At 17 I had my first part-time Job.
It was a hell of a ride.
(Brace yourselves, it's a long one)
( grab coffee or tea, like seriously )

1. Work is not like school

I felt like an adult (even though my mom was with me) when I walked in this pizza place for the first time and had a job interview. I gazed around, saw the beautiful art hanging around (it was a hipster pizza place). Saw the two cool hipster co-workers laughing and making jokes behind the counter and was pretty sure I would have a fun time and make a lot of friends.
Even though I pretty quickly realized I underestimated the Job realizing a restaurant is more than what a customer sees. For example; I cleaned everything on the counter, I cut meat for the pizza, I cut herbs, filled oil and balsamico bottles, cut pizza bread, cleaned the coffee machine (which was a hell of a bitch to clean ) and I did all of that with a smile and trying to please my boss and get positive feedback.
Getting positive feedback from him was really important for me because it was something I was used to in School. You do good work you get good feedback (aka a good grade) you do bad work you get bad feedback (aka a bad grade).
My boss never gave me a good feedback...like ever.
And I would still do anything to hear a nice word. I would say yes to additional shifts and agree to stay 30 minutes longer and even agree to do evening shifts (which where the worst and also illegal considering that I was only 17 and I worked past 10 pm).
Again. Never got a good feedback but got tons of bad feedback and started getting anxious...
Pretty quickly I learned. Work is not like School.

coffee and coffee shop image

2. Bosses throw fits about a lot of things. Just nod.

My Boss did a good Job in making all of his coworkers feel like we were responsible for the restaurant (which we kinda were) even though he was there (almost) all the time! He would make us feel bad if we couldn't take additional shifts or stay longer (even though I was still a fulltime High School Student at that time!).
I remember how we would have a meeting and he would tell us how his restaurant was his baby and he would give us his baby to babysit and therefore we have to take responsibility for it.
It. Was. Hilarious.
Again. He was kinda right but on the other hand I was just a high school student that tried to get some coins. Nothing more.
After that beautiful comparison, he told us to have at least 2 days in the wee, additional to our regular shifts, where we would be ready to play backup just in case someone is sick or couldn't make it. I raised my hand (stupid me) and told him (and everyone else participating in that meeting) that I was a full-time student and that that is not possible for me.
He was quiet for a second. And I knew I fucked up.
He told me that if I couldn't do that that I'd have to find another Job and later that day I even heard a coworker (that bitch) of mine that said "well I could complain about going to university too, but I don't"
So I shut up and took all these additional shifts and stayed longer and did evening shifts and basically fucked myself up.

coffee, cafe, and food image

3. KNOW YOUR LIMITS!

I did these (horrible) evening shifts and I died multiple times.
Out of exhaustion. Out of anxiety.
Out. Of. Everything.
I will never forget this one time I worked and was sick as hell. So whenever I would get a fit of coughing I would run to the toilet. Cough my soul out and then go back to the counter and acted all healthy again. Because I remembered how that one girl almost got fired because she was sick but did not find anyone to replace her.
So I did everything to become healthy before the next evening shift but it was already too late. I got even sicker and I called my Boss and because I was so afraid of his reaction I started crying (mid-talk) that (luckily) I got away with it. So know your limits. Work at that point was so emotionally draining for me that I started crying about it.

fashion and photography image

4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Ok, you might think I am gross for this one but I don't even care.

I worked these evening shifts (6 pm to 1 am (basically till the last customer left) and the next day I would have school (from 8 am to 4 pm) have evening shift again and on Saturday I would have morning shift (from 10 am to 5 pm).
I did not take care of myself anymore.
I put school and work first.
Myself second.
I forgot to shower.
Wore the same clothes for a few days in a row.
And I did not do anything for school.
Eventually, some of my colleagues started talking about me which leads us to the next point.

Image by ø alta et secreta silvarum ø

5. Don't trust coworkers
Or don't trust them as quick.

I went to this hipster pizza place thinking I would find many friends but nope nope nope. Again. Work is not like school. I worked with people that were way older than me. We did some chatting in the beginning here and there. I had one dude that I had a crush on. Another dude that was closest to the position of a "friend" but all in all there where more bad people than good. I had this one manager who kept an eye on me whenever our boss wasn't around and he would actually be worse than my boss.
He would see that I was struggling at the register and just stand there and shrug his shoulders while I was clearly asking for help with my eyes. He called that learning-by-doing. (gtfo dude)
He would make me clean the coffee machine for 100times.
He was a struggle and he gave me even more anxiety.

Another group of coworkers that were a huge eye-opener for me where 2 boys that were super handsome. Like really really handsome. Like Instagram famous handsome.
We all worked at that tiny space and whenever there was nothing to do (and no boss or manager around) we would talk to each other. But handsome boys decided to flirt with the female coworkers and straight up ignore me. The only time they talked to me was when a customer was standing at the register and they did not know how to use it or whenever they would need something from the kitchen.
That one time I asked them whether they would do my pizza (eating pizza was allowed) and I wrote my order down and waited 30minutes before (even!) that mean manager told them to do my pizza.

boy, cigarette, and smoke image

6. Not a tree
You are not a tree. If you don't like where you're at right now. Than move! And even as a someone who still lived at home with my parents. Quitting would not even be that big of a deal.
But it kinda was. I was afraid I would disappoint my Boss (as if he cared) and my coworkers-that-came-close-to-a-friend (as if they cared) and I was also afraid of the broke lifestyle because honestly... I made 600 a month. I had more than enough money but because of school and work almost never had time to spend it, which would make me go crazy on online shops whenever I had an hour or two.
I would not be able to do this if my parents gave me pocket money...like...never.
But I just did not feel comfortable and welcomed there the way I felt at the very first beginning. I lost my happiness, my dignity and my hygiene (to a certain degree).

fashion, girl, and aesthetic image

You made it through!
Either through scrolling or through reading. Either way. Thank you!

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