Stop Being A Negative Nancy


I wish the world was full of more positivity. Can you just imagine? Where instead of saying, “Hey, you’re doing that wrong,” all the time, we say “Hey, great job doing that today. Thank you for your effort!”

Instead of “omg her hair looks hideous,” we say, “omg! I love your shoes!”

Just close your eyes and imagine yourself at work. Wouldn’t that one positive comment sit with you for the entire day or week, and make you want to work harder? Or at least more happily?

I just left a work meeting tonight that started at 10:30pm. “We’re tired of the crabby non-morning people when we have meetings in the morning.” I’m waiting tables. A 10:30pm meeting is really not that surprising.

It was about creating the perfect guest experience. I don’t know if we’ve been having problems at our store in particular, or if they’re just reinforcing the brand/culture/whatever other restaurant buzzwords are out there right now. But the last part of it was also about recognizing some great efforts by staff, in regards to online survey responses and a contest we’d been running for the past month.

Fantastic. I’m not complaining about them doing this, obviously. Yay, positivity! You’re finally telling people they’re doing a good job!

Tonight I did not get recognized. I didn’t particularly expect to either. I’ve felt pretty unappreciated at work for almost half the time I’ve been there. I’ve worked hard everyday that I’m at work. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a guest complaint here, I am always doing running sidework, I help other people with their tables, run food. I do everything.

I was told in October or November that I was just shy of receiving the employee of the month award and was thrilled. I hadn’t been there long, so I pushed hard for the rest of the month and was beat out once again. So I tried again for another month. Again, not me.

Look I don’t expect to receive things that other people deserve more. But throughout all of the extra effort I was putting into work everyday, I can recall only a few occasions where anyone recognized me at all.

Oh, but if I did something wrong. 

We were suddenly enforcing the rule one day out of nowhere that 2 servers had to split parties of 8 or more. I’ve never worked anywhere that has this rule. It’s unnecessary. I let the other server handle it on his own, while I just threw in the assist (expecting none of the tip). I got lectured for 5 minutes about how “unacceptable” that was. I messed up. I deserved the lecture.

People also call out at my job daily, and even tell other people that they’re GOING TO. They do this with no repercussions whatsoever. I show up to work at 4, expecting to be the first one out for the night, and suddenly, without asking me first, I’m now expected to close the restaurant.

Guys I’m going 7 days a week with life right now. I’m in school 3 nights a week for my teaching license. I work the other 4. I ask to have the early cuts so I can at least see my husband for a damn hour before he goes to bed. I have a hard time understanding why we can’t punish excessive call-outs, but we can essentially punish those who DO show up to work by forcing them to stay late. And please don’t say, “You’ll make more money.” It’s about way more than that. But thanks.

I’m always early. I stay as late as I need to. I stayed one Friday night for 3 hours after I was cut because they were so backed up on silverware and needed help running food. That was 3 hours I was making $2.13/hr.

Two people thanked me. Two.

Look, I’m against participation trophies and constantly feeling like you need to pat people on the back just for doing their job. But if someone is doing their job exceptionally, the occasional – “Hey, Danielle. Thank you for being such a hard worker lately. You’re so valuable to us here,” would do wonders for my work ethic.

I wish I had the personality where I could just go to work, do the bare minimum, and go home. But I can’t. And I’m so exhausted from working hard all the time and feeling so unappreciated.

Positivity goes such a long way. I hope to carry an extremely positive atmosphere in my future classroom. Where kiddos are recognized for doing a good job more often than just once per term, and can hear everyday that they are great and can accomplish amazing things.

Life should be more positive in general. Not just at work. It’s sad that I have a hard time even imagining what life would be like if people were more positive in the way they think and speak.

Here’s a challenge – to both yourself and someone else, be more positive today. Change your negative thought to a positive one.

“I’m so behind on this project.” “I’m finally making great progress on this project.”
“My coworker is so slow.” “Hey, can I help you with anything today to help you catch up?”
(And for me) “I don’t want to stay and close lunch.” “I’ll make more money if I stay a little later today. At least someone who’s sick didn’t have to come into work today.”

For me right now, I’m going to work on recognizing myself for doing a great job at work all the time. It’s so deflating to feel unappreciated, and I think some self-appreciation will at least make a small difference in my self-esteem.


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