Lessons Learned at Work, Part Three


This the final part of my Lessons Learned at Work Series. Read parts One and Two

Your job is to make your boss’ job easier

This idea rankles a lot of people, because they think that their boss doesn’t do anything so why should they make their job easier? It’s true that there are terrible managers, but that’s a whole other post.

Your boss hired you to do a job, and they expect you to meet and exceed the expectations of that job. If you’re not, and your boss is always having to fix or redo what you’re suppose to do, then you are not doing your job. And your making your bosses job harder. I want my boss to know that I have things under control, so that when he is out of the store he doesn’t have to worry. I make sure that I know what his priorities are, so that his priorities become my priorities.

Embrace change

I’ve been in retail for 15 years, and it is constantly changing. And I’m not just talking about the daily merchandising and seasonal changes that come in running a store. The way that we run things have changed. Our processes have changed. So, as someone who normally hates change, I’ve had to learn to embrace change at work. I’ve also had to learn to be positive when talking about those change with those I work with.

Let your people talk

I’m a supervisor, so it’s my job to keep people busy. But sometimes my people need to talk. And sometimes I need to let them. They need to tell me about their family and their lives. They need to vent. They just need someone to listen. So I let them talk. And in doing so, I’ve developed trusting and solid relationships with the people I work with.

Only what goes undone gets noticed

This is a hard one to swallow sometimes. I can have the store looking perfect but the one item without a price tag that I missed, it’s the only thing that store manager notices. Or at least that he mentions. He does notice how good the store looks but that’s not what he is going to point out.

You won’t always get a thank you for what you did right. That’s just how it is. So I’ve learned to accept that. From my bosses anyway. I try to remember to thank my people and recognize what they do. That’s the kind of boss I want to be.

Never say never

I once said that I never wanted to work in grocery. A few years later I became the department manger. I was over grocery for seven years. I once said that I never wanted to be an assistant manger. This is my third year in that position. Never say never, people.

There’s a difference between being a boss and being bossy

Anyone can tell people what to do. And a lot of people enjoy doing that. But that doesn’t make you a boss. A true boss is a leader. They realize that they have a responsibility to those that they supervise. They support and mentor those people. They have the hard conversations so that their people can grow and succeed. And when the chips are down they are right there with their people helping set things right.

These are just a few things that I’ve learned from fifteen years in the workforce. What have you learned? I would love to hear about your work experiences in the comments!

Five plot lines I want to go away


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly link-up from The Broke and the Bookish.

1. The strong female character being raped.
Why is that when we have a strong badass woman, she almost always gets raped? Take Michonne from The Walking Dead. Completely awesome and badass. Raped by the Governor. Why is this an acceptable story line for women? Please don’t give me that it’s realistic. Violence against women in real life and literature needs to stop.

2. Mistaken identity stories
I don’t know why, but I have never been able to enjoy mistaken identity stories. Even when I was a little girl, they made me really anxious. I love all Dean Koontz novels except Mr. Murder because of the mistaken identity plot. I gave it away after finishing it, because I knew I would never read it again.

3. Manic Pixie Dream Girl
I’m over the quirky, whimsical girl whose only purpose it to serve the male character’s plot line. Do women like this even exist in real life? I don’t know any. All the women I know are actual human beings with their own stories to tell. Paper Towns came very close to dispelling the myth of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in realizing that Margo Roth Spiegelman was in fact just a girl.

4. All fantasy heroes being orphans.
There’s nothing really wrong with this, but it’s been done a lot. One of the things I loved about The Mara Dyer Trilogy was that she had a family who worried about her and supported her. I would like to see more stories like this.

5. Single girls who only think about finding a man
How about some stories of single women just living their lives and having adventures without worrying about finding a man! That would be amazing! It happens is real life. I was that girl for years. But I can’t think of any heroes of singleness that I’ve read about. Ever.

So, what are some plot lines that you are over? Let me know in the comments! And be sure and visit the other bloggers in the Top Ten Tuesday link up!

The hardest part of blogging is self-promotion


I love writing for my blog. I love designing my blog, and tinkering with the layout. I love finding new plugins to improve the functionality of my blog. Those things are easy! For me, the hardest part of blogging is self-promotion.

There’s something about it that just feels, I don’t know … icky.

I don’t know why it feels that way. At work, I have no problem promoting myself. When it comes to interviews and my yearly evaluation, I can talk about my strengths. I know what I do well. I go after what I want.

But promoting my blog. Makes me feel weird.

Maybe I’m not as confident about my writing, as I am about my job in retail?

I do admit that that is a part of it. All writer’s have doubt.

But I think the biggest issue is my inherent shyness.

Self-promotion requires getting out there. I’m all about the staying here.

But I can’t do that anymore. It’s discouraging to write, and receive little feedback. It does make me question if my writing sucks. But then I read all these other blogs that talk about what they do to promote their work. And I know that that is where I am failing.

I also know that even the big bloggers are seeing a decline in their comments. Because it’s not just about comments anymore. It’s about Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

And I need to get out there. I need to participate in the blogosphere. I can’t keep hiding and expect it to come to me. Blogging, and well life, doesn’t work that way.

Do you find it hard to promote yourself and your blog? How do you deal with it? What are your tips on self-promotion? What is the hardest part of blogging for you? Let me know in the comments!