Love thy co-worker

It saddens me how easily my self-confidence fluctuates. How the distant opinions of the past can so easily grip my heart. Perhaps, there is a lesson I haven’t yet learned. The past re-appears unless you make peace with the problems that it harbors. 

It’s already been a couple of day’s since seeing my old co-worker N - but my heart still sizzles at the thought of the things she said. N is a sweet heart, one of the few people to actually help me move when I got evicted from my apartment last year. I have nothing but love for her. 

But she had some things to say that I didn’t agree with - things that my co-workers had said. They involved my abilities as a worker at the restaurant we worked together. How it is that with one searing line - my entire sense of accomplishment for the 2 years I spent there can so quickly dissipate is baffling to me. 

In hindsight, it’s a no brainer. A work environment in which everyone gossips and lies behind each other’s backs is a recipe to fraud and toxicity. At the time, I thought I was being clever by leaving a distance between myself and those who I worked with. In all honesty, I didn’t like many of them. I was afraid of the emotional repercussion of trusting someone who I was certain would betray me. 

Ironically, that is exactly what ended up happening. 

I have to admit that I was always a mystery to everyone. Nobody could really put their finger on who I was or what I did outside of work - which must have rightfully piqued their suspicion. When it came to dealing with the guests of the restaurant, I was both boisterous and animated. But to my co-workers, I opted to remain politely reticent. 

It’s funny how the very attempts at remaining incognito or low-key, ended up to actually work against my advantage. 

I always thought that at the end of the day, the work would speak for itself. In my case, the tips I brought in. But it unfortunately doesn’t work that way

If the relationship with those who you work with are poor, you’ll only give others an opportunity to find fault where there is none to be found. 

Sometimes acknowledging that you’re a good person is not enough for others to see you as such. Show them with actions. Bring chocolates to work, take the 10 minutes to come in early to do someone’s side-shift, constantly ask them if they need anything. 

But the most important thing is for you to remember, their opinions do not deviate the impact of your work on those who it has positively affected. That will never change - no matter what anyone has to say. If you managed to put a smile on someone’s face, what anyone has to say about that afterwards is obsolete. If after having worked an 8 hour shift, you come home feeling like you’ve given it your all and that you’re proud of the work you’ve done, and you know that you’ve positively effected the lives those who encountered your aura, that is a constant, and forever fact that’s set in stone. 

At the end of the day, people talk shit. It’s a sad fact to life. And perhaps - my heart can now convalesce given that gleaned the hidden lesson.

Love thy co-worker - even if you don’t. 

(Originally published March 10th, 2018)