Have you ever had a job that you absolutely detested? I’m sure you have. I think everyone has had at least one job in their lifetime that they hated with a deep, seething passion. Sometimes the only reason they don’t quit is because they absolutely need the money and don’t have a backup plan in line.
I read somewhere that low pay was actually not one of the biggest reasons people quit their jobs. Most of the time, it has to do with management or their boss. A bad manager is usually the culprit for a business’ turnover. Another reason is lack of appreciation, which goes back on the manager.
I’ve worked in places where I did not feel appreciated. The one that pops into my head is when I worked at Wendy’s many years ago. I started off as a crew member, then eventually became a shift manager. In that position, I felt like I could never do anything right, and that a couple of the other shift managers either saw me as competition or just didn’t like me. Any time I would close, the GM would, the next day, point out something that was supposedly not done right. Usually, it was something that was missed in a totally obscure corner of the kitchen. One time it was a few crumbs was under an ice maker that were difficult to reach with a broom. Another time, it was a smudge on a reach-in fridge door. I mean, totally stupid things that I don’t think anyone else got criticized for. Thinking back, I should have probably been on my depression meds way back then, because I would get overwhelmed easily and, because of that, would quickly lose my temper. After the aforementioned GM and franchise owner sat with me once, it was mutually decided we should part ways. Not once did I ever feel like I did good enough there. In retrospect, it was for the better.
Doing a 180° turn now, the place I currently work for, Cracker Barrel, feels like the exact opposite to that. On more occasions than I can count or recall, managers have praised me for the work I do and told me they appreciate my efforts. Some days are harder than others, naturally. There are days when everything works and goes smoothly. Other times, it feels like Murphy’s Law gone berserk. Some days everyone gets along; on other days, like one recently, a co-worker will begin shouting about everything or lose their shit and throw or slam pans, utensils or dishes around. Either that, or a different person will criticize and nitpick everything about everyone. Others might refuse to listen to advice or outright ignore any correction anyone tries to give them.
I have made great strides to control my temper and not let things get to me. In comparison to how I reacted to things over two years ago, I look like a completely different person (unless I forget to take my meds🤭).
Another way I feel appreciated at work is by the raises I’ve received. Normally, I find out when I look at my pay stub and I see my hourly rate has gone up, even if by a few cents. I don’t share information about my pay rate to anyone, nor about what raise I receive, because it’s really no one else’s business. Not too long ago, I received a pay raise, and I will say that the amount was greatly appreciated. If I tell someone how much I make, it could lead to the other person getting upset if I happen to make more. If I do make more than someone else, it’s probably because I work my ass off and don’t do a half-assed job.
I’ve seen other people do the bare minimum they have to, as well as the ones who simply don’t give a shit about anything. Everyone has those days where they just don’t care, myself included. But for God’s sake, have a little pride in your job. Sure, you don’t make a ton, but at least appreciate what money you have coming in. In the case of working in a restaurant, it doesn’t matter if it’s fast food, fast casual or fine dining, have a little pride in what you present to your customers. If your business is food, showcase that food. If the plate you send out looks like a pile of dog shit, that is what the customer will think: that it tastes like dog shit. Even when I worked in fast food, I would tell the person on the line to send a decent looking item. If, for example, a burrito had sauce all over the wrap, I would have them change the paper so that the food didn’t make a mess in a person’s lap.
Many times when working with the public, you have to feign happiness or that you actually care. That’s why I usually work in the kitchen. I have worked directly with the public, and though I could talk to people if I have to, I prefer not to. It would probably take just one person to insinuate I’m stupid to set me off. If I took an order for a well-done steak or a burger with American “cheese”, I wouldn’t comment, but I wouldn’t be able to hide the disgust or grimace on my face. Now, I understand the customer is paying for their meal, and if they want their steak burned beyond recognition, or plastic on their sandwich, that’s their prerogative. I tell co-workers all the time that if someone’s paying for something, I’ll make whatever they want. If you’re paying for runny scrambled eggs with American cheese, I’ll make it. Will I enjoy making it? Absolutely not. If someone wants roast beef gravy slathered over turkey cooked in poultry gravy, by all means, I’ll make it. I won’t necessarily agree with it, but I’ll do it.
Well then, that turned out longer than I thought. Do you have an annoying co-worker? IS there someone you would work with every day if you could? Tell me about it. Any time you want to shoot me an email, I’d love to read it. Someone once told me they couldn’t find my email address. Well, it’s posted on my Facebook and Instagram profiles. Even if you don’t go there, my address is firstname.lastname@example.org (the title of the blog, all lowercase and one word, at Gmail dot com).
Have a great week and try not to let your co-workers get the best of you. If you get a pay raise, always appreciate whatever it might be (so long as it isn’t a slap-in-the-face 2¢ raise). Watch out for the lunatics on the road, be safe and be well.