Working as an Introvert

Here’s a small glimpse of what I live with every day as an introvert where I walk on eggshells in order to control my anxiety at work.

It’s a fact that I know the right thing to do, and I do it, then when I try to explain my rationale, I’m met with such uncharacteristic defiance, I back off.

I’ve been asked to go get stuff for the restaurant at various times. And usually it’s my RGM that asks me to. I know that I’m on company time, but it doesn’t feel right for me to leave the restaurant and still be on the clock, unless I’m delivering an order.

The other day, for instance, when I was at work. I was in charge of the day shift. An employee, let’s call him “R”, was asked to go pick up another team member and bring them back to the restaurant. I didn’t have any objections because I thought that it was going to be on their time.

R was supposed to get off from work prior to bringing the team member back to the restaurant. R blatantly made the statement while he was waiting, he wasn’t going to clock out and wait to go pick this person up and bring them back. So, R dabbled around and stayed in the back of the restaurant playing on his cellphone while still on the clock.

After R left, I was in the office looking at the computer and asked another team member if R had clocked out before he left. I was answered with a, no. So I looked at the computer and saw that R had gone into overtime. I clocked him out. The thing is, R also said that he was told he could get overtime, but I hadn’t heard anything from my RGM allowing anyone to get overtime. So this is a communication issue, if it was true. So, given my responsibility as management, I clocked R out. I had a trusted employee right there watching what I was doing when I did.

When R returned with the other team member, this is when the fur flew. R was raging because I clocked him out and he told me never to touch his [explicit] again (referring to his hours). I tried to explain why I clocked him out, but he wouldn’t hear it. He was going to send his time printout to our RGM. R said the team member he brought back to the restaurant was going to contact our RGM about it. I felt about 2 inches tall. I felt betrayed. I was angry. During this drama, I consulted with the team member that was with me when I clocked R out and he suggested me adding an hour to R’s time. So, I did just to keep the peace.

Even though I think R trusts me to run the restaurant efficiently, of course with help from everyone else, he wouldn’t trust my judgment and reasoning, when I tried to explain, in this instance. Our RGM didn’t text or call me to confirm R’s statements was true and didn’t say anything the next day when I was at the restaurant. Maybe, because what he said wasn’t true or they were busy, but was praying that it wouldn’t come up and it didn’t, today.

I’m a textbook kind of person. I do the right thing and get chastised because of it from coworkers. Because I disagree with giving food away for free, or saving the restaurant on overtime, or because food is not consistent. Sometimes when pizza is made, I spot holes in the dough because it isn’t stretched right or the dough has blown out. If orders was consistent and the customers are satisfied with their order, we shouldn’t have to give away free food every day.

I lacked in self-confidence because everyone at the restaurant has been there longer than I have. This being said, astonishment isn’t a word I would use to describe how I felt when I was hired and the RGM put me on the fast track to Shift Leader. I could feel the jealousy and disloyalty at first and I still get that feeling sometimes around certain employees.

I wouldn’t say that I act cocky, now that some of my coworkers revere me because of my work ethic, but I feel more comfortable since I have a few loyal team members in my corner. I guess you could say, I’ve tried to see how far that loyalty goes and have been met with resistance on numerous occasions. I’ve been told to lay low for the time being. I feel virtually tormented from doing things against my training and best judgment and it conflicts with what I was hired to do.

I have tried to put a stop to getting exploited at work, and for the most part, have succeeded. I feel if something doesn’t get done, I have to do it or it’s not going to get done. There’s still a couple of stragglers that refuse to do something if I ask or appoint a task for them to do. I’ve been bluntly told, they’re not going to and been put in a position where I’m forced to take up the slack.

I’m a quiet and discreet person for the most part. I am engaged with my team when necessary, but I’m usually running full bore, taking on the self-fulfilling challenge of my job, and any side job left undone. I’ve actually been told the exact words, “slow down because we get paid by the hour and not by the mile.” But, it’s not in my nature. I see something that has to be done, I do it, rather than initiate a conflict from asking someone else to do it.

Am I right for being this way? I feel alone even though I have so many people around me with untapped talent and potential who instead of saying “I’ll do it,” or “let’s do it together,” would rather watch me do it alone instead of unlocking the best they could be.

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