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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last month i begun a new job at a coffee house that also serves lunch..

The owner knew i had no experience/knowledge about coffee, yet they hired me and was told i'd get a steady increase in hours as i learned more and more..

About eight shifts in, and i was told that i haven't progressed as quickly as they'd hoped, thus i'm not getting as much hours as i'd hoped..

I started working morning shifts, yet after two of those they switched me to a midday shift.. it gets real busy in the morning and i hadn't been trained in the coffee at all, so that wasn't a good place to start for me..

Midday shifts are more about the sandwiches, lunch items, bakery stuff etc.. which i've done pretty well at i think..

The thing is, there's a big learning curve, for me at least; everything is very specific.. whether it be the different sandwiches, making teas etc. and it's just a lot to take in for me..

I'm getting better and better each shift, but they just have so much food/drinks on their menu, that i can't help but be hard on myself and feel i should be doing better.

It's a pretty fast-paced job; like when it gets busy, it really gets busy and i like to somewhat take my time with making the sandwiches; i don't like to rush when it's busy, though i try to be efficient..

I still have yet to be trained on making any of the coffee drinks, and am sticking to making sandwiches, teas, and serving pastries, along with cashiering for now.

I should also note how the other employees whom i work with underestimate and misjudge me..

since i'm not catching on as quickly as they assumed, and i ask a lot of questions, even about simple things about the sandwiches that are probably common sense, though i just want to make everything precisely how they do it..

This and just my meek, calm demeanor leads people to thinking i'm not as up to speed as the rest of them, or that i'm inferior intelligence or something.. they totally treat me that way, which i guess they just assume the worst in these situations, even though they are inaccurate..

i genuinely enjoy working here, so i hope i'm given more responsibility.

Anyways, should i feel down on myself for not "learning as quickly" as the managers hoped i would be??
 

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It wouldn't help a thing to feel down. Concentrate on the "I'm getting better" part.
I call these duties "sensing" kinds of work. There is a steep learning curve to it for me. I remember the week I was a waitress--- not my area. But if I'm a slow "sensor-type stuff" learner, once I get past the curve I'm fast and efficient. Maybe you're the same? Good luck!
 

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It sounds to me like you are trying as hard as you can, in which case you cannot do more. Bosses and people with loads of experience tend to forget how much there is to learn but if you are honestly doing your best I don't see how you can do any more. I'm task oriented so those sorts of jobs are even more difficult for me to do since I prefer to do one thing, do it very well, and then move on to the next thing. But they are doable and even enjoyable once the basics are mastered.
Good luck, just keep trying and you will be fine.
Well done FreeSpirit
 

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Are you in the U.S.? The history of the working world in the U.S. is one of domination, control and extrovert ideals. This means that is what most managers base their style of managing on.
You sound like a person who takes a lot in and likes to process it, and you are being managed by a complete opposite (The type most preferred and seen in positions of power: ESTJ, so an INFJ has quite a lot of challenges).

I am guessing that even if it doesn’t seem that way, the people training and managing you have been successful for awhile in acting the way they are now, and expect you to be like them to succeed. You have two choices, you can agree with them and strive to be more like them (reflect at home, push yourself to work faster and get the job done a touch more sloppy and imperfect, which is absolutely ok) and/or push back, though that will probably cause conflict so it needs to be done precisely and with care. By push back, I mean you need to find very correct assertive(not aggressive) words. Honestly, it sounds like a lot of people in business who push and shove. It is a jungle out there, bring your rain coat and galoshes! and some food for the beasts!







 

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@FreeSpirit777 I went through something similar at my current job. My performance evaluation was a big disappointment to me - and I have loads of experience in this line of work. Rather than blame myself entirely though, I assigned at least a portion of the responsibility right back onto my employer. In many ways they set me up for failure by placing me in difficult positions as a new employee. It sounds like your employer has done the same to you. They should not have started you on that busy morning shift.

