Last week I was embarrassed.
I was embarrassed because a high school teacher of mine came into the restaurant where I work and, with a disgusted look on her face, she said, “What? Couldn’t get a real job?”
As a university grad with tons of business experience under my belt, I knew serving at a restaurant might cause some old acquaintances to question the sanity of my educational pursuits for the last six years.
However, I realized I shouldn’t feel embarrassed when I walked into the back kitchen and saw everyone working hard and running around to ensure everything was prepared to a tee for our customers.
This experience was eye-opening and humbling because it was then that I fully realized the amount of pressure put on college and university graduates to “get out there” and “be somebody.”
In uncertain times, we have to do what we can to survive. If it means working five part time jobs, then that’s what we have to do. It’s not disgraceful or shameful. People can only do the best with what they’ve got and I recommend everyone perform to the best of their ability no matter what that job is.
First of all, thousands of people are being laid-off every week. Take comfort in the fact that you have a job at all.
Next, put yourself at a high standard in your role and ensure you do the best job you can. Think of ways to improve operations, increase employee morale or, at the very least, do everything possible to be a great employee! You never know, you might actually enjoy the work and be promoted.
Most importantly, do not complain or express your displacement to your co-workers. Many of them have worked in the organization for years and take pride in their work. Complaining about the job will only make your co-workers feel like their work doesn’t matter — but it does.
Respect those around you. In fact, go out of your way to make others feel worthy. If it’s a job you’re not crazy about, you can be certain some of the other employees feel the same way. It doesn’t take much effort to improve someone’s day by complementing their efficiency or work ethic.
Overall, the important thing to remember is that it takes thousands of different jobs to run a community. Everybody’s role is important. While I encourage everyone to pursue their true passions and work hard to achieve their goals, ensure that you excel even when you’re stuck in the in-between positions.
Just as I felt gutted and embarrassed when that rude teacher commented about my current circumstance, when realized how hard everyone was working, I thought to myself, “This is a real job and I will serve you the best way I can” — even if you are a rude old hag.