I just want to hide in the stockroom

A letter writer worries that her managers want her out front just because she’s pretty.
Can our elder convince her to step out of her comfort zone?


Dear EWC

I just recently started a new job in retail. I like it so far. I am working in the stockroom unloading trucks and sorting and organizing product. I like it so much. Only now I have been told the managers want to train me on registers and I have to work one day on registers next week. I don’t want to. I want to work hard and be a team player but is it right for me to just ask to stay in the back? I’m told by so many that I am pretty but should that be an automatic, put me in view of customers if I’m just not comfortable? I deal with anxiety and panic and I just don’t know if I can just say I want to stay working in stockroom.
Dave-Scott replies

Starting a new job is always a rather anxious time. This is a natural response because you are suddenly put into an unfamiliar situation with unfamiliar people and asked to do unfamiliar things. It takes everyone a bit of time to adjust and get the hang of things.

You didn’t give much information about the job, but it may be that your employers actually think that working the registers is a better job than the stockroom and for whatever reason want to give you a chance to show what you can do with a bit more responsibility. Or it could be as simple as they really have a pressing need for a part-time employee to work the register. There is no way to know if they want you to take the position because you are “pretty” but it could just as well be for other reasons.

When you are just starting a job, it is difficult to do anything other than what management tells you to do. In many ways this is their right, but, hopefully, they will not force you to do something you absolutely don’t want to do. Thing is, how can you tell them you have difficulty with doing this new job, when you haven’t even tried to do it?

You say you want to be a team player and sometimes this means doing things that are not that appealing. Doing things that are a challenge for you may also benefit you in the long run. Being new gives you very little leverage and you should do everything you can to show your employee that you are willing to do whatever they need you to do. You may also find that all the things you fear in this job may really not be a problem you thought it to be. Life is about meeting challenges and sometimes you need to ignore your fears and go for it.

That said, no one should have to do something they absolutely hate or will cause them to be panic stricken. Your boss should have discussed the job with you before just deciding to move you (again they may actually be thinking that it will be a good thing for you), but not every boss is a great, considerate, wise manager. If this job is something you absolutely know will end up being a horrible experience that will undoubtedly end badly, then tell the boss why you feel this way. You may be taking a bit of a risk, but life is all about risks.

I haven’t given you a definitive answer because in the end, you are the only one who can make this decision. I hope whatever route you take, it works out well for you.

Best Regards,

Elder Dave-Scott


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