. “Bureaucracy is not part of our culture.”
A few more reasons: “It couldn’t be a better or bigger blessing to be part of the aerospace industry. I’ve been able to combine a vocation and an avocation without comprising either. I am around airports, aircraft, pilots and other aviation personnel — and get paid for it.”
Work and personal merge with some clients: “I’ve had the great fortune to form many friendships and be with people through good times and bad. I’ve been to their weddings, to their children’s baptisms and then those weddings, and, sadly, also to funerals.”Becky Morse
Where she works: Stay-at-home mom (aka domestic goddess)
On the job: Stepped into the role full-time with the birth of 4-year-old son Ben, above, reading a book with friend Lilly Brady, after spending 15 years as a math teacher in high school and middle school.
No quitting, no money: It’s a lifetime position, and quitting is not an option. The hours are long and irregular, even including weekends. Days off are very rare. It also meant a pretty big cut in pay for me. Actually, the paycheck is nonexistent — but the rewards are infinite.
Job responsibilities: She lists “cook, maid, laundress, taxi/shuttle driver, early childhood education specialist and literacy advocate, administrative assistant and scheduling specialist, accountant, vegetable gardener and weed-puller, coupon-clipper and bargain-hunter, grocery-getter, sweeper of floors, scrubber of toilets and general errand-runner.”
What’s not to love?: “My heart sings a bit every time our son says, ‘I love you,’ and gives me big hugs and smoochies.”
Mike and Denise Hatten
What they do: Restaurant owners
On the job: Since 2004 at The Mulligan Grille at Greensburg Golf Course. Then they moved it two and a half years ago to The Elks Lodge in Columbus.
On working together: Mike does the cooking, and Denise, whom he met in 1982, runs the business and oversees the dining room service. “We work together every day,” Mike said. “And, oh yeah — we have been married for almost 30 years and truly enjoy every day, too.”
Playing their cards right: Mike not only gets to enjoy cooking, his lifelong passion, but also midafternoon bridge with female diners who visit regularly. His cooking skills? Solid. His bridge skills? Not so much.
Feeling the heat: “Yes, the restaurant business can be very stressful,” Mike said. “But we more than like what we do. We love it.”
The people make it deliciously wonderful: Mike said the customers make it all worthwhile. “We have met and continue to meet so many great people who love to share their time and celebrations with us that it constantly amazes us,” he said. And one thing more matters a lot. “To have them say they like my cooking is a double bonus,” he said.
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