Reacting at the Restaurant


I lost my temper last night while working at my family’s restaurant. I reacted to an employee and he walked out in the middle of a crazy rush and gave me the middle finger.  He has been working with us for a long time and (I think) is very moody.  I make his comments/moodiness mean we are doing something wrong; but my parents tell me they just ignore it.  I make it mean something because I don’t trust my parents to be as kind as they “should be”.  If he is moody, I feel we “should” be doing something differently; however, he has his own stuff (ex-addict, imprisoned, many kids that he does not see or know, etc…).

Items that I make mean something: He said “sorry we are closed” whenever the phone rings (more than one evening); He sighs and crosses his arms if we try to help at his sink area; He says a lot of things under his breath.

Last night, he said “Sorry, we are closed” and then as my mom and I were both taking orders over the phone, I heard him say,  “what, am I the only person working here?”.
I reacted and said, “my mom and I are both on the phone”
He said, “I was only kidding”
I said, “no you weren’t”. (Probably with an exclamation point)
He said, “don’t you f***ing talk to me like that”
And I said something like “you keep saying things under your breath”
He said, “I’m done”. He walked out.

I have done two downloads a few hours apart.  Things that have helped me are thoughts like:
– The worst thing that can happen is a feeling.  I can be alive with any feeling; so I can allow shame, regret, worry, fear to be here;
– let others think and feel how they want to feel;
– consider how I would address this kind of situation with a student (I’m a middle school teacher) rather than my primitive restaurant side.

The first download session produced 6 good models that brought me calm. The second download doesn’t feel so good, it feels like diminishing returns to me trying to return to the issue.  I did the second round because last night I decided I will call or text an apology.

Now, I am fighting with my urges to do it RIGHT NOW.  I am strongly pulled by my urged to “resolve” this right now; and afraid I will keep reacting to my impulses. This is the 3rd time in a year where my reacting because of my thoughts and feelings created a hugely negative result for me; and each time I am saying I will learn. I was not in Scholars during the other two, however, I did a ton of journaling through those as well.

Thanks for any help.