New Kid in Hostile Territory

It’s been a long time since I was the “New Kid” in the workplace. I worked at the same place for 9 years, and I’ve worked solely for myself for the last two.

With winter approaching and a new car payment to contend with, I knew I needed to pick up some extra work, so a couple weeks ago I got a job working at one of the local tack and supply stores in my area.

On the one hand it’s been like slipping back into a well worn shoe, customer service was my bread and butter for years and continues to be a huge part of both horse training & EGC; even getting up early for work and the structure that a regular jobs gives has been almost restful in a way, and of course the guaranteed paycheck doesn’t hurt either …

Being the new kid though, has been an experience. Neither bad nor good, it’s simply required me to exercise muscles that I haven’t had to use in a long time! People in general, have been very nice, though there have been a few where the feeling of circling each other is very real, like animals guarding their territory against an intruder, I know I’m being sized up. It’s fine, I’ve been there, historically, I’m a very territorial person and I can remember my hackles being up when somebody new joined the team and my coworkers and I would wait to see whether they would rise to the occasion or fail and slink away.

What I have learned, in this new environment, in the reversal of roles and equipped with a knowledge of people and dynamics from the TBAH program that I didn’t have before, is that it’s better to be kind. I’m making a real effort to win over my tentative & territorial co-workers and so far I’ve been pretty successful, and most importantly, going forward in this and in any job, I will remember how it feels to be a new kid and I will make sure that I extend them both kindness, friendliness, and the benefit of the doubt that they will in fact succeed and are welcome on the team.

I’m off to work now, wish me luck!
Happy Trails,
Coach Amanda

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