Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dr. Babz D.L. Method

Dear Aunt Babz,

I have just started a new job and all though this may seem really trivial and stupid but I feel under pressure to get everything right. I work in a cafe and I had a really bad day last week, my boss was pushing me to do things and I did everything wrong, I can't cook but I am learning how to, I have been there since the fourth of this month. I really like the people I work with and the customers are great to get on with but being pushed and pressured into doing things right is making me do everything wrong.

My boss has been told that I need to be pushed to do things and all though today wasn't bad at work, the experience from last week has put me off serving customers and when my boss does call in the kitchen my heart is in my throat, I won't serve customers until she has gone.

I can only think of one person who has told her I need to be pushed and that person is the women who did have to push me to look for work when I was on a program for Jobseekers, I am in work now and I hate to be reminded by my boss that I am on a three months trial to prove myself to her that I can do this job and I can.

My boss is great she gave me a chance and I don't want to let her down, I also don't want to loose this job and be unemployed because it's so hard to find work. Please could you give me advice on what to do, if I spoke to her how could I tell her like an adult that the pressure isn't needed. Please help me on what to do, I am drinking about half a glass of wine in the morning before I go to work to help me be a bit more confident. This may seem a really stupid problem but it really isn't to me.

2 Tim 1: 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Dear Friend,

First, let me state that your question is quite valid and many of us suffer from this intimidation, a malady similar to "Stage Fright." I've gone through the same thing and quite frankly, there was a time when I would shake in my boots, when I had to start a new job.

"The way I put all this, may seem unconventional but I am going to be as direct and to the point as I can."

Basically, you've got to adapt,
into your system, the Dr.Babz's, "World Famous; D.L. Method." Yes, you've got to download this into your psyche, learn it, digest it, breathe it, incorporate it, live it, become it and then allow it to Empower you!

I can't say what I did at one time, they'd have to kill me and you, hahaha, but way before that, when I was a young Mother, I wanted to work but only part time. I wanted to be able to breast feed my kids and the only job, at that time was Tupperware. I could go do a party and be back within 2-3 hours. But let me tell you what, I felt like a bumbling idiot, a good portion of the time. Sales is not easy and if you have any kind of self esteem issues, which by the way, is what's going on here, sales is probably the hardest thing you could choose to do.

Eventually, I got over my fear, usually using humor, my trademark and I began to do rather well. The bonus in that is the pay, as in any job, you do well. But I can remember when I was so intimidated, I even had a terrible time remembering people's names and would just about die inside, every time I had to meet someone new.

Now, you may not think, this is all that but I went on to become a Tupperware Manager with a Company car, one which came right off the showroom floor. I was making good money, which, as I mentioned is quite the motivator to hone your craft. Because of the area I lived in, a very repressed, no jobs kind of area, my people had to work extra hard. As well, so did I, just to keep up our sales, as we competed with the benchmark sales of the big city numbers. It wasn't easy but it was proving ground.

Hopefully we're paying attention and learning as we go. I believe that all we do in this life, all we go through;

  1. Is for a reason
  2. Trains us for what's coming next
  3. Teaches us Empathy
  4. Teaches us Compassion
  5. Hopefully enables us to help someone else
  6. Even one person at a time

I was gripped with fear, until I began to put my life into perspective. At one point, if you read the post prior to this, I was in an extremely abusive situation and this is where I began to develop my,"D.L. Method."

Yes, on one hand or rather one minute, I was a powerhouse, the next I was Babbling Babz the Bimbo Minded Boob. Things in my life caused me to behave this way. I was even diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a matter of fact, years later and after the jobs, I can't mention. I was a mess, for sure. Inside, I was this strong minded person, who was being held down by an oppressor. Many things oppressed me but namely, my ex taught me, rather nicely that I had to hold/bridle my tongue lest I eat my teeth. Inside though I was a raving maniac. When we fought and we'd fight like two men, I eventually figured out the hard way, that it was when I, "sassed back," that it would infuriate him. So, to keep my teeth intact and up until the point where I took back control, I would use my
D.L. Method. Now, D.L. stands for, of course, on the down low, on the Q.T., hush hush and this adaptation, well, it was my way of coping. He would say things and infuriate me. He'd be slinging the proverbial mud and I couldn't say a thing.

