When I was a messy little sixteen year old, I managed to get an after school job. Applying for the job, going for the interview and having my first few shifts were extremely scary but after a while I became more confident and began to enjoy it.
I was terrified of the boss and I was terrified of making mistakes, both of which aren’t that unusual when starting a new job. I tried so hard to do everything perfectly to avoid getting yelled at by my managers or worse, by the boss and generally I thought I was doing okay until one day my boss said I was slow.
He went on to say that I wasn’t slow at my work but when talking to people, especially customers, I spoke too slowly. Then he and my manager laughed about it and teased me. I felt like an idiot.
I had developed this slow rhythm of voice unintentionally. When I spoke, I wanted to make sure my voice was clear and understood. When dealing with customers, I wanted to make sure I got everything absolutely right. From a customer service point of view, I was doing better than those who rushed and made mistakes with orders but from a business point of view, I was costing them time and money.
It wasn’t like I was speaking like this, ” He-el-loo, we-el-c-ome t-o bl-a-h-dee-ee-b-la-aahs…” I wasn’t ridiculously slow but I was a long way from most of my workmates, who spoke more like this, “Hlo,wlcmtoblhdbls…”
I found it difficult to speed up my speech but I worked on it, particularly when my boss was around. I suppose my efficiency in the other areas of my job and the lack of complaints from customers proved that I was a good employee so I stayed there for quite a while, until I found a better job.