The issue of quality has been a theme in my life as it is in many of our lives. I often find myself rushing to get tasks completed so I could move onto the next one. This was especially true throughout college (and even now still in college). Steve Jobs said the only way to do quality work is to have a passion for it. I know it is hard to have passion as an hourly cashier worker, a fast-food line cook, a janitor..but what about the others? Accountants, the police force, financial advisors, doctors, teachers…do all of these people truly have a passion for what they do or is it just a job for the paycheck. We all have to get by in life, we all have bills to pay, but even if you don’t like your job why would you be satisfied producing a sub-par end product? Why rush out patients who have questions about their health? Why not try to put some effort into what you are doing, why no try to have some once of care in your efforts to do a quality job? I am not saying that all people have this mentality, but we all have come across a few individuals…

Everything for the middle-class society to purchase is shit. Let’s face it. Even the higher end products that we can purchase are shitty. Need a desk? Well if you don’t want to pay for a shitty wobbly $99 desk at Target that you can’t even sit at then you need to dish out serious $$ for something made with a little better quality (but still not great). Need headphones? Even some of the most expensive headphones are shitty. Laptops break on me every year and a half. And sorry Apple, but I feel like iPhone chargers are programmed to break every year (at least that’s what has happened to me). I take care of my things, but when something is so poorly made in the first place, it is hard to keep it in good shape. Don’t even get me started on my car….

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Today I had the worst sandwich (well, a BBQ Chicken Panera Bread Flatbread to be precise, and a Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad on the side, photographed to the left) in my entire life. I got my sandwich and I see clumps of two different types of un-melted cheese. Imagine a block of cheese and you cut a one inch square out of it. Well, that was strewn across my flatbread along with one.piece.of.chicken. and enough BBQ sauce to smother three racks of ribs. I am never one to complain to food service workers but I have had enough issues with Panera in the most recent past. A few months ago the purely vegetarian dish, the Lentil Quinoa bowl with an Egg, had pieces of chicken in it. To me it wouldn’t have mattered but to a vegetarian (who was eating it) it was a big deal. Upon bringing it to the manager’s attention, we got a second bowl and we found more chicken that was somehow cross-contaminating the other soups. Then the manager gave us vouchers for $6 for our troubles. I’m not here to bash Panera but…these two incidences are just some of many I have had. I doubt I’ll go back to a place that professes quality but its performance from what I have seen is sub-par. I have been to at least 4 different Paneras in NJ for many years on many different occasions. To be fair I have probably had an incident 3/10 visits. And just to not make this a Panera rant, earlier in the day I went to a vending machine to buy water only to later find out that my credit card was double charged. I thought to myself…not even the vending machine people can get it right.

Our society emphasizes quantity and not quality. We want more friends, more money, more responsibility, more things..but if you have a shit-ton of shit, what’s it all worth? (Quick answer…SHIT). Over the weekend a family friend came to visit and brought flowers. This older gentleman spent about 15 minutes perfecting the floral arrangement and making sure each flower was in its proper place. I thought to myself about how in one generation we have completely lost all sense of “a job well done” and we now want “more jobs done faster.” Like I said, I find myself doing the same things because there is simply “not enough time” or maybe I just don’t feel like spending the time. Would I spend time on something I am more passionate about?

In a world where everyone looks miserable doing there job, don’t you think we as a collective society need to change something? Maybe we need to instill different values into the youth or change the way the education system operates. I was a byproduct of “do more” but I also tried to do my best.. We will never be satisfied by having unlimited wants.

Just some food for thought.

-Sabrina

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