Time to Change – Day Thirty-One

Sorry I’ve been a bit slack in updating this.  It’s a lot harder to maintain a daily blog after a full work day and a Foxtel box filling fast with TV shows.  I’ve had an okay couple of days.  It’s my first full week back at work that doesn’t involve sitting in a classroom.  I feel like the store doesn’t know how to treat me.  It’s not their fault, I was always going to be in a different league to the normal newbies.  They want to treat me the same but I get bored and zone out.  I put my own contract through almost without help today (three days into the job) and I know they were all really nervous I’d mess up.  I did okay though – no major issues from what I could see.  The only problem with independence is that they then assume I can do everything and while I’m advanced, I’m not that far ahead, purely because I just haven’t shadowed people enough to witness them doing certain things.  So then it’s this awkward “ready but not ready” phase.  I want to serve customers alone, I hate following people and being treated like I don’t know anything…but I also hate it when they try to give me something to do and I have to admit I don’t know.  I’m sure it makes them think I’m not ready and I should be shadowing.  Urgh.  Who’d have thought having experience could make things so complicated?

Speaking of experience, my old workmates have finally caught on that I’m back in the centre again.  I accidentally crossed paths with my old manager as I was buying breakfast, and she obviously told the ASM, and the two of them kept walking past all morning.  Seriously, grow up.  Particularly the ASM, as I worked exactly half a shift with her and so doesn’t know me at all.  From what I’ve heard, almost the whole store hates her, and she can think what she wants about me and my actions, but at least I was well-liked when I was there.  I know it shouldn’t bother me that they’re being so immature, but it kind of does.  A little.  I expected it, of course, but I still don’t like it.  I’m trying to move on with my life and they’re there, dragging me back into the drama.  I’m not expecting them to be happy for me, but I also didn’t expect to have to put up with this rubbish.  I just hope they get over it quickly.  I feel like I’m in a zoo or something.

I’ve been eating…okay.  Better than last week but still not great.  I’ve been having banana bread for breakfast (not great), lite apple crumble yoghurt from my favourite place in the centre for lunch (not too bad)…but then by dinner I fall apart.  It’s my fault, I was supposed to have a gameplan lined up but it hasn’t happened.  I’m going to do it properly from next week, after I’ve gone to the shops and collected food to take to work.  I need to eat a better breakfast, that much I know.  I love banana bread but I know it’s really sugary and not at all as healthy as the name suggests.  I also need to go back to healthy dinners.  Tonight I had fish, but last night I had Maccas…not great.  It’s tough being back in my old stomping ground in some respects, because it’s so easy to slip back into old habits, such as take away on the way home.  I’m going to really try not to let that happen again.  My self-control is definitely getting stronger, but it’s still not great.  I think planning meals out will help me stay on track and not get lazy or let my cravings get the better of me.

Although my weight hasn’t changed dramatically on the scales, I definitely feel like I’ve lost weight around my tummy.  It looks smaller in the mirror.  I’m grateful I can see some changes, because I’m a month in and feeling very deflated that my weight isn’t dropping.  I know I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with my diet but I didn’t think it was that bad, save for a few meals scattered throughout.

I haven’t been going on my walks.  My foot isn’t getting any better and I don’t know what to do about it.  Wearing a brace doesn’t seem to help, wearing supportive shoes isn’t helping, resting it doesn’t change anything and exercise makes it worse.  I don’t know whether to just ignore the pain and go out anyway (and risk making it worse), or continue avoiding exercise and risk gaining weight.  Part of me wants to go out and exercise (especially for the dog’s sake) but I’m terrified of doing more damage as I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t stand.  I can’t risk anything that will affect my job.  It’s just so annoying it isn’t getting any better!

It was payday today, my first one at my new job.  I’m super happy as it looks like my hourly rate is higher than my old job – I only worked for two-thirds of a payrun and my pay was only slightly lower than a full cycle at my previous work.  So good!  I need all the extra money I can get as I’m building a house at the moment and I know little things are going to crop up as it happens.  Super excited for it to be done though, I hate renting.  Such a waste of money and you don’t have the freedom to do what you want either.  Unfortunately the land settlement keeps getting pushed further and further back so who knows when the construction will actually start.

