Boss Expects Too Much!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about working two jobs:

I am currently working in a Restaurant for about two months now, give or take about a couple of weeks. I have never worked in a restaurant, so this work area is new to me. Take today for instance; our dishwasher didn’t work today, so I had to do the dishes. I had to remove the plates, cups, trays, etc. to the back to wash them. My boss says that I should stack them on top of one another and bring them in all at once. This is difficult for me because I can’t carry all the plates, so I make multiple trips. He says that is inefficient that I go back and forth so many times. Another time was when I was trying to work more than one table. He expects me to work fast, but I am still a beginner. I’m trying to work faster. I had a previous job and plan to go back next year, but I’m not sure what to do about the restaurant job. I had planned to work two jobs until the end of December. Should I quit now and just stay at my previous job or work the two jobs?

Signed, Trying

Dear Trying:

You sound ambitious. Working two jobs can be stressful–taking time you need to do personal chores, get enough rest, and enjoy breathing. I know it is possible to work two jobs and many people do. They need the money and that might be your situation. In your particular case, working a second job is especially stressful because your second job boss has pressured you to work faster. Can you?In brief, to quit or work two jobs has no one answer. You can survive through December if you continue to work a second job and you can survive if you don’t.

If you do quit, do it with grace and consideration for you boss, giving him time to get someone to replace you. Treat him the way you would like to be treated if you were he. After two months you should know if you can survive for the rest of this month, but not after one day at a new task; taking over the dish washing job for someone absent. That is not enough time to learn a new job. Your boss might not be criticizing when he tells you to make fewer loads and to work faster. Rather he might simply be trying to tell you how to be more efficient. So think of it as a learning experience. If you can, ok. If you cannot after a sufficient time, just do the best you can.

Having a “willing to learn attitude” is probably what your boss wants. Might he expect too much? Possibly. Might he have a habit of speaking abruptly and making you feel incompetent? Probably. Can you accept him for what he is? I don’t know.Do I assume correctly that you are young and have not yet found the kind of work that you like and have not yet developed skills that make finding work easy? If so, the bigger questions are:

What skills do you have or might you learn that will enable you to work one job that pays enough to meet your needs? And how does working two jobs affect your family, if you have one, or have plans for one?What kind of work makes you feel good about yourself? Are you on a path to discovering answers to these questions? Answering those questions is not something that can be done in a few minutes. They are a process that should have begun when you were teenage or earlier and they are questions that some people take years to answer.

Working at different kinds of jobs is one way of learning new skills and what you like. We eliminate those that we don’t have and cannot learn skills to do. Taking special training or schooling is another way of learning skills that qualify you for special kinds of work. Some young people find their niche by exploring what jobs are not being done in their communities and they start their own businesses.Yet other questions suggested by your “should I quit or work two jobs”? are: Can I learn to live on the money from just one job? Am I spending wisely; buying healthy food and saving by preparing my own meals or might working two jobs be forcing me to spend more money eating out and paying for more transportation? Do I have a job that has health insurance? Am I able to save some in an investment plan? Perhaps you have already answered these questions or are in the process of doing so.

My best to you in deciding whether to work one job or two and in answering career questions suggested by your question sent to us. Deciding to quit or continue to work two jobs is not a life of death matter. The important thing is: Can you learn to balance to “take your self seriously and not to take yourself too seriously–To pat yourself on the back for the good things you do and to laugh off the bad? –To not be overly self-centered and to be a cheerleader of others? –To not be a clown, but to whistle while you work?Finally, I end these thoughts with a sentence that has become my signature. Think about its meaning today and tomorrow and your work should go better: Working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden