The Marine Veteran shows us how to “Get Paid to Have Fun!”

This is fuel for those who may have a day, week, month, quarter, or season where “going through the motions” is a common theme.

If that is you, I want to share this story with you: One evening after work, I was at sprouts grocery store in San Diego, and a man (Mr. Martin) at the counter greeted the long rush hour line. In a loud and jovial voice, he said, “welcome to lane one folks. I’ll be with you in a moment.” It was funny, but I thought it was cool. I’ve never been greeted that way, outside of a courteous hello. Let alone, greeting the entire line of 5-7 people waiting to head home after buying groceries.

Everyone in line had to notice his work so diligently and with such passion. I’ve seen motivated people before but a checkout clerk, as excited and professional as he was, truly blew me away. He taught me a lesson about “going through the motions”

Even as people who were next in line before their items were to be scanned, he spoke out to them and said “are you going to be purchasing any bags today?”… He did this to maximize idle time; while credit cards/payments were being processed, he would be able to prepare and unfold their bags before they were being helped, thus making him more efficient and moving the line swiftly.

Of course, I was inclined to have a dialogue with this man. I told him I loved his energy and efficiency. The funny thing is, he was actually wearing his regular work T-shirt, but underneath it, he had on a professional shirt and tie. It was a little awkward because it was pulled above his T-shirt collar, where you can actually see the tie knot. Now that’s being intentional. This man has a uniform he has to wear, but he was so ‘locked in’, he said ‘I’m wearing a tie today, even if it looks odd under my uniform.’

He and I had some positive dialog back and forth, and he said to me,

“This is not another day at work for me, I come here to play. I’m spending my week having fun and getting paid doing it.”

Wow!!! it was so profound to hear this cashier say that, it doesn’t even work for him. It is “fun.” Bless his heart! 

It is obvious that this is a job where he makes money. I am not sure his path in life is to work there but in that notion the fact he mentally tells himself that it’s fun and he won’t see it as work allows him to redefine work!

Shift your motivation!… That’s the secret weapon. We all have the key, we just have to unlock our potential and exterminate bad habits. Push to work for purpose, it can reignite a new flow.

If we authentically apply his same mindset we can do so much to improve our day, improve our impact, and produce more in our life.

Little does the sprouts guy knows, he was actually giving me a life lesson. This cashier showed me that I enjoy my job and that helping businesses makes all the difference. So now I don’t look at going into the office as work. I’m going into the office to change lives, transform businesses, and to give people a stronger connection to their community. If my impact allows someone to have a better day, then my job is done because it’s contagious.

Take it from the cashier at Sprouts, go to the office to play instead of going to work for money.


-Micheal Martin Jr.

With an open mind, you can do subtle things to make the office fun and more inspiring instead of dreaded work.

Thanks for reading.

Dimitrous Chattman

Resources for transitioning veterans by Military One Source.

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