Thursday, November 15, 2012

Esse quam videri

I've been accused of a lot of things in my life--being too damn pretty, knowing too many things, talking way too much, stealing a mean lady's credit card*, caring too much about Harry Potter, etc... A rude person might also accuse me of being a quitter/giver-upper, but I'd rather say that I'm naturally agreeable, and if someone tells me I can't do something then I will probably agree with them.

Being easily discouraged has been a problem for me for pretty much as long as I can remember. Some people hear the word "no" or "you can't" and their response is "oh YEAH?!" and then they go invent Facebook and become billionaires at the same age I'm sitting on the couch, eating Cheetos, moping about "what should I do with my life :(". A few examples: After a lifetime of hearing "yes" for...anything I ever applied for or wanted to do, I applied for an internship with WGN and never even got a phone call about it. This minor, minor setback convinced me it wasn't worth applying for any other internship, ever. When I was told I wasn't a good fit for the Next Media promotions department (for being a girl, as far as I could discern), I promptly stopped seeking advancement in any capacity. I think it's the other side of the "oh YEAH?!" coin--the stubborn toddler side. Tell me no? Oh YEAH? Well then I'll never do anything ever again! That'll show them!

I have a new job that I've been at for a fairly short amount of time, and there's been some growing pains. It's not a defined position, so I have no clear directive other than "make the bar better", and a lot of that work involves sitting, looking around, and thinking. What physical/mechanical/structural aspects are holding us back? How can we improve upon them? What are the bartenders like? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What can I help them with? How can I help them with that? It's all very intangible at the moment, especially as I'm still learning about the new company and their standards and procedures. There's been a lot of quiet hours sitting at the dead bar top with a pen and notebook, scribbling ideas.

I'm new, there's a learning curve. I know this, my boss knows this and seems content with how I've been using my time, and yet I let the office assistant get inside my head yesterday. I don't know if she was intentionally being dismissive and disapproving, or if she was merely asking questions and has a blunt demeanor that I'm not used to, but regardless of intent, she shook my confidence. I walked away from that encounter wondering "what on earth am I doing?"

But no. No. Not today. I was excited about this job and felt confident about this job up until this woman planted a small, but powerful, seed of doubt in my mind. I can feel that seed struggling to take root in my brain, thoughts like "I should quit now before they waste more of their money on me" keep cropping up, but I'm trying really hard to stamp them down.

I'm not miracle worker and I'm not a robot-- I can't just show up and perfectly perform a function that I haven't been trained to do yet. The small things I've done have been met with approval, my ideas have been accepted and praised, and I'm getting to know the staff. One step at a time. I just need time to get my footing, to get comfortable, to actually feel ownership in this new place. I've been at Friday's for six years now and I've forgotten what it's like to be new at something. I just need to keep reminding myself that feeling lost is okay.


*I've never stolen anyone's credit card, no matter what that bonkers teacher might think

1 comment:

  1. No one can show up and do their job perfectly every day, even after they've been trained! Your workplace is fortunate for all of the awesome things you're going to do for them in this role.