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Lessons Learned From A Cafeteria

Ah, the dreaded company and school cafeteria.

Memories of my school days being embarrassed to eat in front of my peers.Β Cafeteria

Slop and glop slapped with an old silver serving spoon onto a dull brown tray with its rounded compartments . An effort to make yucky, so called food, look appetizing…not

I think it might be better now for today’s kids, but not that much.

No offense if you look back fondly on your school cafeteria experiences. Most of it was mortifying for me.

In my early twenties, I was desperate for a job so I went through a temp agency and took whatever they gave me. I worked for two days, (I couldn’t take it much longer than that) at the company cafeteria of a major food manufacturer.

I was miserable from the get go and voluntarily left after two days because:

1. I hated wearing the white shirt and black pants uniform.

2. I didn’t like standing all day.

3. I was embarrassed because I didn’t know how to count back change when someone handed me cash payments for the register.

4. I didn’t like commuting.

5.Β I was depressed because I allowed myself to “settle.”

I was young, naive and my self-confidence was at an all time generic tramadol low. I buried my dream of continuing my dance career in favor of “security.”

Big mistake.

I’ve always wanted to be different and do things outside the norm yet I found myself struggling with who I wanted to be with who society dictated I should be.

So I took any job that I could get.

No valuable mentorship + no clear direction = Confusion & Despair

Looking back at that experience, here are a few lessons that I learned:

1. There’s always something to learn from every experience, good and bad.

2. God doesn’t make junk and He created me for excellence. I needed to believe that.

3. Choose your association carefully.

4. You can choose your attitude as you are going through negative experiences.

5. If something doesn’t feel quite right on the inside, there is a reason why.

6. Always be a student and have the desire to learn and improve yourself.

7. Circumstances are temporary and they are subject to change.

What lessons have you learned from working a job that you didn’t like? Has that job made you a better entrepreneur, parent, etc? I would love to hear your comments!


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About the author, Annett

Annett Bone is the creator and host of The DancePreneuring Studio where she guides her listeners on a journey of transformation inspired by dance, life, and business. The podcast is a reflection of her personal adventure overcoming her fears and returning to her passion for dance after a 20+ year hiatus, the lessons that she has learned along the way, and proving that it’s never too late to be great.


  1. Mystic Comfort on July 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Great post, Annett! I think I have learned more from jobs I didn’t particularly like than I did from the ones I did. I learned A LOT about making nice and getting along with people who are difficult from a job I had for over a decade. And from another job, I learned how to make people feel cared about within the first few minutes of talking to them. Both very important lessons! ~Anna Jeanine

    • Annett Bone on July 5, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      Thank you for the comment Anna. I definitely learned more from jobs that I particularly didn’t like, which is most of them. I think it’s a huge skill that you can make people feel important within the first few minutes of talking to them! πŸ™‚

  2. Erica Fath on July 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    You really learned a lot of lessons on a two say stint in that cafeteria! I couldn’t agree more that there is NO JUNK in God’s creation and that includes each of us geniuses created in the image of our God. Our associations and our attitudes truly do make us who we are, so it’s good to choose those wisely.

    • Annett Bone on July 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Thank you for the comment Erica. I didn’t learn the lessons right away but they are great reminders now that I am older πŸ™‚

  3. Lani - the flowerlady on July 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    I remember doing a temp job in a laundry place – you know the place where all the linens go from restaurants, etc. – it was awful and I remember thinking…”I am smarter than this!” I”m glad you are learning how valuable you are! πŸ™‚

    • Annett Bone on July 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Thank you for the comment Lani. I appreciate the positive encouragement! πŸ™‚

  4. Gwynne Montgomery on July 5, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I recently gave notice at my day job. They didn’t want to let me go, so negotiated a part-time contract with me which allows me to work either in the office or at home, and as many or few hours as I like.

    I gave notice because the job was suffocating who I really was. The boss freaked out when I dyed my hair purple; odd to me, because I work in a back office doing tech and admin work, and rarely, if ever see the public!

    I hated being away from home so much, 60+ hours a week with work and commute time.

    I hated not being able to pick and choose my projects, as I’d been doing in my years as a freelancer before that job!

    But in that job, I also learned to cope with people much, much better. I’d been massively introverted and a virtual hermit before then!

    I learned how to better structure my days for getting work done as well.

    So I got a lot from that job, and I’m glad they decided to work with me as a contractor, because it’s nice to have the backup funds.

    • Annett Bone on July 6, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      Thanks for your comment Gwynne. It is a blessing that you still get to work as a contractor, but more importantly, I am glad you shared the lessons that you learned from this experience because I think they’re very helpful!

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