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people CAN change

July 27th, 2009 at 06:01 am

This week at work (at the bakery) one of the juniors (who usually works on the weekend) is doing work experience with us out the back in the kitchen. Now this girl has worked with us for a while, and she annoyed the CRAP out of me when I worked on Saturdays a couple of years ago. She is still in high school, and before even speaking to her you can tell she has that 'I don't care, I'm so good, I know everything' attitude.

So I was really dreading this week, even though I am only working three days.

BUT!

It has been awhile since I've seen her, and it appears she has gone through a major personality change. She was previously very lazy, wouldn't do something even if you specifically asked her to do it. But today, she did the worst jobs and kept smiling. She did things the previous apprentice wouldn't THINK to do after working there for several months (like wiping the sink down after doing a load of dishes). She did jobs properly AND fast. AND she isn't getting paid either. It was amazing! It was actually a pleasure to have her help me all day.

So I think I will tell her that she's been wonderful. I just don't want to sound like I am a gushing idiot though. What should I say?

7 Responses to “people CAN change”

  1. mimipaula1@yahoo.com Says:

    How about, "Hey, it's been a great pleasure to work with you today!" OR "Working with you has been a joy!"

    I don't think I would mention, "Hey, I was really dreading this week, when I found that you were to be my co-worker" OR "What's up? You've undergone a much-needed attitude overhaul"! Maybe the girl has matured or she has decided to put some time and effort into protecting this job. Whatever...the bottom line is you were privileged to see that people CAN change; I'd like to think that your willingness to continue to work with her might have been an encouraging influence!

    Hope this helps!

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    So, what caused the drastic change?

  3. baselle Says:

    I'd thank her personally, quietly, specfically, and sincerely for her help, then ...
    Since she's in an apprenticeship, then I gush about her performance with her boss/mentor/whoever she is really working for. Could be that she really wants to be a baker - right job, right person.
    Thanking twice (her, her boss) reinforces doing a job well on its own merit, or at least doing a job well without anyone obviously watching.

    Sounds like you both learned a little something. She'll learn that there are rewards for growing up, and you learned that teenagers can grow up pretty fast.

  4. whitestripe Says:

    thanks guys Smile baselle - she is just doing work experience not an apprenticeship.

  5. baselle Says:

    Work experience at school? Substitute teacher/administrator for boss - I'm sure her program collects recommendations. Smile

  6. go.Xtina Says:

    I had a coworker like this and she claims she deserves a raise with all the extra works she is doing. Another coworker and I are both fed up by her, we're also doing some of her work.

    These past three days, she has been doing amazing things like cleaning the whole kitchen. I just said: Wow! You are really into your job lately!

  7. whitestripe Says:

    all the schools here do work experience in senior years, a week in year 11 and a week in year 12. i worked at the courthouse for one and at a solicitors office for the other. Smile
    ba: no idea what caused the change. she had a few warning letters from the boss's wife so maybe she realised she wanted the job!

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