I became really bothered after hearing the term “quiet quitting”, which essentially means doing your job as required but not going above and beyond. It was touted as doing the bare minimum and came across as employees being ungrateful. But coming from a large chain grocery store where I worked for five years (and worked through the pandemic), there isn’t a single bit of blame towards employees who are not giving in to the “hustle” culture.
Coming from poverty and putting myself through pastry school, I knew nothing less than being a hardworking, reliable employee at all of my jobs. I showed great pride in being the go-to person who went above my pay grade, mainly because I was a people-pleaser and felt obligated in order to secure my position.
I was hired at a large chain grocery store that had very recently gone through major changes. But it was the best job I had ever had – not because of the pay, in fact, I took a pay cut to work there – but because the environment was inclusive and everyone genuinely enjoyed working for the company.
Fast forward five years and the workplace was nowhere near the same. It no longer felt like everyone was family. We were all burnt out by working through the pandemic, and it just felt like we were asked to work in such a demanding and toxic environment without any compensation or any sort of praise, which makes a huge difference. And when one team member is burnt out, we all end up burnt out.
So after realizing that being short-staffed was going to be the norm – not because of not being able to hire anyone, but because it was cheaper to have employees working multiple people’s jobs – I decided it was time to find my own calling. It was really hard working for a company that felt like they really cared to this cold and heartless place where there was a revolving staff issue.
I totally understand why setting workplace boundaries are important, because mental health is a huge underlying issue that isn’t talked about enough. You can be a hard working person who contributes to our society and also take the time to rest and relax. Some call it quiet quitting. I call it realistic work life balance.
And honestly, it’s because of that realization that I have created my own business with my business partner, doing something I am very passionate about and getting to curate dessert themed subscription boxes for fellow sweet tooths. I never would have dreamed that this is where I’d end up in my career, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
About the Author
Crystal Shaft is co-founder of Sweet Retreat, a baking and beauty subscription box company. Crystal started pastry school in 2007, and after graduating, she gained experience working at multiple bakeries around before launching her own business.