I’ve mentioned before that I work for Cracker Barrel, and that I’ve been there nearly 6½ years. I started as a dishwasher, and cross-trained to be able to work in all back-of-house positions (grill cook, backup cook and prep cook), at which I am rather proficient. Unlike some of the other employees, who get up in other people’s business, work at the same one slow pace or don’t give two shits about others, leaving them high and dry, I concentrate on what I need to do and try to leave my work area prepared for the next person, handing it over the way I would like to encounter it.

Roughly two weeks ago, I was approached by two of my managers, who at the time extended an offer to become Kitchen Manager. I thought about it, then accepted the offer, only to find out that the position was a test, and it had been discontinued. They had hired a person to go into that position, but he hasn’t progressed or shown the leadership qualities they were hoping for. They are utilizing him in work positions to help out.

Rather than being this Kitchen Manager, they’re putting me into a Shift Lead position, which is basically one step below manager. Fortunately for me, I’ll be working in the back-of-house and not have to deal directly with customers, as managers have to. I could do it if I had to, since I worked as manager at Taco Bell years ago. I just prefer not to. I am able to help out in every kitchen position, including dishwasher if I absolutely had to. I just couldn’t do it for a prolonged time with my damaged rotator cuff.

Next week will be the beginning of me working under this designation. They won’t let me work overtime as Shift Lead, but I can go and clock in under a different position if I go over 40 hours. Am I scared? I won’t say I’m not, even just a little bit. New challenges cause us to step out of our comfort zone. Also, I have always had issues with self-esteem, or lack thereof. I have this habit of putting myself down (that way when others attempt it, I’ve already beaten them to the punch). Admittedly, it’s not quite so bad, now that I am taking my antidepressants, but this bad habit still exists and manifests itself occasionally. My managers and some co-workers have more faith in me than I have in myself, but then are we not always our own worst critics? That’s something I’m still learning how to do: see my own positives, rather than focus exclusively on the negatives. For as pessimistic and negative I’ve always been, I’m surprised my blood type is A+.

What’s the quote of the day? Glad you asked. Here it is:

“Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.”

Jocko Willink

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