What do you do when your trainee thinks they know it all?

I’m running into this problem more and more as we train for the holiday season.


3 thoughts on “What do you do when your trainee thinks they know it all?

  1. What about maybe firing off some quick scenarios at her? See what she says she’d do and deconstruct the problems it’ll cause. For instance, if you anticipate her overpouring highballs because the standard was 2oz at her last gig and it’s 1.5oz at this one, ask her to explain in detail the steps she’d take when someone asked her for a screwdriver. When she gets the pour wrong, wait until she’s done with her explanation, and then tell her the manager thinks she’s stealing because there’s about 12oz of liquor unaccounted for at the end of all her shifts. Say he wants an explanation, right there. I feel like calmly doing that sort of thing might have some effect – giving her a big, wide-open scenario, then instead of telling her she’s wrong, just calmly explaining the potential repercussions. That way it’s less about the “right” or “wrong” way of doing things, and more about getting on the same level of communication and making life easier for her and all the people around her. It’ll let her save pride.

  2. Another place I washed dishes was a Red Lobster, and when I started, the restaurant manager treated me like I had no idea what I was doing. I had already worked for a number of years in a couple other places so I had my ‘system’ down pat, and I *almost* told her of this experience.

    HOLD IT!

    I suddenly decided to shut my trap and take her directions as to how she wanted the dish pit handled.

    Yes, it stung a bit (and she’s the one who had no clue of how to do it efficiently), but I realized I’d have an easier time if I seemed like a beginner, instead of being expected to go that much faster for having done it so much already.
    As a result she was far more patient with me, and I seemed like a quick learner!

    As for a suggestion about how to deal with Ms. Know-It-All, see if you can get your manager’s approval that Ms.K-I-A is required, as part of her training, to write (from her own point of view) a two-page ‘sample’ tutorial on her job, to be submitted to your manager.

    Since Ms.K-T-A is such an expert, it could stroke her ego to be able to ‘prove’ she can teach others.

    Once the manager sees her ideas, either he’ll approve them in which case your job is made simpler for not having to conflict with the higher-ups, OR he’ll let her know exactly what’s expected of her as opposed to how she is strutting around thinking she’s all that an’ a bag o’ chips.

    This gives you a nice ‘out’,
    and puts the onus on Ms.K-I-A.

    Hope this helps some …

  3. I let them do things their way while they are taining on the floor… and then when they encounter a problem i simply say “well i thought you were experianced and didnt need to be trained” and then the tides turn. I dont have time for that stupid shit… you have to train… get over it.

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