I couldn’t sleep last night. For the first time, work became so stressful that I just could not sleep last night. I’m not a confrontational person whatsoever but I can be very direct, in a non-threatening, constructive way (with the exception of a select few who need a bit of brashness). But it’s always hard to deal with criticism; in fact, I’m still learning how not to take criticism personally, especially when it comes to my writing because my words are very personal. And when someone points out a flaw, it’s normal to go on the defense and spew out excuses. I remember when I first started serving at a restaurant 4 1/2 years ago, by the middle of the night, I had tables of two and four on one side of the restaurant and a party of six on the other side. I’ll admit, I fucked up in the end, especially with the party of six. I pretty much ignored them the whole night. That night was my first taste of multi-tasking. The next day, the manager asked me to come into her office, and she told me that the party of six from the other night wants their tip back to “teach me a lesson.” I thought, “Wow, you could’ve refrain from adding the tip from the night before but instead, you’re going out of your way to take something back from me. Thanks.” I was upset and confused and could’ve easily thought up of ten thousand excuses as to why I didn’t perform well. But I realized, I have to swallow my pride, acknowledge my mistakes, and step it up.
With that in mind, when giving constructive criticism, it can be a very delicate issue. Generally, when speaking, I tend to focus more on the content rather than which parts of a word are being stressed, just like any normal human being (with the exception of linguists, perhaps). But focusing on what words and even what word parts to stress is also important. I didn’t realize how essential it is to pay attention to the emphasis on word parts until I started reciting my poetry in front of people. (And I’m currently working on vocabulary instruction for my online course, more specifically on the stress of syllables, how convenient).
Moving on to something less stressful and more comforting, after three years of growing my hair, as well as no dye and bleach, I’m finally getting it cut so that I can donate my hair to charity. Why am I doing this? Brownie points for God, of course. *wink