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Ive recently started a new retail job, This after noon im supposed to start my training. Crowded department stores? not much for me. Ill be starting register work this evening, when everyone gets off work, and gets paid. The thought of me struggling to learn the register while angry impatient people stare at me is making my hands shake as i type this.
I should say that this is not the field i want to be in, I have a cosmetology license, well.....touching strangers needless to say wasnt for me.So thats wasted. now i got into retail again because i didnt see much of a choice, So i went ahead and applied and got this job. i also turned down a job at a department store at the lancome counter with commision, for fear of people i feel are above me. Well now im in a panic. I dont know how im going to handle tonight.I also feel like im being stupid and foolish for being so afraid of something so simple a 10 yr old would have no problem acomplishing. Any advice on how to cope with my fears? Its hindering my life, and putting severe stress on my body.




*please excuse any misspelt words, and miss constructed sentences**
 

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What a nasty situation that must be for you.

I never liked working in retail. Unless you find a good store that treats employees well, not a lot of people like working in retail either.

If you want to sustain yourself in the current position you hold now, you will have to change your attitude towards being at work and what customer interaction means.

From my experience, interacting with customers is not a place to wear your emotions on your sleeves. Think of a store like being just a factory. Products in, products out. Only in this case, it's customers in, customers out. I see customers as nothing more than inanimate objects going down conveyor belts to get the next part put in by yourself so that they can be sent on their way. If customers get impatient, that's their problem, not yours. If you just think of the people there as things on an assembly line and not people with feelings of hate, I think you will be more at ease.

If you're doing it right, you should feel relief once you clock out that you can re-wear your emotions again and let them blossom once more rather than feeling guilt about how you dealt with other people. The latter is like putting some ripe flowers along a curbside which will soon get pummeled with dirt and gravel by all of the passing cars.

I hope this encourages you to keep moving on and good luck tonight.
 

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Go in there as confidently as you can and show willingness to learn, all I can suggest at the moment :)
 

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It sounds like you might have agoraphobia. There are a small handful of treatments mentioned in the wiki article. I used to have a fear of driving on the freeways, specifically merging onto traffic, but that fear has disappeared once I confronted the fear and forced myself to go on the freeway more often. Good luck.
 

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Okay, I'm an ENFP, but I hate dealing with people for fear they might hate me. So, just remember, this probably won't be your job forever, you might make some amazing friends. :) and I agree with the agrophobia connection.
 

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@noelnichole - I can completely emphathize with you. I got several jobs after high school and either quit them/didn't show up/walked out during my shift or left after a day or two due to anxiety.

The first job that I stuck with was also at a retail store. Luckily for me, my boyfriend and I both applied and were hired at the same time. That made it much easier to show up but... I was placed in the stroller/carseat department. Which was fine until the manager toured the department with me showing me each of the fifty different types of carseats and strollers, their features, their functions, etc. All I could think about while he was talking was that there was no way in hell I was going to remember anything he just told me. After shadowing another employee for a couple of hours, (in which I could not concentrate enough to learn anything from him either) I was put out on the floor by myself. When a customer approached me and started asking questions, I was like a deer in the headlights. I couldn't even remember whether a newborn in a carseat should face forward or backward. I panicked and I walked out. When the manager couldn't find me he asked my boyfriend what was going on. My boyfriend explained about how I had anxiety and although I wanted to work there, I was probably so nervous that I left. The manager was kind enough to give me another chance and he transferred me to the toy department without even mentioning the incident. I was still very anxious in the beginning but I was determined to stay with the job. I didn't want to let my boyfriend down or make him look bad and I desperately needed to start earning my own money as well. Another thing that helped me was my psychiatrist prescribed me Xanax and that helped to calm my nerves substantialy.

I also had to work backup at the register and I felt anxious as the angry, impatient customers waited their turn. I was also nervous because I didn't know how many items to put in a bag, which items to put together and I didn't want the customers to get annoyed with me if I made a mistake. To make it even worse, they always put me at the register where the scanner was broken so I had to type in every single barcode number. You should have seen the eye rolls and heard the sighs when the customers realized they were at a register with no scanner and a slow typer. The Xanax helped me to focus on what I was doing and not even think about the customers behind the one I was currently checking out.

I can also relate to the fear of feeling that people are above you. You are not stupid or foolish for feeling this way. It's not that you can't do the work, it's that your anxiety makes it extremely difficult for you to "get out of your head" so that you are able to function. I would strongly suggest talking to a psychiatrist and therapist about your fears. If you are hesitant about taking anti-anxiety medication just know that you can take them short-term. You may find that after several days or weeks of working that you do not even need it or that you may need it only once in a while. This would be only if a doctor recommends medication, of course. If you enjoy cosmetology it would be a shame for you to waste your talent over this fear that you can overcome. It has been 14 years since I succeeded at that first job. That and every other job since then has taught me people skills that I can apply to any situation in my life. Another suggestion I have is to practice wearing your "professional hat" or "professional mask", whatever you want to call it. I didn't consciously do this but I developed this friendly, helpful, outgoing, and confident "professional mask" that I wear when I am working. It's kind of a "fake it 'til you make it" type of thing. The more I dealt with people, the more confident I became and I learned to handle conflicts and to read people quickly which I would not have done if I had not chosen to work so closely with the public. If you avoid the situations that you fear, your fear will win and your self-esteem and self-confidence will plummet. If you face this situations and get through them, your self-esteem and self-confidence will only increase.

