CRUSHED! A.K.A. When Rubber Meets The Road
“GAAHHH MY HAIR IS ON FIRE WHAT DO I DO ? !”
You are thirsty. Things move slowly. You feel like you are walking on molasses. Table 22 wants more mustard. Your heartbeat is racing. Your hair feels like it is on fire. Some get hungry. Some get horny. We all face the monster at some point. What to do? How do you manage it? Ah, that is one of the hardest lessons to learn. Fear not, Ol’ Adrian is here for you. I’ll go with a list to make it easier to remember. The most important lesson is preparation. With good preparation most chaos can be avoided. Or at least it feels that way. . . Anyway:
- DO NOT PANIC
Though it feels like you are being chased by a bear, chances are you are not. Nobody will die either. You are not saving lives. It’s easy to say but having perspective in difficult moments helps a lot.
Deep breaths tame the fear. It seems silly but it works. Just a few deep breaths is enough.
- IT WILL PASS
Keep in mind that it’s here and now and it feels like the world, but this will end. You will go home and have another day tomorrow.
- PEOPLE ARE FORGIVING
As long as you are honest and show that you work hard people can forgive mistakes. The key is to recognize errors and correct them. Nobody will snap your neck or hurt you physically. So breathe!
- TIME IS LIKELY DILATED FOR YOU
Adrenaline and stress do funny things to people. What you perceive as a long wait is likely no longer than a few minutes. On the other hand, time can fly as well. Which is why monitoring yourself is important. Having a watch helps. Your senses may trick you. I have seen people that write down the time they punched in orders, or what time they took the order. That can be a big help.
- THINK POSITIVE AND AVOID TUNNEL VISION
As mentioned before, if you keep yourself smiling and positive the burden will feel much lighter, and the good vibes will rub off on colleagues and guests. Keep perspective. Plus negativity ages you faster. No thanks.
- SING YOURSELF A SONG / REPEAT YOUR MANTRA
Think of a song or a little tune that makes you happy. Or a phrase that helps you focus. It will make your mind more at ease and let the autopilot of your mind do its thing. It helps immensely and I am not sure why. But most people I’ve worked with, both FOH and BOH, do it at times. Again, simple but it works.
8. STRESS IN LIFE IS UNAVOIDABLE
All life is a series of stresses. I got that from Blue Planet on Netflix. Without stressors here and there you would be stressed. Weird but true. Learn to ride the wave and you will be unbeatable in life (or so used to say Marcus Aurelius, dude that ruled the Roman Empire. Worth reading! or listening too, check our resources). ALSO, LEAVE THE STRESS AT WORK. No need to bring it home.
9. BE PREPARED, KNOW YOUR STUFF
A lot of stress will come from not knowing things when you need to know them. If you are ready to go and know all the things people could ask for, your job will be much easier and your mind will also be calmer. How do you do this? GET LEARNING.
10. ACKNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS
Here is one borrowed from Buddhism. Learn to recognize that you are stressed, embrace it, acknowledge. Tell the little monkey screaming inside your brain you are ok, you noticed you are under pressure, but tell the monkey you will be ok. And then let it go. This one takes much more practice but its GOLD.