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Onward & Upward.

So I variously fessed up to my managers that I felt I'd been slacking off at work recently. It felt really good to get it off my chest, even as they scolded/judged/otherwise sighed.

It was tough. I don't like revealing moments of weakness--especially to authority figures (whom I invariably look up to, desperately). I don't like giving people the chance to think less of me.

What's kinda funny is how my standards for myself are at least as high if not higher than my managers' expectations for me. That's all well and good (I guess....) but the moment I catch myself slacking or opting for the less tedious routine, those high standards come back to bite me in the ass and just demotivate & demoralize me. And then I start despairing--I've lost the confidence to even try again and it only gets tougher.

It just came to a point where I didn't feel like "hiding" it anymore. See, I can be all too good at spinning bullshit just right so people never have to know what a cad/incompetent/flunkie I can be. Say all the right things, all the right ways, and you can get anyone to assume you've got it "under control" and go back to worrying about everyone else instead.

This time, though, it just seemed like so much wasted effort, yeh? Like, I was getting frustrated with myself, whether or not they were. And my managers arent' there to judge me, lose faith in me, and otherwise trust me no more with their confidence; they're there to manage the store and thus, more or less, help us employees be the best we can be to facilitate aforementioned managing of the store.

Yeah, you can probably guess I was guilting myself into believing that my slacking was the cause of recent roughness and less-than-ness in our store's performance. I really am, and usually transparently, that egocentric.

But whatever the situation or their role, I kinda realized that telling my managers how I'd been feeling and stuff was probably the best--most honest, at least; responsible, even--way of doing something about my increasing work-related frustrations.

So bit by bit, manager by manager, I've begun admitting my areas of weakness to them. And it's helped. At the least, now we can form some kinda dialogue over it. Like, now they're aware of my bad habits & tendencies, they can offer some kind of support and I can give them feedback.

Like, I sometimes stress about simple things like helping outfit customers. I just don't know how, I feel. Whichever MOD i'm working with can then maybe give me some tip or trick to try, I try it, and tell them how it worked out & what I learned.

Othertimes it's more complicated things, like engaging customers. Like, I often catch myself forgetting to ask what they like so I can respond with useful, informed suggestions. Sure, I'm probably one of maybe two employees aside from the managers who actually bothers worrying about such feats of customer service--but I take it very seriously. And I'm not very forgiving toward myself when I lapse. But now, maybe, my manager can help remind me now & then and practice and stuff.

I don't know if I'd have gotten even this far if I hadn't changed somehow personally. Like, used to be that even as I admitted these things I'd have still endeavored to control what my managers or whoever thought of me. Still spinning and spinning, endlessly. Or, I'd have taken even the slightest sign of disapproval as a personal & fatal blow, and a sure sign it was high time to give up & go home.

Like yesterday Analeise had me rewatch the little training video on talking to customers about the store credit card. I imagine part of her motivation was how badly we fared in this last credit competition. And I imagine she definitely noticed how badly I performed this time around. Last time I was far and away the best in the store; this time....yeah. Not so much.

But instead of taking it personally and hurtfully, I thanked her. I told her, honestly, that I'd actually been thinking the very same thing--that it was high time to rewatch it. That I'd caught myself several times engaging customers sloppily, at best, about the store credit card. We're supposed to aim to get three No's before we let it go, and I'd pretty much been talking over the customer so they couldn't get out a single "no".

So I watched the video very closely, observing carefully how the associate would use each "no" as an opportunity to explain another benefit of the card. I paused from time to time to ask Analeise a question or simply get some clarification.

I could have sulked. I could have taken the very suggestion as a sign she thought I sucked at credit, that she actually thought less of me; that she'd caught on to me and all hope was lost.

I could have babbled my way about, spinning things this way or that so she 'd still respect me and trust me and see it my way so she'd see I wasn't such a bad person, really....

Instead, I aimed to be proactive. I tried to engage the video actively--dorky & cheesey though it may have been--to get the most out of it.

Hell, in all that, I might even have improved her opinion of me.


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