By Rachel Garvey
As students, we are well accustomed to our mothers going on about earning money to invest in the future. Yes mother, I’m aware by now, thanks for the daily reminders. There are some jobs we will always remember, and we gain knowledge of the new skills we learned from them, but the jobs that we don’t want to remember are ones that we must learn from.
To elaborate, we become a happier and more skilful person from the good jobs, but the bad jobs teach us what the world is like out there, and how to shield yourself from having bad experiences again. We are all people with rights and responsibilities. We have a right to be treated in a respectful manner, and it is our responsibility to try and protect ourselves from being treated in a way no-one should be treated.
I learned a very valuable lesson during the summer of 2018, to walk away and choose not to stay in a place where my pride and hard work was being poked at daily. As the only employee to smile and chat to customers, I felt proud in my place of work, the service given made people and children happy. However, nearby employees and the manager were the opposite, and complaints were put in daily to my boss.
I was watched by the manager, and it got to the point where I would cry at my stall. I was subjected to sit there for hours on end with no lunch break, and my longest day was from twelve in the afternoon to ten at night, still no break then either. Friends and family members would drop by and say “hi” and play a quick game to win a prize, but it soon became known to me that I was permitted to speak to no-one who stopped by. Everyone else left their stall and spent ages talking to whoever they wanted, so why couldn’t I do the same?
If you are ever in a job where they belittle you and make up stories to get you in trouble, then leave. On quiet days I would bring my book to read until my boss told me, “Why am I getting numerous complaints from staff that you are reading and not serving customers?”. I felt hopeless and my self esteem plunged to rock bottom. The customers were always my top priority, so where were all these stories coming from? To make matters worse, I was sexually harassed, and my boss stood behind me while sexual comments were thrown at me. I was intimidated and close to tears, and all my boss could do was laugh.
I learned my lesson. It was a mistake to try and last till the end of the summer, but it wasn’t a mistake to walk away and never return. We’re all going to experience a job like that at some stage in our lives, we must take the good with the bad. Jobs that are good will teach us how to flourish and become more confident with new acquired skills, especially when you have great work buddies.
Jobs that are bad will teach us the importance of treating people with respect, don’t be afraid to walk away with your head held high if it doesn’t work out. To quote a customer I served: “I’m here at this very moment, staff have zero manners and zero personality, with the exception of one girl.” I’m proud to say that “one girl” is never going back.
Image: michelhrv via Flickr