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Job Skills Trouble holding a job

  1. Jul 10, 2018 #1

    As the title explains I'm currently having trouble holding a job. So here's where this started: I was working at my local community college as a federal work study/student employee. I got into a political debate with some rabid liberals on facebook, they called for my head to get me fired. They got my head and I was let go.

    Then within 2 weeks I started working as a dishwasher at one of the local country clubs (a step back) and I quit there because of Uber costs and I wasnt getting enough hours.

    After I quit there I got a job at taco bell. I wasnt a good fit and within 3 weeks I was let go (wasnt a good fit). Then while searching for technology jobs on the side I got hired for a week as a dishwasher at a restaurant walking distance from my house. I worked there for 1 week as a dishwasher and then I never heard back. I'm trying to get a most likely salaried IT position that I'm a good fit for but right now I'm having trouble holding/keeping a job. what am I doing wrong that's preventing me from holding a job?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2018 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Your story reminds me of the Somerset Maughm story "The Verger"

    He lost his job as a church verger because he couldn't read, became a successful business man selling tobacco products. At the closing, a bank executive suggests he invest his money in some prospectus that he gives him to read. The man says thank you but to tell you the truth I can't read. The bank president shocked, responds "My god man, imagine what you could've been become"... and the man smiles...

    I know this doesn't help your situation. My suggestion is to go back and somehow get your community college job and and promise to never get into arguments with folks online. We think we live in a free society but with the proliferation of social media and the power it gives some people, sometimes it is best to keep thoughts private or at least off of social media especially with companies actively patrolling it for infractions that can hurt their image.

    Before the internet, you could only voice your complaints face to face and you can still do that just drop social media from your interests.
  4. Jul 10, 2018 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Didn't you just do this attack to someone else too?


    This is what I mean, you are playing with fire and now you got burned. There are a lot of stories like this just because you have the power of social media doesn't mean you should utilize the power.

    Remember the guy who got a guy to swat a fellow gamer only to discover the police went to the wrong house and killed an innocent man over a mistake that should never have happened. The swatter is now on trial for it.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  5. Jul 10, 2018 #4


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    It's hard to say specifically why you're having a hard time holding a job.

    When you give a reason like "wasn't a good fit" that doesn't give us much to go on as far as giving advice. Usually, when it comes to a job like a dishwasher, it doesn't need to be a good "fit." It needs to compensate you fairly for your services for as long as you need it to.

    There's a fine art to putting on a "professional cloak" when you go into your work environment. At EVERY place of employment there will be people who disagree with you on some issue, people who are lazy, people who try to bend the rules for their own benefit, people who do things outside of work that you have little or no desire to engage in, etc. As some point, you just put on the cloak, deal with them as best you can, and do your job. Then you leave work at work.
  6. Jul 10, 2018 #5


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    Good point.
    At non-technical manual labor type jobs, I have always tried to do my best, and in fact do some extra work with a good team attitude. This has served me well over the years, since managers tend to notice employees with a positive attitude who want to do a good job (and even take on extra tasks to help out).

    For example, when I was working as a busboy at a restaurant one summer early in undergrad, I didn't just bus tables when they were ready, I also did extra cleaning and chores when there were no tables to be bussed. My managers appreciated that I used the downtime for productive tasks that helped everybody out (team player). When I worked in a factory as a janitor/gardener/handyman one summer in high school, I was always available when extra tasks came up (like unloading the occasional semi truck delivery of heavy items, etc.). I was always one of the first to volunteer when extra tasks came up, and my managers came to appreciate that about me.

    My point is that it takes effort on your part to be a "good fit" for pretty much any job. When you move on to technical jobs in your specialty, then your expertise becomes a much more important component, but being a good team player with a positive attitude is still a plus that your managers will probably recognize and appreciate.

    Hope that helps some. :smile:
  7. Jul 10, 2018 #6


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    Beyond the basic issue that you clearly don't want the jobs you took, it is hard for us to know what the real issue is. I can think of a bunch of typical reasons why a young person (did I see 19?) doesn't want to work/be a functional member of society, with most of them being in some way related to their age/maturity. If you want to fix this, you need to find out what is causing your attitude and fix that. Talking to someone who's opinion you trust (a parent a friend, a psychologist) would be the place to start.
  8. Jul 10, 2018 #7


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    Right. These types of jobs pretty much by definition have no qualifications and nothing to "fit". You just do them. Often the sticking point isn't the job, it is the A Job....and everything that goes with A Job. (showing up on time, doing what your boss tells you, etc.).
  9. Jul 10, 2018 #8


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    • The C.C. & Facebook: Stop using Facebook. Time travel to your past and stop using Facebook then also.
    • Dishwasher, Restaurant: Relying on Uber for your transport to and from a job seems too unpredictable. Walk, drive something cheap, or use bicycle. Also, some jobs will not provide reliable numbers of hours.
    • FastFood: Maybe your are not a good fit. Not everyone is. If you think you are a fit, try other fast food companies, both big and small.

