5.16.2015

Lessons I Learned From Working at Tim Hortons

My stint as a Tim Hortons team member 
Before we left for Canada,  I was aware of people with established careers in their home countries,  start from scratch.  I knew of people who worked in what they called "survival jobs".  I felt anxious of me getting into the fast food industry as well,  not because I looked down on people working in this industry,  but because I know I am clumsy and I feared that I would be asked to serve a tray filled with food and I'd spill everything on my customers!

When Bea started school in September,  I had nothing to do at home.  I decided to try looking for a job.  I needed a job with a schedule  that would allow me to pick up Bea from daycare in the afternoon.  So I went and applied to the Tim Hortons branch near where Berto was working.

I got accepted and started working in October.  I got 1 week training for the basics,  like how to operate the coffee machine and the milk/cream/sugar dispensers,  what a one and one or a double-double means,  how to greet the customers etc. It was a huge adjustment from the work place I was used to.  I really wanted to quit after that one week,  but I didn't want to be a quitter so I persevered.  I'm  glad I  did,  I learned a lot from my stint in Tim Hortons.

  • Customer Service - Customers differ.  They can be the nicest,  most understanding and appreciative people, but they can also be difficult and unreasonable.  Despite that,  it was our job to keep them happy and to keep them coming back. 
  • Time Management - Everything is fast-paced.  There is a target time for making the coffee, tea, iced cap,  smoothies,  sandwiches,  soups.  Walking in a relaxed manner is simply unacceptable.  One has to be always rushing,  shouting "behind"  or "hot, hot!" There as so many things to do,  chores to finish,  showcases to refill,  and everything has to be done fast! 
  • Team work - I worked with people from different cultures and backgrounds.  There may people you don't particularly like but you still have to do your best and work well with them. If you do this,  you will end up with valuable interpersonal skills that will benefit you in the long run.
  • Multitasking and Working under pressure - serving cranky customers,  getting instructions from grumpy supervisors,  malfunctioning equipment, listening to unreasonable requests from customers were  part of my everyday routine.  After a few months,  they didn't bother me anymore.  Plus I became more patient. 
I spent only four months working in Tim Hortons because I decided to go back to school and get a Canadian diploma. Those four months may have seemed like the longest four months of my life,  but I really learned a lot.  I also appreciated the people working in this industry a lot more.  Boy,  it wasn't easy! Fast food jobs are often looked down on,  but it is actually a noble job with lots of things to learn that you will get to take with you no matter where you go. 

Hopefully when I graduate,  I will land a good office job,  something right up my administrative /accounting /financial alley.  One thing I am sure of,  I will never forget the lessons I learned from my short stint at Tim Hortons. 

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