I am a food server in a foreign country. There I said it!
I’ve been shy about telling my friend what I do for a living. I mean there is nothing wrong with the job, in fact I could say it’s a challenging one especially you have to deal and please customers (speaking of rude customers). But then I am a license engineer and teacher back home and with that I think they are expecting me to land to a better job in line to the course that I took.
Coming here in Canada is mainly about experiencing life abroad… until the day I first wiped the table and the reality sunk in. It was devastating in the first few months. Different challenges came on my way: discrimination, different foods, language barrier, mean co-workers, distances from my love ones… and talking about a crazy-chaos working environment. (but hey there are lots of good people too). I felt like I am tearing apart and I am going insane. It came to the point that I almost surrender.
Until I met an old woman named Glenda who left a remarkable message that carved into my mind, “continue doing good things and you will be blessed“. From then on, I tried to be deaf and blind to any negative comments. I accept it as a valuable lesson and tried to improve my work. I work hard and learn to dance with their music. Other than that here are the list of things that I do to keep me sane in this foreign land:
1. There are two books that really helped me mold my way of thinking and in dealing people: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all small stuff” by Richard Carlson, Ph. D.and “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”by Eckhart Tolle. The first book taught me to treat situation easily. I tend to get easily disappointed with small things but I learned to deal with it now.
2. If people at work cause stress usually I just take a break and go somewhere and repeat this mantra “I love you, please forgive me, I’m sorry, thank you”. I learned this from the second book I mentioned above. Based on my experience, those words had an impact on me and the people to whom I address my mantra.
3. For us not to get burn-out with so much stress at work we usually go out of town for an adventure. Go for long drive and unwind.
4. Do what you love. Another outlet to de-stress myself is to do something creative: painting, drawing, doodles, crafting, etc. I think one of the best things about coming here in Canada is that I am able to buy arts and crafts materials that I wasn’t able to do when I was in the Philippines. In fact, I am a certified hoarder. (Take a peek on my arts and crafts blog at Ey to Zee or visit my Instagram account). If not crafting, I read or write blog posts.
Doing what you love brings satisfaction at the end of the day. It is indeed rewarding.
5. Organize. Although I am a hoarder I make sure everything is organize and clean. I am more relax when everything is in order. Besides my little office is inside my room (which should not be), thus need to keep it a very relaxing place.
To add on to the list above, recently I practice this five methods (from ANC.yahoo.com) that will help you recharge and to be more proactive:
1. Every morning write down 3 things that make you grateful. This teaches your brain the habit of positive scanning.
2. Write in your journal a positive experience in the last 24 hours. This way you relive it.
3. Exercise: It teaches your brain that behavior matters.
4. Meditate. You learn to focus on a single task at hand despite the distraction.
5. Do random act of kindness.
And by the way, it’s almost four years that I am doing waitressing. Although I loathe it at first but eventually I learned to love it. Because through this job I was able to develop my interpersonal skills (which is my weakness) and to tell you… heck waitressing is one tough job!