Let's Get Real: What I've Learned At My First Job

So to address my work complaint, I started thinking more about what this job has done for me. I can't believe how close it is to being a year that I've worked at Golden Corral. 
I know, sounds super glamorous, huh?

But honestly, its not too bad. I'm able to joke with my managers, they seem to like me, so they give me good hours and work around my school schedule. Plus, I work with some pretty cool people. I really have some awesome co-workers.

Its been a good starting place, and I've learned a lot through it. Hopefully I'll get to move on to the position I actually want, but for now, here are a few things I've learned while working in food and with customers. 

1. People will test your patience. 
This is so true no matter what you do, but as a laid back person, I'd have to say working in the food business has really tested me. I do enjoy the different types of people I get to meet, but there are some days I just don't have the patience to deal with families who can't speak English, who don't know how the system work, who get upset with me about the price...etc.

2. Fake it till you make it.
For the days when I'm ready to snap, I paste a smile on and force a cheery attitude. It helps.

3. Its best to stay busy.
You know those days when its absolutely dead at work and the minutes just drag by? Find something to do. I prefer days when we're busy to days when we're slow. At least then I'm guaranteed to stay for my whole shift and it goes by faster.

4. Communication is key.
Not just with customers, but with your co-workers. It can seriously save you some drama and trouble!

5. Drama is everywhere!
Speaking of drama, you know that idea that high school and colleges are the main places for drama to take place? Not true. Drama will be at every social circle you become part of. Work drama can be some of the worst since you're supposed to keep a professional attitude. So to avoid it, refer to point 4.

6. Don't blame the kids...blame the parents.
Trust me when I say there are days I want to go rampaging about "the kids nowadays!" Especially when I have to check the bathrooms and clean them. Um, wow. Some days I lose faith in humanity.

7. If you don't want to develop an "I hate kids/people" complex, don't go into the food business.
Speaking of losing faith in humanity...avoid the food business if you'd rather remain blissfully unaware of the inconsideration people have when eating out.

Okay, that last one was rather pessimistic, and I'm sure it's not just food business that would give you this complex. There are just some really long days at work that can cause this thinking...

So where do you work? Any of these tips work for your setting too? What would you add?
Let me know, I'd love to find out! :)


Elana said...

My dad owns a restaurant, I've worked there since I was 14 (off and on since I got to college), so I can really appreciate this. It's all very true, especially about losing your faith in humanity! I will never understand how people to go into a restaurant, where employees are essentially waiting on them hand and foot, and then be rude.

I noticed your last name changes, by the way. Any story there?

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

You are so funny and sooooo WISE. I can't believe you have so much understanding of life at your age. Great going. Come to my giveaway today! k?

Endymion said...

I've worked in a chain restaurant so I know something about it :)
(¯`·._.·Nymphashion FB·._.·´¯)

shamuboo said...

This is such a great list for those unaware of what working with the public holds. It is so difficult to love humanity when you routinely see them at their worst. The inconsideration by some towards other people when they get that little extra power of being a "customer" is revolting. Glad you are keeping such a positive attitude about it but not surprised. You are a sweet and strong lady who stays in the present but also knows amazing things are yet to come. You rock, dear!

Elsha said...

To quote some Duck Dynasty "if you don't know what you're doing, it's best to look busy"

People will always do their best to drive you crazy, basically a law of physics:)

Gaby V said...

I used to work at a check cashing joint and trust me, I hated people too! I worked there for 2 and a half years, it really made me miserable! I've been at my current job for almost a year and it hasn't gotten to that miserable point. I'm a quality supervisor at a manufacturing company and I don't have to deal with trying to be nice to people, instead I have to be mean to make sure the job gets done correctly! It's not my desired job/position but it definitely is a step up(at least for me) from the customer service industry. Good luck getting the position your hoping for!

Annie said...

I was a waitress for several years so I can totally relate to this :) Hope it gets better for ya!

The Other Side of Gray

Chezka said...

Girl, this made me smile because it's exactly what I learned to, starting out all those years ago..and you are lucky you like your managers, I hated mine so much I quit when I was the only one on shift just so he would take over as the waiter..I know..I was young at the time :)

But use this sweetie..this will be so important, especially when you go full time


Brandy Saldana said...

Very sound pieces of advice. My first job was at a Baskin Robbins and it was pretty fun. Staying busy would make the shift go by faster. Fast-forward a few years and all my jobs have dealt with the customer service component. I am happy to say now i work for an office and no longer deal with too many people except my co-workers and some students. It's nice to not have to worry about doing everything with a smile and having a cubicle to be away from people. lol

Stay optimistic and always remember that your job is a stepping stone to where you are headed (and not permanent)



Toks said...

My parents own a restaurant and everything you've said is so true, especially about "don't blame the kids, blame the parents"

kim bim said...

Bookmarked coming back to read tomorrow due to poor eye sight.

UnA said...

I work at the restaurant for so long time now :)


Vale ♥ said...