Your strategy with the sandwiches is just fine. It would reflect poorly on them if customers' orders were not right. They might even lose customers. In this case, I think accuracy is better than efficiency. The efficiency will come.

No, you should not feel down on yourself.
 

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A common theme for me too
In every job I have ever started I struggle with the office politics and down right domineering control freak staff. I hate it. I feel disempowered and drained of life dealing with these people. @StableSun35 is correct about the extrovert attitudes preferred in the workplace and its the same here in the UK. They are everywhere even in the professional environments I work in.

I found that you have to tolerate this behaviour for only a short period of time, until you find your feet and of course your confidence. I then learn to say NO! much more and start to challenge the expectations of the management.

Fitting in to any new team is a difficult task. They will eventually accept you when they feel you have become one of them.
 

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Believe it or not, I don't do very well in those work environments either, even as an extrovert. I hate being told what to do. I hate having to answer to someone. I absolutely despise pointless bureaucracy.

I think there are certain jobs that are well-suited to introverts and others well-suited to extroverts. I think someone on PerC once mentioned that librarian would be their dream job. A job like that would kill me with boredom. Just to provide an example, not saying that all introverts would want to be librarians. There are lots of ways that introverts can be successful at work. Obviously being an extrovert does not guarantee success. I also don't buy into the notion that extroverts have an advantage. Introverts are powerful too.
 

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Just stay positive and continue to learn at your own pace. You can't rush things like this. If you love the job, then it'll come. Don't push for the extra hours. Once you feel comfortable where you are, people will see you're doing a great job and recognize you for it.

I've also found myself a slow learner. Our brains just aren't set up to quickly process things. Once we've got the routine down though, we can be very efficient. I remember when I was behind the bar I would clean up other bartender's messes in record time without even noticing it. Not because I'd learned the tricks, but because I had internalized the process. It takes a little longer, but it can make you more flexible in the long run.
 

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I found that I'm a slow learner when I start a new job, and than after the initial learning curve I usually out perform co-workers.

When I was told I needed to work on something or was failing at something, it'd really get my goat. So, I'd way overdo that part, or leave notes explaining exactly why I did things a certain way. Overcompensate to the point it could be annoying. After a few weeks of that, I'd go back to how I liked to do things and my bosses wouldn't bother me anymore. Heh. That's probably my butthead side for having hurt feelings. See how they like it when I do what they say, they'll regret it. Lol. Kinda.

But I think what helps me the most, is when I get ready for work, I pretend I'm putting on my super hero gear. Than head into work with an attitude that I'm there to kick ass (in a good way) and no one can stop me. Wearing that energy can effect how my day goes and how others interact with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
@StableSun35 you are right; i do take a lot in, i observe a lot and naturally pay attention to detail.. i like to take my time with things and really embrace the moment, not rush through things.. be it spending time in nature, skateboarding, or in this case making a sandwich or tea etc.. i like to take my time and really embrace the moment by taking my time..

I try my hardest and i just also add a good amount of pressure to myself when i work with the owner/manager, which today i worked with both; just us three and they are always nearby watching me to make sure i do everything correctly, which i'm like bound to messup when they are there.. i sorta freeze up and overcomplicate things when they are around ha..

I really hate how they totally misunderstand me for someone who is incompetent and stupid.. the other day i was putting some napkins in the napkin-holder, and this young girl i work with, she's 17, and she wasn't in a good mood and she saw me doing that and was like, "you know how to put napkins in right? You know they go a certain way?"

I had a rough day and had to rush to work, so my mind was elsewhere early on at work, and i was putting the napkins in backwards, something i would've realized a second or two later, had that girl not mentioned anything.. so the boss comes up and takes my napkins and puts them in for me..

That was super insulting and treating me like i'm literally stupid.

And i'm gentle with people; coworkers and customers.. i'm meek and sensitive, yet i also stand my ground and am not a pushover.. but if nobody violates my values or tries to manipulate/walk all over me, i won't really show my courageous, strong side..