So, I began to look him straight in the eye, during these Bitch Fests and tell him exactly what I thought about him, exactly what I had to say but only in my mind. No, I wouldn't utter a word but I'd be cussing him out, calling him everything but a white boy, all in my mind. It was a coping mechanism and at that time, it was all I had. It got me through a verbally abusive situation. I do believe he knew as I'd often end up smiling, which would sometimes infuriate him even more.

Before all this, at Sales Rallies and Conventions, I remember their version of getting over intimidation. That would be for you to envision your intimidater, in their underwear. Later, when I would train men and women, in sales, I remembered this but added a twist, an adaptation of that age old sales empowerment practice.

First, there were many people, I did not want to envision in their underwear. Yuk!
I had made an observation, that I would go on and teach, for years to come.
If you feel intimidated by this person and you can't look them in the eye, look at their nose. You will find that it moves about and is rather humorous. Try not to laugh but it will, if nothing else, cause them to appear human...just like you. No better, no worse. Furthermore, they are no better or worse than you. No one one. Just for giggles, if nothing else, next conversation with someone, anyone, test my theory and watch their nose. Yes, the nose is a rather amusing apparatus, if you ask me and it moves about as we talk. It just humanized and equalized the situation.

Yours is a self esteem issue and you must do your best to put it all into perspective. Life is perspective and how we choose to perceive all things, all people. You are intimidated by your boss, your duties, the people at this job and so on. But ask yourself, what it is that you are so worried about? I mean truly, I imagine that you have a good sense of work ethic, I can just tell. I also believe that you want to do a good job and it worries you sick, that you won't,
"Get It." But you will get it and you just need the confidence to realize this.

Do not drink. Bad, Bad, Bad idea! You must learn, when you are under the gun, so to speak, to breath by using relaxation techniques. Take in a deep breathe. Blow it out as if you are cooling a spoon full of soup. It is a matter of seconds that make the difference. In those seconds, breathe in and blow out, giving yourself time to think, grasp what is being said to you, allowing it to download into your brain. It's seconds.

I also believe your emphasis, your minds priority, in those first seconds and beyond is/are misguided and misplaced. It's as if you have ADD and you just can't concentrate on what or how you are being trained, on the task at hand. It's like your mind is working as if you had an 8 Track reel to reel going on, playing in your head. I'm speaking of an 8 Track, like in a recording studio, if you've ever been privy to one. Your mind is playing what is being said, with overlays of you arguing with yourself, another layer is telling that layer to shut up, don't sweat it and on and on. You are thinking too hard and over analyzing everything, aren't you?

You must calm your spirit and stop telling yourself, stop the inner dialogue, that holds you back from listening, hearing and applying. You know damn well, you are a good worker, once you know your stuff, now don't you?

I've rambled on but my suggestion to you is to read all you can on Empowerment. Just because you're out of school doesn't mean you are done learning. Take your butt back to school, in the sense of studying yourself, your weaknesses and strong points. Study, make a conscience effort to reign in that positive force, that lays dormant inside of you. Learn to tell that big mouth, you know the one inside that tells you that you can't do something, to shut up and shut it down.

I also suggest that, at night, you go over what you've been told, taught and trained, that day. Envision doing the procedure, as if it's a dress rehearsal. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and try not to over analyze everything, as you do tend to do, huh? You do yourself no good by analyzing every, what you perceive as critical word/statement from your boss. You'll stand only to make yourself crazy.

If at all possible, listen to an uplifting song, on your way to work, it may just frame how you feel, once you arrive. Finally, take back control. Do your homework, read about empowerment, even the posts I have here, on the sidebar. Yes, so that strong willed, I can do it woman, that we both know, is within you, will win!

Make sure you read Xmichra's answer to you. It is a strong message and the inside scoop on what an employer expects.

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

Dear Anonymous,

I don’t say this on the site because it’s a little too personal, but my job is in human resources and in particular the employment insurances “get back to work” program. I not only deal with what you are going through on a daily basis, but also understand the difficulty of becoming “positively assertive”. What does this mean? It means that in any business you work in, if you can attain the ability to both be positive with your attitude regarding work and assertive with your needs, while achieving the goals set out by yourself and your company that you can have that “great job” everyone is looking for.

