I have worked in many a job where the management was always negative. No matter how hard you worked, nothing was good enough—something was always lacking or substandard in their eyes. It was such a toxic environment, thinking back, and I’m glad I no longer work at those places.

No place of work is perfect. There will always be something to improve upon. No human worker is perfect. However, in addition to the constructive criticism, there needs to be praise and recognition when it is due. Employees like to hear when they’re doing a good job and feel appreciated for their hard work and effort.

The past couple of days have been rather busy at work, but it wasn’t without its commendations. Yesterday our District Manager was visiting, and during his visit, our company food safety auditor came by. Interestingly, I was asked to go in an hour early so that we could verify things were ready (use-by stickers on product accurate/expired food tossed, proper temps, etc.). Near the end of my shift, finishing my side work tasks, I hear a panicked call from my manager saying that the food auditor was there. We all dashed behind their back to make sure things were totally in order. As a result of everyone’s effort, we managed to pass our audit. The manager that I opened with thanked me for my help in achieving a passing score.

My District Manager complimented me on my job throughout the day, as it got quite busy during his visit, so much so that I called our manager that he was sitting with to come help. Ideally, we try to get food out to the customer within 10 minutes of receiving their order. Sometimes, like yesterday, we exceed those times. If I’m really busy with a lot of tables’ food to cook, I don’t give a damn about ticket times. Most people will not complain if their food takes a little longer, but comes out hot and nicely presented. The DM even said that at our store, if the cooks call for help, he knows it’s because we really need it. On multiple occasions, each one of my managers has given me praise for what I do to help the business in the kitchen. Fortunately for me, I can get along with pretty much everyone. Prior to a year ago, I would get easily overwhelmed and frustrated, and would lash out at people, insulting and dropping multiple “f-bombs”, even making more than one server cry. Since taking my antidepressants, I’m more calm and level-headed and I just get through the busy times, a couple of tickets at a time, and that in the kitchen, sometimes that pile of tickets has to wait so that you’re not doing too much at once, and everything turns to shit.

Please enjoy today’s motivational quote:

Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality; upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

Stuart Scott

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