So people really think i'm literally stupid; only in such a backwards world would someone who is genuinely tenderhearted, a child at heart and sincere with people, be misunderstood for being incompetent and stupid.

it's irritating, and i'm extremely perceptive to this and how people react towards me emotionally.. yet they probably think i don't notice anything since i don't say it to them.

It's still insulting and hurts that they think i'm not as competent as the rest of them.. especially when their way of training has just been throwing me in during the busy times and hoping i catch on through experience, with no real explanation on anything.
 

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As an INFJ, the position you are in is quite counter to your natural flow and abilities.
INFJ's, in part, seek quality, perfection, and the underlying motivations/reasons for people, things, and actions.

Who you work for seeks quantity over quality, good-enough over perfection, and surface motivation - i.e. money - over depth.
The more customers served, the more money made.
Though much advertisement by companies, especially in North America, focuses on being "people-oriented" and "customer-care", their prime motivation always is - and will always be - money/profit and more customers.

This is not an environment where an INFJ thrives. INFJ's are concerned primarily with humanity and the personal growth of individuals, not how fast they can be served or how much money the firm we may be working for can make or whether the napkins are the right-side up or not.
It is why we are more atuned to being psychologists, sociologists, counselors, mystics, etc.
We care about depth, not breadth or speed.
We care more about effectiveness, and affectiveness, than efficiency.
Our perfection is focused on the perfection of people and of humanity - not the constuction of a sandwich or a certain style of coffee.

Efficiency is more a Te or Se quality than a Ti (your third fuction) quality.
Te is the 'right way' according to some set pre-determined 'efficient' system - how something is 'supposed to be done' to maximize efficiency - and if one cannot fit into this set system, one is considered inefficient and a detriment to the system.
The 'right way' according to your inner judging facility, Ti - which in conjunction with your Ni and Fe - seeks quality over good-enough or quantity or speed or some other motivation.

This environment and position also prompts you to utilize your Inferior function, Se, which is concerned with perceiving and mediating prompt responses to external details and events and to physically interact with the world - two activities that are unnatural to an Introvert.
Introverts, and especially INFJ's, mull things over to arrive at concise decisions and 'truths' - usually in peace, quiet, and a form of solitude. (...one can be 'solitary' in a comfortable cafe)

So here, you are forced to use your two least developed functions - Ti and Se - and ignore your most developed and 'favoured' functions - Ni and Fe.

Another, and more important, point is that an INFJ is open to much emotional and 'psychic' input from others. In an environment that is constantly busy, with people coming and going, as well as chatter from these people concerning their daily problems, issues and lives; overloads the sensitivities of an INFJ - especially since the input from constantly changing people is also constantly changing - resulting in an ever-altering flow of input that, more than likely, encompasses a wide spectrum of emotions from joy to anger.

Couple this with the pressure of 'performing' up to someone else's standards (in your case a business) that are counter-intuitive to your own, only adds strain and pressure to an already overloaded (hyper)sensitive individual immersed in the thoughts, feelings, concerns, and emotions of an ever-changing crowd of interacting people - as well as being aware that you are being watched and evaluated by your boss(es) and co-workers.

Though I am unaware of your financial situation or your motivations for this employment - and not to disillusion or dismay you - but truth be told, your natural abilities and this environment will always be at odds.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@NeoTechnomad i enjoy working there when the managers aren't really around.. i look forward to working there, and i'm calm when it's busy, and i think they don't like that.. and because of the pressure when the managers are around and sorta hovering over me, that makes me take my time even more than if they weren't there.

but i like helping customers, i just hate being misunderstood.. that and having to yell the customers orders when its' busy, and then nobody hears me almost everytime, yet i'm yelling really loudly, apparently its' never loud enough. i hate that ha.

it's just irritating being misunderstood; when i ask questions, i always get responses in a tone of voice like "are you seriously asking me this?", when they are legitimate questions.. like asking which fridge the food goes in at the end of the night, when they have like four different ones etc.. and the way they talk to me is demeaning, or they just repeat everything and make me feel stupid by how they interact with me.
 