Before I get into anything else here, it sounds like you respect your boss and like her. It doesn’t sound like she is asking you to do impossible things either, so I will continue on the assumption that this is the case. Because if she is asking you to do things that aren’t in the labor law or outside of your job description or is really cruel, then this is a totally different story. As it is, you sound as though you are overwhelmed. So I will go with that.

Basically in your situation I see a few things. One, don’t drink. Drinking will only get you fired. Alcohol doesn’t give you more courage; it lowers inhibitions, which also makes for trouble. You could say the wrong thing, you could really injure yourself and others (especially if you are cooking) and if your boss were to suspect you were drinking on the job and just can’t prove it?? Well they will likely try to make you quit by being hard on you, so that they don’t have to deal with the potential fall out. So do yourself a huge favor and just stop drinking before work. It is doing you no favors.

Now your job I am sure has a learning curve, you started on the 4th right? Are you working full time or part time? The reason I ask, is that after about two weeks of full time employment most employers will expect a certain level of professionalism and ability from their new recruits. Also, in an industry with light memory or repetitive job tasks it is expected that you catch on rather quickly. The first week is to teach an employee “the ropes”. The second week is to see how an employee does “under pressure” and after a month it is pretty well expected that you know your job and now you are just making your skills better and more fine tuned. Sounds to me like your employer is keeping on a fairly obvious track here. But that doesn’t necessarily make it right.

The problem is that there really is no good way to go about this issue with your boss. I never get to say this to people because I have to be politically correct and I have to be so objective between the employers and the employees. But I will level with you. In my experience, new hires (people in their three month probationary period) who go to their bosses and try to talk to them about behaviors or the way they would like to be treated… are deemed whiners and not taken seriously. In fact, whatever treatment you are receiving now will likely become worse. Why? Because you are the new person trying to tell a boss what to do. I know this makes little sense, but it is the truth. It is seldom that a person who is in charge of anything will let a new person weigh in on how they should manage… even if it is only in regard to how they are treating you. To the manager, they are the experts, they are the reason that the business is thriving, and without their knowledge the company would be nothing. Seriously, this is the mindset. And to some extent, it’s true. Good managers know how to train, know how to retain and know how to please their staff. And this person may indeed be a great manager. It’s all in the timing and the ranks.

At any rate, I don’t know this particular manager or you. But I do know that a manager who is trying to drill in a standard of excellence is often looked upon as “picking” on their new hires. And sometimes they are a little hard. And sometimes you will have bad days. But the absolute worst thing you can do is to prove them right. And you are doing this by not serving customers, by being freaked out when the boss comes into the kitchen, by taking the criticisms from your boss of the job personally, and by placing the boss’s actions on other co-workers opinions (“My boss has been told that I need to be pushed to do things”).

Bottom line is that the boss has a job to do as well, and they are going to be held accountable for it, the same as they will hold you accountable for learning and excelling at your job. And when you are in the probationary period it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel some days, because things will not seem fair. But generally a boss will not ask you to do something that they themselves have not done or wouldn’t do.

Best thing you can do is to really try and get past these obstacles and do your job to the best of your ability. Let go of the fact that you are in your probationary period, and work in your job like you mean it, you want it, and you have it. The job is after all, yours. Now you just need to keep it. And you will if you ignore the idea that your boss is pushing you too hard and accept that as a personal challenge. Accept it and defeat it. Go to work and learn. Do the job. Be the best that you can each and every day. And don’t wait to be asked what you need to learn. Ask for it.

The number one reason for employers/employees terminating their employment is training. “I didn’t know what to do so I didn’t do anything” is not the right response. Neither is “just figure it out on your own”. The employer must be willing to provide the tools and the training required to do the job they ask of their employees. And in turn, the employee must make the effort to excel at their abilities by asking for explanation or further instruction on things that are out of their knowledge. So don’t be afraid. Do your job, do it well.

And just like anything else, something new is always a bit scary. But once you have had this job for a few months you will look back and think “why did I think this was so hard?”. And you will be really pleased with yourself for being motivated and achieving your employment goals.

Hope this has helped you, let us know how you do!!


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