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Incompetence at work


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Lately I've been feeling worse and and more depressed while working, which I feel is making me incompetent.

 

I started to work at a cafe a couple of weeks ago which involves preparing and serving sandwiches and coffees. I'm a bit of a slow learner and I think my co-workers are starting to get frustrated with me just because I'm a bit slower at doing things, and I get really nervous working with the public. I'm almost entirely positive that my nervousness is because of my anxiety.

While I was working today, one of my co-workers got angry at me for cutting some cheese wrong, and for some reason when people get angry at me I just can't handle it. It made me so depressed and guilty that I could barely function for the rest of the day. I got so depressed because I knew that he was upset with me, which just stressed me out and then I could barely deal with the public, because I feel that the public is always sneering and scrutinizing me while I'm working since I'm so nervous. I know these feeling are kind of dumb, but I can't help feeling them. What makes things worse is that a couple of years ago I could have handled doing a job like this no problem, but I've developed depression in the past few years, and it's honestly crippling. It's unbearable knowing that it's beginning to affect the way that I work and my ability to function in society. It's unbelievably frustrating.

I hate the feeling when people notice there's something wrong with me, which people at work I guess are starting to notice I guess since they're beginning to become frustrated with me, and beginning to lose confidence in me. I know this because my mother is the same way, has never been able to keep a job and is incompetent, and I see it beginning to develop in me too. I don't know what to do anymore.

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This sounds like social anxiety. Check with a psychologist if you can. You probably aren't even that slow of a learner; just really hard on yourself. I don't exactly advocate medication, but I have the same type of troubles and at one point I took anxiety meds. Although they made me tired all of the time, people noticed I was happier and more care-free. I didn't like the side effects, but they keep improving meds these days... something to consider if it is affecting your job.

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If you believe your depression & anxiety are the root of all your workplace problems, then you should see your physician. Sorry can't help you there.

 

But if you think your job position is partly to blame...

I was in a similar situation in my previous job. I was being yelled at constantly, nothing I did was ever good enough. I hated myself. I got so depressed and nervous that I focused more on not making mistakes than the job itself, which ironically caused me to make more mistakes, which in turn made me feel worse. I dreaded work every morning as I sank deeper into this vicious cycle. I needed the job so I had to stay. Then I got transferred to another branch, and instantly became one of the favourites. Why? Because I didn't give up the chance to learn even when the situation was hard. I was being terrorized daily (once somebody threatened to punch me if I were to piss them off), but I still observed others to see what made them competent at their jobs, and put them to practice. Because of this, I developed skills which have served me (and saved me many times) in my current position.

 

So think of your current workplace as a spring board. You're only using this place and these people as training tools. Scrutinizing customers? No worries, time to practice putting your game face on. Mean coworkers? Bless them, now you can learn to perform under stress.

I don't know about others, but for me, it was a lot easier to deal with when I had a goal in mind, which was to use the workplace and its staff for my own advancement. I guess it shows that I'm still bitter about my old job, but I wouldn't give up the experience, because most of the skills I'm using now were taught by that hell.

 

Just my two cents.

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The fact that your coworker got angry reflects negatively on him, you're relatively new to the job. He's probably immature and insecure.

 

You can only do your best. Don't be afraid. What's the worst that can happen? That you get fired? And if that happens no big deal, just find a new job.

 

I say keep a positive attitude and face your fears, and like I said before, you can only do your best.

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Thanks a lot, this all makes a lot of sense. It's best to take advantage of this and learn from this experience, and hopefully it will make me a little tougher.

My co-worker made fun of me in front of the other co-workers and clients today, and teased me for being afraid and nervous of serving the customers. I went into the bathroom and cried for a good 10 minutes, then eventually pulled myself together and went out again and started to work. What happened was pretty much the worst that I was afraid of, but I did end up surviving it!

Although he made fun of me today, things in general were getting better. I tried to put on that game face, and focus on what I was doing instead of worrying about what the customers thought of me. I also tried to observe the other workers, and watch what they were doing, and it was sure better than keeping my eyes down and feeling crappy about myself. Even though I get the feeling that my co-workers think I'm weird and quiet (and probably don't like me at this point), I'm trying not to let it bother me so much, and focus on getting the job done...

Thanks for the advice!

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