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I have found that it helps to keep several positive quotes that help me, circulating in my mind each day.

For instance, I used to take it personally when someone else was mean or curt or acted like I was stupid.
Now I know, and continually remind myself, that the way the person is being is most likely all about THEM and very little about me. When people are not feeling great, be it mentally or emotionally or physically, we can’t expect them to take care of our feelings. But by reminding ourselves it’s not about us, we take care of ourselves, our feelings.

Another favorite: There is no wrong way to be me.(based on the idea that with over 7 billion people in the world, there are many ways to be a person!!! though small-minded people expect you to be just like they are, so it doesn’t make them uncomfortable!)
One thing’s for sure, being out in the working world toughens a person up, but there’s no reason we can’t maintain some sensitivity within ourselves, and one might even argue it’s very important in such an insensitive society and world.
 

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More important what you think of yourself, than what others think, in the end.

But more coping…Understanding seems to help in that area.
From what I have seen, many businesses operate under a pecking order. It’s quite archaic if you ask me, but picture this: The people who are above you have almost certainly been there longer than you. Chances are good the people above them treated them the way they are treating you. I see that where I work too.
The people higher up have a bit more job security, a bit less patience, and most likely a lot more responsibility and less time. the only thing you can do to break the cycle is to not treat others ‘below you’ like that, though I have been on a mission to do that for years, and am doing it, and have yet to move up much in any company. Look up who are the leaders and CEOs, all the job books I read say over and over that it’s the unfeeling, aggressive assholes who make it in business. Seems accurate!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@StableSun35 thank you for the thoughtful words/advice.. don't ever let this world harden your heart. I commend you for treating others with respect and not looking down on them.. in reality you should be the one who is moving up.. this world favors the hardened and aggressive heart, that's for sure.

here's a neat quote: "having a soft heart in a cruel world is strength, not weakness"

have a good rest of the week :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
@Alesha @Valmont @Selinda @nurturance @StableSun35 @NeoTechnomad

two questions:

1) Why do they treat me like i'm stupid and imcompetent though? There entire demeanor towards me is so belittling and talking to me like i'm a five year old..

2) I've had other jobs similar to this that i absolutely loved... i worked at an ice cream shop years ago that was so great; even when it was busy, i loved it. I'm trying to figure out why i struggle with this job, and i haven't even begun making coffees yet!

I will say that i don't eat meat/cheese and haven't for many years, and growing up i was a picky eater until i became vegan ironically ha.. i also have never drank coffee, so my knowledge is next to none on these fancy sandwiches and especially the coffee..

I guess the jobs i've loved most; this ice cream place, and an arts/crafts store, they were not super fast paced and were simple where i was also able to interact with customers, especially the arts/crafts job where i'd be a sales associate and help customers, stock, and was also a backup cashier..

It was simple and not much variation... yet i had an even simpler job at an upscale grocery store recently that i hated the most, because to me it was meaningless stocking food all day with little-to-no customer interaction/service..

This current job at the coffee/sandwich place has that simplicity, but it's very fast paced and i prefer laid back, slower paced jobs.. which the ice cream place was as well as the arts/crafts store.. and not to be confused with easy because i like working hard to make peoples day brighter, but at my own pace..

I will also add that at these two jobs i enjoyed, the owners/managers never had any complaints with me, not once did they even tell me i could do better etc like the coffee/sandwich place i'm at now, as well as the grocery store..

Any perspective as to why i struggle with these jobs (coffee/sandwich place, and grocery store) versus the other past jobs i loved and excelled more at (ice cream shop, arts/crafts store) ???
 

