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To Sam

I can't say no

I'm 17 and I've started a waitressing job and I don't like waitressing but it's the easiest job to get where I live.
They keep calling me in to do more hours and I'm worried I'm going to be working 6 days a week when I only want a part time job of 3 days but I can't say no! I have to do 4 days in a row and I hate the thought and when they asked if that was okay I said yes when really it's making me regret getting a job
please give me advice I don't know why I keep saying yes to things I really don't want to do and it's getting me stressed and feeling sad all the time
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Saying no can be really difficult to do because it can feel negative or like we might let people down. Learning how to be assertive and building your confidence can help you say how you feel without being rude or pushy.

You could say that you wish you could work as much as they want you to, but that you can't commit to that many hours at the moment.

There can be a lot of pressure in jobs like food service and it’s important to take time out to recharge. Some employers might try and get you to work as often as possible because it means they have to hire fewer people, which is cheaper for them. Remember that this is their problem, not yours. And it’s okay to work the hours you agreed to.

One of the biggest worries people have about being assertive with their employer is that they might lose their job. Think about whether you want to work for an employer that would fire you for looking after your own wellbeing. It’s easy to think that the job you have now is the only one you can get – but if you’re unhappy, then start looking elsewhere. You have control over that and you can use that to make sure your employer is treating you fairly.

Often working is about compromise – if your boss needs you to come in for extra hours sometimes, then it might be worth doing that so that he or she can give you the flexibility you need at other times. Take a look at our advice about money and jobs.

I hope this helps but it might be good for you to talk it through with one of our counsellors, so that that can make sure you are getting the right kind of support.

Take care,

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