Article by Wendy McCance
What I know is that I won’t live in fear. When fear runs your life, your life comes to a screeching halt. To fight fear is to become determined to live your life to the fullest and to fulfill your dreams.
When I was in college, I wanted to move out of my parents home and start living my own life. I was in a class with a girl who would talk about waitressing. Apparently she made enough money to live on her own with a roommate. I knew that this was the job for me. I would have enough money to live on my own and my classes wouldn’t be disrupted because of the restaurants flexible schedule. My classmate was able to secure me a job and I was on my way.
My first day of work started out where I followed another waitress and learning the ropes. Finally, the girl I was working with pointed to a table full of customers and said it was my turn to take an order. I was petrified. This girl was able to go up to any table and confidently take an order while appearing laid-back and friendly as though she was speaking with an old acquaintance.
I was so scared that my head began to race. I thought of bolting out the front door. I was afraid that I would go up to the table of people and go blank. What if I dropped food in someone’s lap. I looked at the girl training me and said,”what do I say when I go up to the table?” I’m dead serious, I could not figure out what I would say. She looked at me, smiled, and calmly said,”you just say, Hi can I take your order?” Well, I went up to the table scared to death, and said the exact words the girl training me had told me to say. I’m sure I spoke very quietly and stumbled over my words, but I did it.
It didn’t take long and I was an old pro. I was confident, polished, knowledgable and engaging. I was even a little entertaining, putting customers at ease and getting them to smile or laugh. I could never have predicted where a waitressing job would lead me, but eventually I started talking with a beer rep that would come in to take an order, do promotions and head up waitstaff training sessions. Talking with the beer rep helped me secure an interview and got me a job. I sold beer and then made the switch to another company selling wine and spirits.
My days were made up of going into establishments without knowing of a contact person. I would get a name of the person who made decisions in regards to the alcohol they carried. I’d set up appointments and put together a portfolio of the alcohol that would suit their establishment the best. I also created menus, did training with the staff and threw promotional parties.
If I hadn’t gotten brave and stuck it out when I first decided to waitress, I would never have seen the success that I had. Getting over my fear and learning how to overcome my shyness has been life changing. I have learned that the things in life that scare you the most are generally the same things that will get you the biggest rewards if you can overcome them.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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