Nobody Else is Going to Do It if I Don't Do It

Jeni Britton Bauer, from an interview by Travis Hoewischer for (614) Magazine, January 1, 2012:

Photo by Chris CasellaI remember being in the first month of working; I was so tired. My shoes didn’t fit the next day because my feet were so swollen from working on the concrete. It was a very hard several years. And even in that first month, I remember thinking, ‘I’m done.’ It was midnight, I wanted to go home because I’d have to be back here at seven in the morning and there would be dishes waiting for me. And I was like, ‘I’ll wash them when I get in tomorrow morning or I’ll have one of the girls do it.’ It was more convenient. And I turned around and my sign was there with my name on it. It was hilarious, it was a flapping piece of paper printed at Kinkos with these clips from the hardware store hanging up and the air conditioning was running and it was flowing in the wind, and I saw ‘Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams’ right on it. I was like, ‘You know, nobody else is going to do it if I don’t do it. This is my company. My name is on every single thing we do and it better be what I expect it to be, to the best that I can.’ So I stayed and did dishes, and that’s exactly what’s happened ever since. Taking that seriously is the best thing you can do. It’s not the most interesting thing in the world, but it’s the best thing you can do because, in the end, I’m the one who sets that tone.

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