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Topic: Anxiety affecting my first job :(

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. alsatianwolf
    alsatianwolf avatar
    1 posts
    12 December 2018

    Hi all,

    This is my first post but I really wanted to ask for some help. I just turned 17 and everyone had been telling me to get a job. I really needed money, but I have social anxiety and I didn't want to have to interact with new people and the public.

    Fast forward to last Friday, and I applied and had an interview for a gelato place in the city. I put up my fake confident personality and the interview went well, and after 3 days my boss phoned me to say that I got the job.

    Yesterday I had my first shift, and I tried to absorb as much as I could. I smiled and made sure to be polite and friendly at all times. Everything went really well... except the ice cream part! There's a specific way to scoop the gelato, then a specific way to put it in the cup, but I just couldn't do it. I spent the second half of my four hour shift standing at the back of the counter, unable to serve anyone. I felt completely useless and guilty while my co-workers handled hundreds of customers while I could only stand at the back and use the till. I was thankfully able to make the milkshakes but that was it. Customers would gesture for me to serve them but I had to just shake my head, and it probably looked super rude. I know I'm putting way too much pressure on myself to be perfect on my first day at my first job, but I can't help it. All the employees are really nice and assure me that they had difficult experiences too, but I still feel awful.

    Tonight I have my second 4 hour shift, but it's a closing one (6pm -10pm) and apparently that's the busiest time. And all of the people I worked with yesterday won't be there, so it's all new people. All day I've had anxiety over it. How can I deal with such a busy shift if I can't even serve anyone? I feel sick and I have a migraine just from worrying. Also, my close friend also got her first job there yesterday, but she's great at scooping the gelato and talks about how many people she's served and it makes me feel more useless. I'm just dreading going to work tonight... though, I remind myself that driving a car was really scary at first, but now I can drive with my knees doing 80km/h while I eat maccas...

  2. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    394 posts
    13 December 2018 in reply to alsatianwolf

    Hi alsatianwolf,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for joining us.

    Please use your hands while driving :)

    I'm sorry that you're struggling with your first job. I want you to know that everything you are going through is totally and absolutely normal.

    My first job was in retail too and dealing with the computer system and the codes overwhelmed me like no tomorrow. I felt like there was enormous pressure from customers, I was going too slow, bothering everyone and would never get anything right. But - yep, like a car, it becomes easier.

    I have no doubt that everyone who you're working with (and working with tonight) will have felt the exact same at their very first job or their very first shift. It's downright scary.

    When you couldn't scoop the gelato yesterday, that didn't make you useless. That make you a person who hadn't yet mastered the art of scooping gelato! I bet none of us could probably do it easily too unless we've worked in a gelato store! They make it look easy, but it's just lots of practice.

    The other thing to know is that you worked on the till and served milkshakes. You were still helpful! The store still needed you and you were still there for them - even with all your anxiety, and as a person with massive anxiety I think that's something to be proud of.

    I hope this helps somewhat!

    3 people found this helpful
  3. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    105 posts
    13 December 2018 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi alsatianwolf,

    I have been involved in software development for too long. When I changed jobs around 2000, going from one company to another, I felt somewhat useless. Why? Because you had the learn their system(s) without any training. The first time I was an LA at church I stuffed in some places during the service because I forgot what I had to do/say.

    So (you perceived) you had a bad day at work. Take a deep breath in and then a long one out. As romantic_thi3f said, you were able to work the till and make milkshakes. One of them I don't know how to do. As the days go by you will get better and feel part of the team.

    Also, remember to ask questions if you are stuck. There is a saying that goes something like this... ask a question and fool for a day, dont ask a question and a fool for life.

    A pinch of patience, a measure of luck and persistence, and you will get there. And when you have negative thought just say "thank you" to your mind, and continue doing what you were. That works for me anyway.


    1 person found this helpful
  4. Kibidragon
    blueVoices member
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    Kibidragon avatar
    1 posts
    15 December 2018

    Hi alsatianwolf,

    Congratulations on getting your first job! This such a huge achievement, I hope you're proud of yourself.

    I am a perfectionist, and can empathise with what you're feeling. As soon as I start a job, I wish I knew everything and could do everything perfectly, which is unrealistic.

    I'd recommend asking to practice scooping ice cream during your shift. Ask if your co-workers have any tips or tricks on how to scoop correctly.

    Also, please don't forget to be patient and kind towards yourself. It is ok to not do well at everything, to be nervous, and to need practice.

    I think you are doing fantastic.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. PbeBeb
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    PbeBeb avatar
    2 posts
    17 December 2018 in reply to alsatianwolf

    Hey Alsatianwolf,

    Congratulations on getting your first job! No one likes the recruitment process of any job, after all the very process is usually an assessment of not only your character but your capability to do a job effectively- and you passed it the very first time you even tried to go for a job!

    I think it's important to make sure you keep in mind all the positivities of the situation and remember to be proud of what you have already achieved by your first shift! As mentioned you did well at your interview, if you feel like that was the real or fake you, you nonetheless approached a situation that for nearly all provokes severe anxiety and you achieved what you set out to do! I too feel conscious of letting down the team when I am relied upon but in this case I don't believe you let anyone down... no one expects someone on their first shift to be able to do everything set out for them, that takes time and practice- but even then you continued to help out the team and improve your skills by practicing working the till and making milkshakes!

    Although you should probably drive with your hands instead of eating maccas ;) I strongly agree with your point! Initially some tasks seem impossible to overcome or not worth the anxiety to try, but you've shown your willing and can achieve what you set out to.

    Again congratulations alsatianwolf, you're doing great !

    1 person found this helpful