I work in an office and there is a lot of drama too...but I agree, I imagine working in a restaurant must be hard work, because so many people get disrespectful. I cannot handle many kids all together, screaming children, people running around tables and throwing garbage around ! I admire the hard work that is behind this kind of activity. You sure need a lot of patience and yes, sometimes it happens that you lose faith in humanity...but fortunately there are also good people out there, from time to time ! :) Kisses

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Julie Smith said...

I like your blog, just followed you!

Marlen said...

Haha I used to be a waitress at a dive bar in my last year of college, so you can only imagine the fun times I went through. I actually really liked waitressing- chit chatting with people all day and sneaking free food from the chef? I'm in. I'm also impossibly patient so I always figured people were rude because they were having a bad day and i tried to cheer them up. BUT it wasn't all roses all the time. There were many a times when I had to run outside into the snowy parking lot with my tennis shoes to tackle people who "forgot" to pay their bill. Not cool bros, not cool.

xo Marlen
Messages on a Napkin

Kim Alston said...

Linda, this was awesome! I had to laugh at some. Before I had my professional job I worked in retail (Bridal consultant and Kinkos). I was a cashier at Kinkos and I would come across racism. This one guy refused to touch my hand because I'm black and would put the money on the counter. LOL When I worked at the bridal shop, one really old customer (grandmother of the bride) told the owner she couldn't work with me because blacks don't know how to dress. So hunny, your problems are small! Hang in there and do what's best for you. I went to college, got my masters and said fucccccccccck that!

Sam said...

Great post Linda, I have never worked in the food service industry, co its really interesting to get an insiders point of view. Sometimes clients can be mis understanding and not appreciative but reading about all the things you have to put up, I think we should all make a better effort to be nicer and more understanding of the staff at restaurants.

Anonymous said...

My dad owns a catering business so I understand. I just try to laugh things off and keep a smile! Great post, I'm learning a lot too!

Danny said...

this was funny to read, I worked at a coffee for about 3 years (part time job) and I totally agree with everything you said!

Mish R. (LBD and Onesies) said...

Haven't worked yet. Ever. You know how things goes here in the Philippines. You have to be at least a college graduate to get a decent job. Been wanting to get a work since I graduated college but with school and my baby, work will probably have to wait. These tips are great. Might probably use them when the time comes. :)

XO, Mish @ LBD and Onesies


hahaha great post!
both my sis and i work part time at an upper class department store in town. the people we work with and the managers are so completely lovely and they hired me even though i had absolutely no experience! i love having apart time job, even though you have to handle annoying people like you mention, but hey, that life and it sort of encourages you to study harder so you dont get stuck there forever hahaha!


♥ Ellen
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Maiken said...

right now I work in an office and I'm a project manager (have done it for 4 or 5 years already).
we don't have too much drama going on here but sometimes yeah, people can be annoying and loud and just not that great. but you have to ignore that because life works that way and everything can't be amazing all the time.
by the way, it was interesting to read about your thoughts. posts like that are always interesting and useful.

Maikeni blogi - part of me

Kati said...

Thanks for your kind words on my last post!
I worked in retail for two years and boy, I was taught the same lessons as you did. Some customers can be darn rude, but keeping a smile is so important.

Have a great day,

Mica said...

Great learning's from your first job!

One thing I've found to always always be true is the "how a person treats the waiter shows what they are really like". You can extend that to anyone in the food industry. Especially on dates. Makes me feel bad for people like yourself who are on the other end of their bad behaviour for no fault of your own.

Away From Blue

Stylish By Nature said...

That's a great post Linda !! Could relate to you here :)


The Garage Starlets said...

Great post!

Megan, said...

I loved being a bartender, it was so fun! Waiting tables, not so much.. Xo, Megan,

Megan, said...

I loved being a bartender, it was so fun! Waiting tables, not so much.. Xo, Megan,

Melanie Liliana said...

Such a cute dress on you!! and I love the backdrop of these photos! I hardly wear any makeup.. mainly because I have NO idea how to wear it properly haha

Carla Florendo said...

HI Linda, firstly congrats on the move. I once rented an apartment with a couple of vlose friends when I studied for a year in Philippines and boy it was fun! I'm sure you'll enjoy being independent. No tips for you tho, we pretty much got drunk and went home any time we wanted and I don't think that's the kind of advice I should give you haha.

Pretty dress by the way. And... just curious, what's with the new last name? haha just noticed the change.

xo, Carla

czarianonuevo said...

such a great post Linda! i really like how you laid out some super helpful points about what you've learned so far from your job. i'm glad i was able to take some notes and learn from this :)

czarina :)

katie said...

Ugh, bathrooms. I've had to clean bathrooms at every job I've ever worked at and it is awful. (I don't know why, I've had such a variety of jobs and yet there's always the restroom that no one else wants to clean.) It's definitely a gross job but after cleaning public restrooms, there's almost nothing that will gross you out afterwards. So true about what you said, it is so all about faking it. Sometimes a smile really does take the edge off of people loosing their cookies. (And hey, good luck with the job and moving up in it!)

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