I am about to embark on a new beginning. A new job. I am very excited about it as I spent over a year among the presence of a small staff that never really welcomed me into their group. It made me think about my years in various working environments and how from the time I started working at the very prime age of sixteen, I have learned life is not always fair and doesn't come easy in the workplace.
My first job was a shampoo girl. This was a blast for me because I always had a flair for doing different things with my hair (not to mention I won for "Best Hair" in my senior year of high school). I learned how to do my nails the correct way, how to prevent wrinkles around the eyes, and how to blow dry my hair straight (this was way before flatirons came along) just from working around women who were in their twenties. It was a glorious time. Before long, one of the girls became jealous because I took the attention of her co-workers away from her, or so she thought, and she had me fired. That was my first experience with the "competitive league" out in the business world and I learned fast how to counteract with it.
What I did not know is that it would follow me.
Years past and I ended up in the corporate world. Talk about scandal. I have never heard so much talk about others behind their backs. So much that it would get back to the "subject" by the end of the day. If you emailed someone - chances are they took it the wrong way and a meeting was set up. That was the horrific side to working corporate. Everything required a fucking meeting. Seriously.
Moving along, having served in a catering company, after I had my two children, I decided to try my hand at serving in a small neighborhood restaurant. That was when I learned the FOH drama. Thank goodness I wasn't in high school anymore. I learned to mind my own business and found a restaurant elsewhere where I didn't have the younger clad around me. It didn't matter. It gets worse the older you get. No kidding.
I have even witnessed a supposed good friend and work colleague try to get me into trouble. At my favorite job of all places. I guess that's what it took - loving your job to get someone to try to take it away from you.
Then this past year. What negativity and no team work. I contemplated writing this, as I don't mean to spread bad karma around or talk badly about those I used to work with. But it's not so much about pointing fingers as much as bringing this thought to mind: when you work in a positive environment where everyone cares to work together, as a team, it works. And if you don't bring home enough bacon or you didn't finish your project or the delivery was not complete - you can work together and be in peace. It's not rocket science people. Seriously. I am a laid back person and I can tolerate a lot of different personalities and not everyone is going to like each other. But why do we work? To meet friends? No, we work because we love our particular profession of interest and we need to pay the bills and we want to travel and enjoy the nice things in life. This is the time of recession. It seems we are all racing for the same thing, but slowly becoming ruthless. I am not going to deny my desire to look out for number one, we all must do so, but I wouldn't drag someone down to get to the other side. Just couldn't do it. It's not in me.
We can all learn from each other. Being in the profession of wine, I find this atmosphere most supports this truth. I am always willing to share my knowledge in hopes that others wish to share with me. I don't care to pretend I'm someone I'm not, that I know more than you, or feel intimidated by your areas of expertise. Moreover, "You don't have to be fake anymore". It takes so much more energy to do so and why would you want to exert so much energy on something that will only bring you down versus lift you up. I like my new boss' approach on this: "our staff is like family". We don't choose who we work with, but we can learn to work together. And if we aim to work together in a positive environment - we can discover how our pieces interlock with each other. Our individual strengths are utilized and everyone is able to shine. After all, everyone is a star.