my own personal office space

There are too many days lately when I get so stressed, even angry at my job, that I wonder why I am doing it. I am not a particularly angry person. I definitely have my gossipy side, and I know that I can get easily irritated at times, but I’m not an easily angered person. Lately, however, I can measure the level of dissatisfaction with my job in how easily I am bothered by things that go wrong. Lately there is so much pressure on us as managers that it seems impossible to focus on all the things I care about in my job in favor of taking care of all the little things I am “supposed” to do in the eyes of the new upper-management regime.

When I took this job, I was really excited to be working for this particular company and really hoped it would be a good fit for years. I don’t want to be the person who changes jobs every three years, but I also know that my current state of mind and spirit right now is not healthy for myself, my husband, or the rest of my personal life.

On one hand, I know that all the changes that are going on at my workplace are about them taking their success to the next level. They want to grow and compete and thrive and grow some more, but I guess my level of interest about success, especially at the cost of my own and my colleagues’ quality of life, has waned. I know it’s important to follow particular standards and procedures in order to maintain quality, but I’m driving myself crazy spending my days concerned about things that really don’t matter.

Rules and regulations designed in large part by (I imagine) WASP-y men in suits in offices who have rarely seen the back of a restaurant. Maybe I am totally wrong, but some of the things they expect of us lately are insane, even to the average person who has a reasonable level of concern about sanitation. I had to cook for a while tonight, and even knowing all the standards as well as I know them, and being very conscientious about following them, it was impossible for me to do it all. I couldn’t do everything necessary and still produce enough product. If I can’t do it, how can I make my cooks do it? I just feel like it’s becoming too much insanity. It’s so bad that for days turning into weeks on end I’ve felt like there was no way I can stay in this environment, where one mistake with one stupid plastic glove or apron means failing a corporate inspection. Maybe there are other better people to do this sort of job I guess I’m just not one of them.

I enjoy being a restaurant manager for all the wrong reasons I guess. I just want to produce good food, please customers, create a staff dedicated to teamwork where friends are made and skills are developed. I care about being profitable and successful and want to run a clean, well-organized store. But lately the corporate focus is so much on enforcing strict adhesion to a plethora of very difficult and very extreme sanitation policies. On top of that the new expectation is that general managers work the sort of hours that managers in full-service concepts work, and those people make significantly more money than we do. I realize this is all getting very technical and restaurant-speak laden, but I am really frustrated with my job, and I don’t really know what to do.

Today I thought about walking out – the ultimate reckless, irresponsible act, only pulled off by those who are truly detached from the consequences of such a thing. I couldn’t do it, although it might have forced me to really find a job that I can do that doesn’t make me insane. Well, I am too irritated to be writing right now, so I’ll try sleeping, and tomorrow I’ll get up and go back, and then afterwards I’ll go to the holiday party. Let’s toast to me not having so much to drink that I spew any of this in front of my boss tomorrow evening.

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