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DEAR HARRIETTE: I quit a job on the first day of training. It was a restaurant job. The environment was so stressful and awful I could just tell it wasn’t going to work out. The same day that I quit, I received a slew of hateful text messages from an unknown number; I’m assuming it was the girl who trained me. Should I go and say something to her? Now it has been a week, and the messages have subsided, but that was really creepy. I didn’t say anything rude to the people when I quit. I just knew it wasn’t right for me, so I told them that I wouldn’t be coming back. — Quit During Training
DEAR QUIT DURING TRAINING: I’m sorry that you were besieged with such a negative response after you quit your training. It must have been hard to walk away from the job in the first place. Even though you knew it wasn’t a good fit, it was still an opportunity, and you put effort into it. But that is probably what your trainer was feeling too: namely, that she put in a lot of effort, and you didn’t give her a chance. Perhaps she was upset because your departure made her feel like she failed. Who knows?
The good news is that the negative texts have ended. You should save them for now, in case anything else flares up down the road, but do not dwell on them. I should add: If the texts were so offensive that you think the restaurant should know about them, you can share them with management. Otherwise, just keep them in case you need them down the line.
The bigger question for you is about how you handle stress and where you should look for work given your personality and tolerance for intensity. Restaurants typically are high-stress environments. What other interests do you have? Look for a field that better matches your personality and capabilities, and give whatever you choose a chance — definitely more than one day next time.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend is having a hard time getting over his ex-girlfriend. I believe he’s holding on to some hope that they will get back together, but to me it’s quite obvious that she’s moved on. I don’t want him to set himself up for even more heartbreak. How can I help my friend come to terms with reality? — Time To Move On
DEAR TIME TO MOVE ON: Until your friend opens his eyes to his own reality, you likely don’t stand a chance at getting him to see things differently. Rather than attempting to convince him of where his ex stands, encourage him to do other things. You can invite him to hang out with you or with a group of friends. You can check in with him regularly and just talk. This is a time when it may be wise to tell him stories about your life and adventures or positive things about other people — to get his mind off his ex. Avoid saying anything negative about his ex. Do your best not to talk about her at all.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAM- LEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org m or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.