Tried Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Tried Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone


And I got totally snubbed and embarrassed. Yay. Fun.

I got this new job at a fancy restaurant as an admin/receptionist. My first day was a couple days ago. My new boss is a little kooky, but quite nice. He was patient training me that morning so I'm thinking to myself, "This isn't so bad! i can do this!" Then he tells me he has to leave to run errands, so he just leaves me in the restaurant all by myself. Okay, I'm starting to get a bit anxious.

A few minutes later the chefs start coming in. I'm thinking to myself that they probably don't know that I'm in the office I should go out to the kitchen and at least say hello. ANXIETY! So I take a deep breathe and walk into the kitchen and say hello and introduce myself. And then..... NOTHING. They just stood there looking at me like I was an alien or something. One woman even kinda glared at me. I was so embarrassed. I mumbled something incoherent and left the kitchen. I was so mortified I forgot to clock out for the day. On top of that, the owner never came back and I had to shamefully walk through the kitchen to leave. Ugh.

My next day to work is Friday. I'm so freaked out I'm considering lying and telling the owner that I'm accepting another job offer and not going back there at all.

Just wondering how anyone else would have handled the situation?? Help! I've been losing sleep over this!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 04:27 PM
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You dont know what is going on at that place. They were weird for not saying hello back to you. Maybe they are all idiots? It is possible! Dont be freaked out. You dont know what is going on there so dont let them make you feel bad. Some work places have a funny combination of personalities that bring out the worst in each other. They were wrong for not saying anything.

Who did that reception job before you started? Why did they leave?
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 04:30 PM
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Perhaps they were just taken by surprise and expected someone else to answer. That's happened to me before with a group of teachers. It was unpleasant. However, I suspected it was because they didn't really know me and were taken by surprise. You mention being new; it's very likely that explains much of the reaction you received.

Even if the chefs were deliberately snubbing, it's doubtful it was meant personally, especially since they are unfamiliar with you, and would probably mean they behave like that in general.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Lisa for being so encouraging!

I have a strange feeling they've had quite a few different people come and go. I'm not sure why they left or got let go. The owner was very comfortable with leaving me alone in the restaurant which I thought was strange.

While I was working in the office I could hear the chefs in the kitchen, they seemed quite friendly with one another which made me feel even more intimidated. Maybe the chefs are just cliquey?
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by odd_one_out View Post
Perhaps they were just taken by surprise and expected someone else to answer. That's happened to me before with a group of teachers. It was unpleasant. However, I suspected it was because they didn't really know me and were taken by surprise. You mention being new; it's very likely that explains much of the reaction you received.
I'm sure you're right. And yes, quite unpleasant! I'm not sure I want to be so forth coming with my hellos next time.

I just, for once, wanted to be social. Because of my SA I have a tendency to talk myself out of social situations. Just this once I bit the bullet and decided to be friendly and it bit me in the ***.

Maybe next time I'm feeling brave I'll start with a less advance social situation. LOL
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 06:03 PM
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Aww that sucks. Sorry I don't really have any advice for you but I've had similar experiences. I hate that when I finally step out of my comfort zone, it just makes me feel a whole lot worse.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 09:19 PM
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I've had similar things happen to me. The chefs might have been still half asleep and grumpy, maybe they're a little socially anxious around new people, who knows. It is discouraging but it might be an isolated incident. You need to get a couple of days in to discover what the social atmosphere there is really like.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 09:34 PM
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That's so bizarre that they didn't say anything. I'm trying to think what would I do if I were in that situation. I'd probably just act like nothing happened and walk off. But I'd certainly feel weird and confuddled.

Maybe there's a sort of rivalry or division between the office staff and kitchen workers? I used to work in a large office building and the blue collar workers always kept separate from the white collars. They wouldn't even get on the same elevators. Even if a regular elevator arrived, the blue collar workers would wait for the maintenance elevator and only ride that. And the other staff never used that one. It always seemed so strange to me. But even they would have said hello if someone from the 'other' side said hello to them.

This is a mystery... let us know what happens.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 09:36 PM
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I've had this blank reaction from people. Sometimes it might be that I'm not loud enough when saying hello so they're not sure how to respond. In other instances it's just that people are really rude for no reason or plain stupid. I still don't get a response at work from one person when I say 'Hi' even though I've been here for nearly 5 months.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 09:49 PM
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I don't think you should quit the job. Try to stick it out a little more and see how it goes. I know its hard but it maybe worth it in the bigger scheme of things. If we keep on running when we get scared we'll never get over our anxiety, its something I struggle with myself.

Try not to worry too much about the chefs, they probably didn't mean anything by their reaction to you. Their reaction says a lot more about them than you. You did nothing wrong by saying hello to them. In fact you were brave in doing so. Just give it a little time and you may find there was nothing to be scared of in the first place.

I say yes, but yes is far from true
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 10:28 PM
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If this is a fancy restaurant, maybe they don't speak English. I think I remember my grandparents having the same reaction around me - my father had to do all of the talking.

Part of this may be in your interpretation, too. In your mind, you were already expecting something to cause you anxiety, so you subconsciously read what their faces and confirmed your thoughts.

I would go back to work and pretend nothing happened. I would go and say "Hello, my name is .... and I am new here". A polite introduction could work wonders.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 11:20 PM
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Maybe the chefs are just cliquey?
That's highly likely. Or perhaps just not used to interacting with anyone outside of the kitchen. I have worked places where people pretty much segregated by department.