    Look outside of what you have tried so far. Warehouse work, maybe? Clerk or assistant in a library? Some other kind of retail job? You might still face the trouble of unreliable hours scheduling (often called "flex" scheduling) because the stores do not know who how many they need when.
  10. Jul 10, 2018 #9
    <<Emphasis added.>> I don't understand this. What do you mean "then I never heard back"? Were you hired as a dishwasher for a one-week test period, after which they were supposed to let you know whether they would offer you a longer-term position?
  11. Jul 10, 2018 #10
    To me it sounds like you are being argumentative with other workers.
    They don't want to discuss philosophy or whatever, they just want to get paid for doing the job right.
  12. Jul 14, 2018 #11
    Professional backlash against non-PC thinking is on the rise. Until one is established professionally to the point where one is insulated from negative outcomes from disclosure of your political views, it may be advisable to either keep them off of social media or choose venues more anonymous than FaceBook.

    More to the point, regardless of your political views, you should be able to hold service industry jobs like Taco Bell, washing dishes, and bussing tables. I've worked a number of these jobs, and people who didn't steal, showed up on time, and followed instructions were always a good fit. I suspect you have authority issues, and being let go from your work study job was about more than political views.

    Some students I've mentored now have work study jobs at fairly liberal institutions, and in spite of their conservative viewsand vocal demeanor, their jobs are not in danger, because they are among the best undergraduates their labs have seen at what they do, they show up on time, and they don't have authority issues.

    Get to the bottom of your authority issues. Solve this. In most cases, your parents and high school teachers got a pretty good look at your authority issues and can help you understand them if you are drawing a blank.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  13. Aug 2, 2018 #12


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    Within the restaurant and hospitality industries, dominant economic forces in my current hometown, bartenders form the elite among "blue-collar" occupations.

    Qualifications beginning as a bar back are close to your experience as a bus person. Dress neatly, be polite to everyone, help the wait staff and bartenders make bigger tokes (Vegas for "tips"). Study mixology, wines and beers from around the world. Keep your "ears open and mouth shut". Never steal anything. Always arrive early.

    Lead bartenders can be as political as the climate allows as long as they keep the customers happy. Compared to chef and kitchen positions, lead 'tenders barely have "bosses". Truly elite 'tenders, like the best (gaming) dealers, entertain clients, help train new hires, and are highly respected by management.

    Emphasize your computer skills during job interviews as all modern bar phases including ordering, reservations, even mixing and pouring; have long been automated. If you must avoid alcohol or are too young, coffee bars are everywhere and baristas duties are modeled on bar tending. Good Luck!
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  14. Aug 2, 2018 #13


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    Understand that on this physicsforums site, a variety of people come to read, ask, and discuss; even about such things as less-related employment. Some science & engineering people are people-oriented, and some of them are clearly not people-oriented. This may be part of what determines who can be and who cannot be bar-tender or bar-back.
  15. Aug 12, 2018 #14
    Um, sounds like you'd be one of those who could benefit from enlisting. I'd recommend the Navy, myself.

    (The big selling point is we bring our plumbing with us. Unlike the Army or Marines you'll seldom, if ever, have to poop in a hole in the ground.)

    On the other hand, if that isn't your style, or you can't because of past sins, attempt to get your Class A driver's license. (Big rigs) In the moving industry this is known as a "Texas Ph.D." as you can easily out-earn most actual Ph.D.'s, in a very short amount of time relative to degree earners. And without the student loan dept. Neurologists earn roughly $450,000 per year after nearly 15 years or more of education, full time truckers in the right moving company earn more than $100,000 per year by their second year, again, without the student loan dept. I've personally known three different groups of individuals who all became millionaires in four to five years simply by being honest and hard working.
  16. Aug 12, 2018 #15

    jim hardy

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    I have a family member who worked up from dishwasher to head chef of a fancy Key West restaurant by working hard asking questions and letting it be known she wanted not only to earn her salt but to learn all there is to learn about the business.

    Here's two self help books. Ive read both.


    good life advice:

    old jim
  17. Aug 18, 2018 #16


    Staff: Mentor

    The OP is no longer with us, so I'm closing this thread.
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