Dear readers! My life has been kind of hectic for the past two or three weeks and the main concern of mine has been work. Before I was so worried about being unemployed that I did not realize that being employed but working in an emotionally abusive environment is worse that being unemployed. Today is the day I realize I can not tolerate it anymore and the things that have been happening to me are not normal. Why am I sharing this? Because I do not want you to go through the same unpleasant experience I went through. Learn from my mistakes. Let’s begin!
- You get promised unrealistic salary, comparing to average salary in the industry. In this case I am talking about waitressing. In Latvia average salary of a waitress is 590 euros, according to website algas.lv . When I saw the advertisement and went to interview, I was a little surprised that I got promised 1000 to 1500 euros monthly, if I do my job well, however, at that time some people told me that such salary might be realistic in a capital city, especially, if I work in an area which tourists visit quite often. Turns out I was wrong – most waitresses do not earn that much, especially, if they are working only 15 days a month or less. Life lesson – check average salary in the industry in your city or at least country, if possible.
- You start the job with no previous experience, get promised training but never receive it. It is still a mystery, why I have not received the training they promised me about two weeks ago but it is what it is. Just another shady thing in the mix.
- Your boss talks shit behind your and your coworkers’ back. Major red flag that I foolishly ignored at first. I thought that maybe someone is a really bad employee and deserves all the bad words that were said about them but… no. If your boss is badmouthing a certain person behind their back, she / he is probably doing the same to you.
- You get promised a certain work schedule that is never made or made without you having a say in it. Even though waitressing is the type of job that ignores your brother’s birthday, national celebration or something similar, schedule has to be made. If it says in the contract that next month’s schedule is made in the previous month with signed agreement of all employees and it is not, that is just another red flag. You deserve a boss, who respects your time. When you work, you are all in. When you visit your family or rest, you deserve to enjoy it instead of stressing out about being randomly called in to work.
- You have toxic colleagues. Waitressing is one of those jobs where teamwork is incredibly important. However, in a way it just like playing basketball – if someone in your own team sabotages or ignores you, successful teamwork is impossible. Besides – if your colleague is telling bad things about your to your boss, you are in trouble even more.
- Your boss is constantly criticizing you. This time I am not talking about constructive criticism which actually improves the quality of the work. I am talking about the type of critique that lowers your self-esteem, increases the level of stress and decreases your ability to work. In my case I was too stressed that I started to suffer from panic attacks again which made me incapable of doing my job as well as I could. (To know more about how it feels to live with a panic disorder, read this post.)
- There is no equality in workplace and rules constantly change. One day I was supposed to use the tray, another I was told not to use it. One day I was supposed to answer to phone calls, on another it was forbidden to do so. My colleague can do whatever she wants, break as many glasses as she wishes, be clumsy, slow and fuck up stuff, and get away with it but as soon as I make a mistake, I am repeatedly told, how much I suck at this job.
- Your boss and/or your colleagues do not want to help you, if you do not understand or can not find something. For fuck’s sake… Do you want me to succeed at this job or make a fool out of myself? Without any previous experience I am doing the last one because you deny your help whenever I need it. So what, if it is my fifth day at work and I can not find toothpicks? Be a decent person and help me, instead of looking down on me.
- Employees change often. If it is not even your second week yet and you have seen more than one person leaving and new, naive people coming in place, it is a bad sign. Even worse, if the place you work for a looking for employees for months but can not find dedicated ones.
- Your boss is never open for new ideas. “We have always done it this way and that is it. Changing something is not necessary and will not work.” It does not matter that at some point you are excited to make improvements in your job, you are too young and dumb to offer valuable ideas.
I could probably dig up some more red flags that are quite common not only in my workplace but also in many others but I will not. Let’s stop here. The next thing that I have to do today is take a nap and then go to the city centre to quit the damn job. I have pride, I know my worth and I will not let anyone make me feel like I am less than. And neither should you. If you have noticed more than one of these red flags in your own workplace, I would suggest you to reconsider working there. If you are putting all your time, energy and effort into work and it still is quite bad, quit it. Your mental and physical health is something valuable and no amount of money can buy it back once it is damaged. Take care!
Love, Porcelain Doll.