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Edit: Let me put it this way: You want to succeed at your current job, you need to adapt to fit the culture. It's fast-paced and efficient. More below on that, but the other thing I want to say is... do you have a plan to get a future job that caters to your strengths? This job is a S-job. It's your last function as it is mine.
Let me make a bet that you liked the arts/crafts store because it was laid-back and you got to daydream-- using your Ni? You got to talk to people as well, using Fe.
The ice cream store was laid-back too (Ni daydreaming opportunity).
So at both jobs you got to take your time and there was no pressure.
Thats very different now at this job where everyone needs you to just make sandwiches as fast as possible and be in the moment and completely dedicated to making as many as possible. Often in fast-paced jobs people don't even feel like there is time for questions and no time to lovingly and with flare put a cherry on an ice cream and hand it to the person in front of you with a smile. All that is no longer a priority. If you can make more sandwiches or as many sandwiches as the person next to you in the same amount of time, then you are doing okay. A good skill in places like this is a fast worker that makes the food still look fantastic-- thats the goal-- and that uses Se or Si. If they feel like you're taking your time too much then they are liable to feel like the are going to have to speed up and take your slack. You know, like if they are making 6 sandwiches in the time it took you to make 2? And the time crunch and impatient customers makes them feel pressured, then they are going to feel like you're not carrying your own weight. I hope these phrases of mine make sense.
So i think the thing here is that you are trying to slow down to feel like you're doing a good careful job and instead you need to speed up in this culture. I've been places before where the culture was so differernt than what I was used to that it felt like "Hey! change this, its crazy" So, yeah, don't do that-- never a good idea. You want to try to adapt to the culture to suceed there.

By the way, jobs like this don't use Ni unless to daydream... which doesn't make fast sandwiches. (I've had a few jobs that were so repetative that I got fast at the physical task and then could do it on auto-pilot and then I could daydream. I would never stay in a job like that-- how awful! Are you studying anything that will use your strength? Or have plans for a career that will use your strengths? I personally had a bunch of "odd jobs" when I was in my 20's and getting through school-- but I'd go nuts if I wasn't using Ne-Fi together in a career everyday. Just a thought... play to your strengths--always.
 

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@FreeSpirit777

I would agree completely with @Alesha and truly have nothing to add to her reply. It is quite complete.
As metaphor... it is the "round peg in a square hole" scenario, which is never good for a (hyper)sensitive Introvert.

"Day-dreaming", the immersion in an INFJ's primary and most developed function - Ni, is your natural and most-savoured ability. Immersion in an environment that denies this will do more harm in the long run.

I would be interested in your replies to the questions posed by @Alesha:

More below on that, but the other thing I want to say is... do you have a plan to get a future job that caters to your strengths?

Are you studying anything that will use your strength? Or have plans for a career that will use your strengths?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I kinda thought this job would cater to my strengths.. i'd been in there a few times before working there, and it seemed sorta moderate as far as how busy it got.. i enjoy working there, i just think i'd do better if the managers weren't literally watching my every move the entire shift.. this makes it a bit distracting and adds pressure as my shift goes on

each shift i'm progressing, and since i enjoy it, i'll stick with it.. since being a barista is a good profession to have for me.. maybe somewhere else i'll find a coffee house that's more suitable for me.
 

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1) Why do they treat me like i'm stupid and imcompetent though? There entire demeanor towards me is so belittling and talking to me like i'm a five year old..
As others have mentioned, I agree that it may be that their company culture clashes with your personality type. I feel like I'm treated the same way at my current job as you are at yours and I have over 30 years in this line of work. I recently realized that the culture at my current job is more suited to someone who has Te as their main judging function. They are very rigid and bureaucratic. Being an ESTP, I am a more go-with-the-flow, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type. I think and act in the moment and rarely plan things out. For my part, I hate their rigid bureaucracy. For their part, I think they're suspicious of me because I prefer to improvise and follow my own way of doing things. I am not a Te thinker, which means I don't fit in very well there.

It does sound like a cultural misfit and nothing to do with you.
 
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