I wish you luck and feel free to PM me if you want to talk more about it. :)


 

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Walk through them. If we totally avoid them, then the fears become more powerful over us. If possible, just do baby steps. Like break it down into smaller parts. As well, be kind and love yourself. It sounds like from this post you are very hard on yourself. You're an amazing person and have so much to offer this world. You need to believe that yourself though. The more you face your fears the easier it well get to deal with fear. Peace and respect.
 
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Ive recently started a new retail job, This after noon im supposed to start my training. Crowded department stores? not much for me. Ill be starting register work this evening, when everyone gets off work, and gets paid. The thought of me struggling to learn the register while angry impatient people stare at me is making my hands shake as i type this.
I should say that this is not the field i want to be in, I have a cosmetology license, well.....touching strangers needless to say wasnt for me.So thats wasted. now i got into retail again because i didnt see much of a choice, So i went ahead and applied and got this job. i also turned down a job at a department store at the lancome counter with commision, for fear of people i feel are above me. Well now im in a panic. I dont know how im going to handle tonight.I also feel like im being stupid and foolish for being so afraid of something so simple a 10 yr old would have no problem acomplishing. Any advice on how to cope with my fears? Its hindering my life, and putting severe stress on my body.




*please excuse any misspelt words, and miss constructed sentences**
Holy hippogriffs. I get you. Completely. I start a new job at a retail store tomorrow, and I feel the EXACT same way as you. People keep on saying stuff like, 'Oh isn't it exciting? A new job, and money to come!' and I agree with them and smile nervously, when in my head I'm going over all the ways I'm going to screw up everything. I feel like I'm going to be a handicap to the system, and people will have to help me all the time, because I don't think I'll remember all the number codes to punch, and all the stuff I have to do. I doubt my ability to do anything when there's perceived pressure involved. On training day, I tried to page someone in the store, and I messed up (mumbled, hit the wrong numbers etc) and the whole store heard, including the group of other new employees who went after me and got everything spot on. I'm a donkey on the edge now, because the panic is setting in and I feel like I've locked myself into this situation. It's equal to the first day of school anxiety for me...

Anyway, I'm not much help at all, but I just thought I'd say, I think I understand what you're going through and wish you all the luck in the world with this.

Empathetic hug*
 

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thank you so much everyone, tonight was.......brutal to say the least. I shadowed a woman at the register for about 2 hours, my back was turned to the register behind me and a man came up behind me and thrusted a hanger into my back screaming "are you going to help me or not?!" To say i came unglued would be putting it to light. I lashed out at this man in front of a line of at least ten customers. Not my best first impression. i tried to keep my eyes down through most of my checking out customers, it helped slightly, my shaking never quite stopped, and every laugh i heard i was sure it was directed at me, which i guess i always do.

luckily i dont have to work tomorrow but i do have to work saturday which will be 5x busier.

thank you to everyone. i really appreciate the comments.
 

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The man thrusted a hanger into your back?!? I mean, he actually made physical contact with you? That is not appropriate and you had a right to lash out at him. I hope your manager backed you up if it got to that point. If something like this happens again I would try (yes, I said try) to remain calm but be very firm with anyone who tries to disrespect you. You can do this while remaining "professional" without resorting to yelling or cursing. I'm sure you already know this but if you aren't used to dealing with nasty people in a work environment it make take some practice to not "pop off".

I hope you gave yourself credit for getting through the day despite how anxious you were feeling and for sticking up for yourself. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of beating yourself up for your mistakes -or even perceived mistakes- but try to focus on your accomplishments however small they may seem to you. It can help change your perspective and make you feel better about yourself.

 

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thank you so much everyone, tonight was.......brutal to say the least. I shadowed a woman at the register for about 2 hours, my back was turned to the register behind me and a man came up behind me and thrusted a hanger into my back screaming "are you going to help me or not?!" To say i came unglued would be putting it to light. I lashed out at this man in front of a line of at least ten customers. Not my best first impression. i tried to keep my eyes down through most of my checking out customers, it helped slightly, my shaking never quite stopped, and every laugh i heard i was sure it was directed at me, which i guess i always do.

luckily i dont have to work tomorrow but i do have to work saturday which will be 5x busier.

thank you to everyone. i really appreciate the comments.
ouch... where do you work? things have gotten crazy simce i left the states. you need a hug. -(^_^)-
 
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The immaturity of full-grown adults never ceases. When I say that, I'm referring to customers in stores. Your situation, @noelnichole reminds me of driving in the Bronx of New York City; if a light goes green and you do not move for one second the instant a light goes green, you get horns and angry drivers. You gotta have a strong heart in defense of angry customers. Reassure yourself that despite these drawbacks you feel from being treated poorly, you are nothing what these customers think you are. You should know deep down inside, you're a righteous person. Good luck to you down the road.
 