It is weird for someone to not say anything. But have you ever done it? I know I have.

My name is G. I am awesome.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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I would go and say "Hello, my name is .... and I am new here". A polite introduction could work wonders.
I did that and it didn't really work in my favor. BUT I think my worrying is magnifying my anxiety and making me feel like the situation was more dramatic than it actually was.

Part of my CBT is to try placing myself in uncomfortable situations and learning to handle the emotions and anxiety. I will go back and try again, but I won't like it.

Hmmm, should I even try saying hello again?? Gawd, typing that makes me feel so pathetic.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 06:53 PM
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You must realize that YOU are not the problem. THEY were RUDE for not responding, do not change yourself just keep doing what you are doing. Kill them with kindness! Don't try and figure out why they ignored you, it has nothing to do with you.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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You must realize that YOU are not the problem. THEY were RUDE for not responding, do not change yourself just keep doing what you are doing. Kill them with kindness! Don't try and figure out why they ignored you, it has nothing to do with you.
Thanks NicoShy, you're so sweet. My husband says the same thing, but, ugh, so scary to do!
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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its really not worth quitting over these people. I was used and abused in my first year at my current job and I knew they were trying to push me out so I stayed and I used to walk in there with a bounce in my step and a big smile on my face as a big "**** you" to everyone who wanted me out even though I was kinda breaking up inside. 3 years later they all love me, go figure. the longer you stay the stronger you'll get it.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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While getting ready to go to my second day of work, my boss calls me to tell me that I don't have to come in today. Is it possible to be relieved AND anxious at the same time? I'm relieved because I don't have to stick my neck out today and be friendly to people, but my anxiety is building because I'm left wondering about what if's again.

I was looking forward to getting through my second day so I psyched myself up this morning to go to work. Now that I'm not going, I've got all this nervous energy and I can't get my mind off of worrying. Quitting is sounding really good right now.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 06:20 PM
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Perhaps they were just taken by surprise and expected someone else to answer. That's happened to me before with a group of teachers. It was unpleasant. However, I suspected it was because they didn't really know me and were taken by surprise. You mention being new; it's very likely that explains much of the reaction you received.
Or maybe new people don't really introduce themselves to the kitchen-folk too often, so they were slightly taken aback. I'm a cook in a restaurant, and I know that, usually when a new waiter/waitress/bartender/hostess starts, they are hardly ever introduced to the kitchen staff. Then we'll be in the middle of dinner service later than night and we'll all look at each other and be like, "Who's the new girl? Is she a waitress?"
Additionally, if I know cooks (which I think I do), you probably caught them as they were getting ready to set up their stations and start their prep for the day. So they were probably concentrating on their mental prep lists and were just surprised to see you pop into the kitchen.
So don't be worried...
(Although I know I would be feeling the same way you are if it had been me in that situation...)

"It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more." -Albus Dumbledore

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by macg View Post
And I got totally snubbed and embarrassed. Yay. Fun.

I got this new job at a fancy restaurant as an admin/receptionist. My first day was a couple days ago. My new boss is a little kooky, but quite nice. He was patient training me that morning so I'm thinking to myself, "This isn't so bad! i can do this!" Then he tells me he has to leave to run errands, so he just leaves me in the restaurant all by myself. Okay, I'm starting to get a bit anxious.

A few minutes later the chefs start coming in. I'm thinking to myself that they probably don't know that I'm in the office I should go out to the kitchen and at least say hello. ANXIETY! So I take a deep breathe and walk into the kitchen and say hello and introduce myself. And then..... NOTHING. They just stood there looking at me like I was an alien or something. One woman even kinda glared at me. I was so embarrassed. I mumbled something incoherent and left the kitchen. I was so mortified I forgot to clock out for the day. On top of that, the owner never came back and I had to shamefully walk through the kitchen to leave. Ugh.

My next day to work is Friday. I'm so freaked out I'm considering lying and telling the owner that I'm accepting another job offer and not going back there at all.

Just wondering how anyone else would have handled the situation?? Help! I've been losing sleep over this!

lol, that was funny.... Laugh it off and go BACK TO WORK!! don't quit because of that... they probably didn't hear what you said.... sometimes when im nervous i talk really fast and people dont understand what I say....i have to repeat myself..just look at it as a challege, u will only feel worst if you quit.

love yourself - --then everyone will love you too.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Miss Meggie View Post
Or maybe new people don't really introduce themselves to the kitchen-folk too often, so they were slightly taken aback. I'm a cook in a restaurant, and I know that, usually when a new waiter/waitress/bartender/hostess starts, they are hardly ever introduced to the kitchen staff. Then we'll be in the middle of dinner service later than night and we'll all look at each other and be like, "Who's the new girl? Is she a waitress?"
Additionally, if I know cooks (which I think I do), you probably caught them as they were getting ready to set up their stations and start their prep for the day. So they were probably concentrating on their mental prep lists and were just surprised to see you pop into the kitchen.
So don't be worried...
(Although I know I would be feeling the same way you are if it had been me in that situation...)
Thanks so much for posting this! Just a quick question, I'm not sure what type of restaurant you work in but, my restaurant has tasting menus that change a few times a week, who should I speak with to get info on the day's menu?

Sometimes people calling for reservations have questions about the food. I winged it the first day, but some of items on the menu I can't even pronounce!
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