Fred the Baker from the 80’s Dunkin Doughnuts commercials was a symbol of that decade. He was hardworking and determined to do a good job. Every morning, a sluggish man would drag himself out of bed to make some dough and doughnuts. He appeared exhausted and not happy about his situation. Rain, snow or wind would prevent him from following through on this commitment. A contact brought up a thought provoking question last night. Did the character of Fred the Baker ever take a leap of faith?
I reviewed the commercials on YouTube last night for nostalgia and to look at it with new eyes. When the ad first came out I was a runny nosed kid. Fred the Baker had a house and a wife. I wonder since he was older if it was possible he used to work in another industry and then retired? In the current decade it is not unusual for people to retire and then take a part time job somewhere.
When I thought about the question I became a bit annoyed. Just because Fred worked in a doughnut shop didn’t mean he never took a leap of faith. Granted the job was not glamorous but how many of us can say our jobs are trendy? There have always been dips in the economy and job market. People earn degrees and never do what they studied for as a career. It stinks, but the reality is a person needs to make a decent living to make it in this world. Fred the Baker sounded like a responsible guy (since the pastries counted on him alone to make them).
As someone who has both a BA and MA degree, I have tried to land a writing position. My current job is not trendy but I make money. While I take a leap of faith in applying and putting my name out in the writing world, it doesn’t mean someone who doesn’t has not taken a leap of faith.
Fred the Baker’s leap of faith was the belief that his work was meaningful. The dough wouldn’t rise unless he did every morning in the wee hours. His leap of faith was the notion that his work provided happiness to the Dunkin and Doughnuts franchise. If we could bottle up a small drop of that feeling I think there wouldn’t be so many disgruntled employees.
The cute old man in the uniform left more than floured rolling pins and dirtied aprons. He gave the underdog hope and reassurance that each person’s work no matter how unglamorous has importance.