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I appreciate that very much. However I ended up quitting, turns out id only get 15 hours a week and And its 60 miles round trip to go there, it was'nt worth the gas. Im actually trying to get into college again at this time, trying to figure out an online school because a crowded room of strangers isnt going to help me concentrate. Now im faced with another issue, i battle with myself constantly on wether im smart enough to go to college, hence cosmetology school, and why i never pursued what i really wanted to do in the first place. A friend of mine and i were talking a few days ago about what i was would have really liked to have done, and if I could do it at all,and all she had to contribute was "why not?" Then it clicked in my head that Im a divorced 22 year old with a useless cosmetology license, with nothing but time. So I decided....yea why not?? Hopefully Ill have the guts to even enroll now that ive made my big speech lol. Its one thing to talk about it but a different to do it. I feel like im constantly on the edge about to jump into something ive always wanted to do or try, Then my fears take hold of me and i dont do it and regret it so much later. With what im wanting to do, my new internal dialogue is "Your not professional enough" "Your not smart enough to even pass" "Your going to fail out of the first class" "If you do graduate you wont even do anything with it". You know i really would like just a day to be happy,and not have inner dialogue,Not stare in every reflection i see and pick out a flaw or 20, eat without loathing my self for not hearing my stomach growl. But i havent gotten one yet. I am so sorry for my Rant thats becoming off subject, but all this is not something i talk about with anyone, To people who know me im very strong and together, quiet. But Ive hopefully stumbled onto a place where i can talk about these issues, seeing as i have many.


I could write a detailed book right now for all of you about my issues, but i dont presume to imagine any of you have the time or want to read it ;)


Once again I am so sorry for my lack of grammar and punctuation. Once i start letting it out I apparently don't care much for proper placements of . , ?


Tremendous thanks In advance to anyone brave enough to read this and give advice
 

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@noelnichole - I agree that driving 60 miles round trip for a poorly paid position isn't worth it. Unless you happen to love the job but that clearly wasn't the case.

Choosing to continue one's education is almost always a good idea but I wonder if your lack of self-confidence would sabotage your success. If you decide to enroll I would suggest that you talk to a counselor at the school about your feelings. You would need to take a placement test once you register which will tell you where you are at academically. So if you were not prepared to take college level courses at this time, you would find out. You certainly don't strike me as lacking in intelligence but you seem to struggle with a negative self image. You may want to look into cognitive behavioral therapy. If you are not familiar with it, it is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps you understand how your thoughts and feelings influence your behaviors. You then learn to restructure your negative thoughts in a way which will influence your emotions and behavior in a positive manner. That's just my unofficial definition. I have worked with a therapist using CBT. It has helped me much more than "talk therapy" every did but it does take effort and persistence. I'm not trying to "push" therapy on you and I am not one that believes in telling other people what they "should" do. Only you can decide what is best for you. I just wanted to share my ideas about what might be helpful for you.
 

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No, I know I'm not unintelligent. I graduated high school at 16, and I went into veterinary tech training, to cosmetology. But this is something new.I constantly doubt myself in trying something new.
 

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I, too, have dealt with anxiety and panic attacks in the past. Once in a while, I still suffer. Mine was caused by a health problem and it never went away.

And it was truly debilitating. Like a year or more of no work, disability benefits (though I refused to go this route).

From my experience, there is no easy answer.

The first step is to be easier on yourself. It is NOT stupid to be afraid. You are not stupid to be afraid. I am not stupid to be afraid, either.

I would really love to talk to you more about this, because I have gone to hell and back to improve my anxiety and I think I can offer some good advice to your questions.
 

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"Your not professional enough" "Your not smart enough to even pass" "Your going to fail out of the first class" "If you do graduate you wont even do anything with it".
You have to find a way to quiet or ignore the inner dialogue.

- No one is professional when they first start (this is one I have a problem with, too).
- You can pass if you try.
- If you fail the first class, you'll take it again.
- Maybe you won't, but you'll have accomplished something and gained confidence.
 

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thank you so much everyone, tonight was.......brutal to say the least. I shadowed a woman at the register for about 2 hours, my back was turned to the register behind me and a man came up behind me and thrusted a hanger into my back screaming "are you going to help me or not?!" To say i came unglued would be putting it to light. I lashed out at this man in front of a line of at least ten customers. Not my best first impression. i tried to keep my eyes down through most of my checking out customers, it helped slightly, my shaking never quite stopped, and every laugh i heard i was sure it was directed at me, which i guess i always do.

luckily i dont have to work tomorrow but i do have to work saturday which will be 5x busier.

thank you to everyone. i really appreciate the comments.
Next time it happens, assume the 'stern mother' role and reprimand the customer firmly. Say a variation of the following : "That's enough out of you. You sit right over there until I'm done here. Right now! Go - go - go (repeat go until they either listen or leave. If it escalates, threaten or call security.)

Jabbed with a hanger, lmao thats fucked up.
 
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