You are too much
This is something that I’ve been told quite a few times recently and it is something that truly frustrates me. Who are you to tell me I am too much? If I am too much of anything for you, if I am too loud, too strong willed, too vocal or anything else, then maybe you should evaluate yourself and ask why you can’t handle me instead of telling me to change. I refuse to alter who I am, because I have worked hard to become the version I am now and I am proud of who I am.
The main characteristic I’m “too much” of is blunt. I’ve been told a number of times, tonight being the most recent. The phrase actually used was “You need to speak more delicately towards others. You hurt their feelings when you talk the way that you do.” And when I asked “In what way would that be?”, he shrugged his shoulders and said “That. Exactly what you just did there. You are too straight forward and come off as threatening.” I honestly found this comment entertaining. A 5’8’’, built male is telling me, a 5’3’’ slim female, that I am threatening? I know he didn’t mean himself, but those I work with, but still the idea seemed so abnormal. Also, how does one go about talking to another “delicately”, especially when in the middle of a busy service with customers needing food and Chef yelling orders? Do I need to speak softly, as if talking to child? Should I just stay quiet and not speak or ask for help? This is still a question I am trying to answer, because in a kitchen there is no “delicate” anything except for the details on a plate. I have never come across a chef that isn’t harsh on their cooks. It builds their character, and in the long run, makes them better in the kitchen. If my first kitchen manager had spoken to me delicately, I probably would not be where I am today. I hated that lady, but she made me better. When I messed up, she was upset and made it known, but then she explained what I did wrong and then made me redo the product until it came out perfect. If I did something she didn’t like, she made sure I didn’t do it again. There was one way of doing things, and if you didn’t like it then you could leave. And here’s the thing, I loved it. I learned so much from her, things I still use today.
I understand that what started my love and desire for the kitchen atmosphere is not what fuels others’ but it is the only way I know. Since coming to the CIA I have come across so many wonderful managers that have this thing about them. They are able to convey their message to others and have them listen and they do so in such a polite manner that you don’t even realize they are giving you orders. All you know is that you don’t want to disappoint them. They are able to look at situations and calmly explain what needs to happen, step by step for someone who isn’t grasping the concept, and that’s a skill that I am not sure I will ever be able to develop. One of my managers once said to me “You’d make a great manager. You know how things need to be and never let standards drop or waiver from your ways. People need that type of structure, and leadership.”I thought she was kidding, but she was dead serious. Maybe she sees something that I have yet to realize, or maybe she is mistaken. Only time will tell. I want to believe that she is not mistaken and that one day I will find a balance somewhere in the middle, but I also know that I have a fire in my soul that refuses to be dampened and I have no plans on lowering that flame; not now and not in the future.
~Remember to smile :)