1st Job…1st Lesson

Let me pull one out of my memory stash for tonight’s post… I thought about this the other day and it’s worth a share.

My father and my papa were very adamant that you should always be careful how you talk to and treat people, because you may work for them one day. They tried to teach me [even in my teenage girl drama years] that drama is just that, unnecessary, unattractive and enough to make a real world situation awkward. Most lessons that I learned from them had something to do with work. My grandfather [papa] was former military and boy was he proud of that! He didn’t care what the orders were, when he got them he did them! [For the record I loved hearing him talk about WWII and about General Douglas MacArthur!] My dad was/is a dedicated worker bee himself, if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well! Back to the point- I can remember thinking to myself, ya know when I was a teenager and knew more than they did, there is NO WAY I am going to work for someone I don’t like…. pfffffffft! That is just crazy talk!!!!

I’m sure most of you can see where this is headed.

I got my very first job after my very first interview! I remember interviewing for it; I was an absolute nervous wreck! At one point the man interviewing me stopped the interview and asked me if I was nervous? I just nodded my head and he told me I was doing fine and I didn’t have anything to be nervous about. Either he felt sorry for me or I really did do a good job because he hired me. It was a small buffet style restaurant so though I was a waitress it wasn’t a high demanding position because most everyone served themselves. I had that position for less than a month before they also hired my arch nemesis . For those of you that have never been a 16 year old girl this, my friend, is a BIG DEAL. Let me make sure you are getting the whole picture here: small restaraunt that took one waitress on a week night to handle and two on the weekends in a small town (did I ever tell y’all the town I graduated high school from has around 4,000 people in it?) with two of the biggest personalities in the town that just so happened to H-A-T-E each other. HOW on earth could they do this to me?-kill me now!  Ah, well-played universe- I thought my dad and papa were out of their minds because I would never work for someone I didn’t like, but I couldn’t control who I worked next to!  So here I am working for my first employer with my first enemy without the first clue of how to take care of this situation. I honestly had bills to pay and couldn’t just quit, besides the obvious fact that I was there first! We went through a few shifts where she was catty and I was going out of my way to avoid her. Finally, one saturday when we were actually kind of busy she did something spiteful and I pulled her to the side in the kitchen and was like “hey, when we walk out those front doors we hate each other, we can hate each other before we get to our cars in the parking lot, but under this roof-we have a job to do and I have bills to pay so lets not interfere with each other making money and let’s get our job done!” I couldn’t believe what happened next- she received my plea well and before we knew it we were running that place like a couple of professionals! (Don’t get me wrong, we hit those front doors and all was right with the world, we were two teenage girls that couldn’t even look at each other let alone be a “team”).

So my very first lesson was that I didn’t know everything and I wouldn’t always be able to choose who I work for or with. No matter who you are working for or with you need to do your job. You cannot control who else will be hired and who you will be working for, but 9 times out of 10 when you treat someone like an adult, they will behave like an adult.

*As a disclaimer, last time I ran into her we laughed at how ridiculous we were as teenagers. 🙂

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