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Are You A Work Martyr? Leave It To the Saints!

posted on: 2012-12-10

The hospitality and tourism industry offers a work environment unlike any other. Unlike an office job, very rarely will you work a steady 9-5 Monday to Friday with no night shifts and your weekends off. Entertaining guests, whether they are staying at your hotel, eating at your restaurant, or cruising on your ship, demands a higher level of service and commitment that can be required around the clock.

Be a Team Player Without Being the Team

As in most workplaces, situations beyond our control can arise. Someone calls in sick, someone has a family emergency and the list goes on. You may be called upon to fill that shift or stay late, even if you’ve already worked your allotted hours for the week.

Filling in and showing you can be a team player in times of crises is a good thing; constantly saying ‘yes’ is not. It’s a fine line between helping when it’s required and feeling like the only ‘go-to’ person at work. You don’t want to get to the point where you resent being at work because you’ve been asked again to fill in for someone.

Set Boundaries and Expectations

If you find you seem to be the only one people constantly call and expect to come in because you’ve done it so many times in the past, it may be time to have a chat with your boss. Does an employee ask you to fill in for her every time at a particular time? You thought she looked fine last night when you all went out for drinks, yet this is the third time she’s been ‘sick’ Saturday morning and you’re here yet again.

Without being accusatory, ask your boss or supervisor if they are aware of the pattern that seems to be emerging with that employee. Reiterate that you are willing to help when required and you understand that from time to time it may be necessary for you to work beyond your own hours. Let them know you enjoy your job, but gently remind them you also have obligations to your family and yourself outside of work.

Guilt, What Guilt?

One of the greatest things I have ever read is "No is a complete sentence." Saying no is enough. You do not need to justify why you are saying no and those that demand an explanation are doing their best to make you say "yes."

Don’t give in.

If you can’t help out this time, you can’t, period. There are many aspects to our lives and keeping them in balance can be a tricky prospect. Say yes when you can, no when you can’t, and enjoy the balance your work and personal life will give you. Your inner martyr will thank you for it!


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