November 8, 2020 at 10:21 pm #187436saintskiesParticipant
Ever since I was in middle school I started having more issues with concentration. I easily got distracted and daydreamed in school a lot. I always had to have things explained at least three times for me and I processed information slightly a bit slow. I thought that it was normal to feel this way and that it was just the lack of interest in my part, but then it started affecting in my daily tasks unrelated to school. I would get easily distracted when someone was talking to me and I was forgetting things way more often. Once again I thought it was normal so I always dismissed it.
But now im out of high school, and Im in college looking for a job. I actually landed one. Tomorrow is my second day official on the register as a cashier in a retail store and I have never felt so stupid and incapable of doing things. The last time I went was last Wednesday and I am panicking because I only remember some things of what I was supposed to do when it came to returns and the credit card and loyalty program tasks. I have to also handle the pick ups.The girl training me is employee of the month and she handles customers so quickly. She’s been there only four months by the way even though she’s had prior experience before since I asked if she did. She is so friendly but boy does she explain things fast.
I have never felt so lost I don’t want to ask her questions again tommorow because I feel like she will find me annoying and think I’m dumb. When I get in the register and try to do things her pace I get stuck. I stand there like an idiot not knowing what to do next because of the anxiety I have. The anxiety mostly comes from my fear of not remembering what Im supposed to do in certain transactions or not doing well. The first day I had alone on the register one of the managers was already on me about the loyalty program and telling me the percentage was miserable and that If I don’t find success here she will have to put me somewhere else. Mind you she is actually the nicest manager. So when she said that it gave me the impression that she already expected me to get what I was doing. Which is normal for every job I guess, but I still didn’t get the whole jest and that made me feel like such a idiot. It felt like two wires trying to connect in my brain and they just wouldn’t click. I try to do at a face pace but I can’t I just can’t, even when I do I am extremely sloppy. I feel extremely overwhelmed and incapable of even doing such a “easy” job as cashier.
I broke down after my shift ended because I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. It didn’t matter how much I tried it felt like a mental block. That’s when I finally told my therapist about how I felt. I have had her since I was five, and she told me now at age 19 now that I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid. It has explained so much of what was going on my brain the last couple of years. But I still don’t know how to handle it, I don’t what my add to define me but I also want to accept it, and right now it is hard to. For you guys that have it.. any piece of advice? What strategies would you use if you were in my position at work? Please anything would help!
November 11, 2020 at 11:00 am #187544Penny WilliamsKeymaster
It sounds like a little Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria could be at play — reading into what people say and seeing criticism in it.
You’re also clearly struggling with executive functioning though, which is a hallmark of ADHD. This next article is tips for kids, but they’re appropriate for adults too (the at home portion). Make yourself checklists. See if you can create an acronym to remember steps for different processes.
And, give yourself some grace. No one is fluent in a job after only two days.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Penny Williams.
November 11, 2020 at 10:27 pm #187583lynneihaParticipant
Being a cashier in a retail store is not, in my opinion, an easy job. Maybe-probably- it is for many neurotypical people.
But for someone who has problems with executive functioning, it can be very trying-just made a lot worse by the anxiety involved when you think you are not measuring up to other people’s expectations.
Having been in that position a lot, I can at least guarantee you that the managers don’t really think you should have it all down yet. They are often obnoxious because they are being pushed from above to push you workers to excel in sales, loyalty percentages etc. I have seen them push even the best cashiers to the point of tears, always demanding “more” from them.
I worked in book sales for nearly ten years. The only way I survived was my book knowledge was so thorough, and I was very good with people one to one, so I maneuvered my way into being primarily a “walking the floor” customer service person. After seeing how stressed I got working a register, management tended to only use me for that as their “last ditch” effort. Thank goodness as I never would have been able to keep my job otherwise!
You might consider if there are any other positions in the store that really might be better for you if cashiering isn’t your thing. Like, I always considered stocking as an alternate job I might be okay at. My nephew was diagnosed ADHD as a schoolboy, and now he works overnights stocking as he has university classes online. He’s very shy, so I know he likes it that he doesn’t interact with too many people.
But I don’t mean you should give up already! As Penny said, two days is nothing to get down details at a register…especially since there have been several days since the last day you worked. In a so-called “routine” job like that, you will only get at ease with it as you repeat the cashiering steps over and over, day after day.
Take a few deep breaths right before you start, and until you’ve been there longer, I would say, “don’t try to do things quickly, just try to do them accurately”.
If you can, swallow your pride and let people know you are nervous…it’s your first job.
I would also take advantage of your co-worker’s friendliness. Ask her questions!! There’s no way she can expect you to have it all together yet. Most times when I didn’t ask questions, I would end up regretting that later.
That’s advice for the store, but as for accepting your ADHD, I’d have to say let me know when you can figure that out.
I’m three times your age, and still struggling with that.
November 12, 2020 at 2:02 am #187597Caito44Participant
I feel like I can definitely relate. I had the same problem with customer service jobs . Don’t think that customer service jobs are easy there are plenty of people who are very smart but are not suited to that sort of work for various reasons.It sounds like you would be better maybe doing work where you can work on one task really intently or set your own pace maybe freelance work? It also sounds like you have anxiety that is possibly related to your add but could be separate.Just remember you are not stupid and I am sure you have things you are great at. I am very good at music and not my normal day to day job so I channel my energy into that, that helps me even though I am not great at my day to day work. It is not an easy road having add ,adhd but you will be ok. Taking medication helps for me but is not the be all and end all.
November 12, 2020 at 2:27 pm #187630Yarlan ZeyParticipant
I think most neurotypical people would consider working as a cashier to be a job that is not particularly hard to learn (although they certainly wouldn’t be great at it straight away), but difficult in terms of stress and obnoxious customers and managers.
Am I right in saying neurotypical people tend to have less empathy? Sometimes they may underestimate the difficulty in learning the job, even if they had to learn the job not too long ago. They can have a curious “amnesia” about the difficulties they had.
I had a few retail jobs. I was decent enough at unpacking boxes, stocking shelves and that kind of thing. I got on well with the more laid back customers. Being a cashier though? I was probably in the top ten worst cashiers in human history.
One suggestion would be to ask yourself, can you live with it if the girl training you thinks you’re not very smart, for now (I don’t think you’re not smart, I’m just asking can you live with the possibility of one person thinking of you that way. I’m also not saying that she thinks of you that way either)? Maybe you could keep pen and paper handy when she’s giving you instructions, ask her to slow down and things like that.
Also when you’re not working, you could spend a little time thinking about what you recently learned on the job, and also write it down if you can.
It’s curious that training tends to be so bad in these retail jobs.. And that the managers are often so rubbish (okay, I know it’s because they have managers above them breathing down their necks or whatever)..
Anyway, I’m sure you can be a good cashier, you may just need to learn things your own way. As an ADHDer, you probably have more creativity than most. You can probably come up with good ideas to help you. I see there are videos about working as a cashier on YouTube, but I haven’t watched them so I can’t vouch for their quality.
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