I’ve got three days left of the week and I’m already hanging for Saturday so I can nap.  I feel like it doesn’t matter how much I sleep, it’s never enough.  I don’t know why I feel so drained…the job isn’t hard or anything majorly different to what I’ve done for what feels like forever, but I’m more tired every evening than I can remember being in a long time.  I guess it’s just a big adjustment coming from three months of relaxation and unemployment…and it’s stressful being in a new environment surrounded by people and systems you don’t know very well.  I’m sure after a few weeks I’ll get used to everything and maybe I won’t feel so wrecked.  Until then, I’m going to savour my weekends and catch as many z’s as a I can.

-JD

“What is Your Favourite Accessory Right Now?”

My favourite accessory at the moment is my Apple Watch.  I ordered it when it was first released and, although it isn’t perfect, I really like it.  I’ve used other smart watches and compared to them, this works a lot smoother and has a lot more features.

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There are a few reasons why I really like it (especially compared to the other ones I’ve used).

  • The Size.  The Apple Watch comes in two sizes (basically, his and hers).  I got the smaller one, so it doesn’t look giant and oversized on my wrist.  While the extra screen space would have been nice, I still find the screen usable and, for the most part, accurate.  It is still slightly bigger than your normal wristwatch (though I think that’s probably moreso because of the square shape instead of round) but it’s not anything that would give you strange looks on the street.  The same can’t be said for the previous watches I’ve used.
  • The Fitness Trackers.  This is the main reason why I wear my watch each day without fail.  The watch tracks heart rate, step count, distance walked, how many hours you’ve been standing and calories burnt.  For the most part I’ve found it accurate, aside from a bug I’ve got right now where it isn’t reflecting how long I’ve exercised for properly (though it’s tracking it properly as third-party apps that use the watch reflect it correctly.  Very weird).  I’ve always found the step count accurate, and I think the heart rate is too, although I have no way of knowing for sure.  The thing I really like about the heart rate monitor especially is that it automatically checks every ten minutes or so, and saves it into the “Heath” app, which is great if you have medical conditions (or find out about one later on).  While not 100% accurate, I’m sure it would help doctors to see that kind of stuff.
  • The Alerts.  The main reason anyone considers a smart watch over something like a Fitbit is the alerts that you can get through your phone to the watch.  This was always the downfall of other smartwatches.  It would alert you to basics and that’s it.  The Apple Watch can alert you of anything you want basically (provided the app itself supports WatchOS, and most do these days).  You can turn off what you don’t want, so you don’t get bombarded with stupid notifications you don’t need.  You can read and reply to text messages with either auto replies (that you can change via your phone) or through siri.  You can answer calls.  Yes, you speak into the watch (though I’ve found the speaker isn’t very powerful and can sometimes make hearing the other person difficult).  You can get email notifications.  You can turn off your alarm – no more racing halfway across the house because you woke up before your alarm and left your phone in your room!  I’ve never had any issues with notifications.  To use Apple’s favourite catchline – “it just works”.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity.  I’ve found this especially useful of late after starting a new job and not wanting to have my phone with me.  It has quite a good range, which means I can be several metres away from my phone without it disconnecting, even if the phone is in a different room.  I’m not sure of the exact distance, but I think it might stretch as far as 10 metres, which is pretty good!  It’s also great if your phone is going flat and you need to charge it in a different room but don’t want to miss anything or constantly have to get up and check.

These are my ultimate favourite things, but there are smaller things I love too.  It took me awhile to adjust to the interface, but once you get it down pat it’s fairly straightforward.  I have the Sport model, and the band is comfortable, although a little fiddly to get on in the morning through bleary eyes.  Once it’s on though, it stays in place and I’ve never had it undo.  I originally wanted the green band but wound up getting the white one to match more outfits.  It’s got a few little marks on it, but overall has stayed fairly clean given I’ve worn it every day.  There are about 8 different watch face layout options, which are then customisable.  Since the reason of version 2 of the software, you can chose your own background picture if you want, or you can use one of the preset ones.  There are both analogue and digital faces, and you can also add things like current temperature, moon cycle, sunrise and sunset, different timezones and how you’re tracking with your fitness goals for the day on the watchface if you don’t mind the clutter.  Overall, I’d recommend it if you’re thinking of spending some cash on a new watch or on something like a Fitbit.  It does set you back a little more, but it also gives you a lot more features.  I don’t know that I’d recommend spending big bucks on a more expensive model…I know they look a bit nicer but it is technology and technology isn’t timeless.  This is why I wound up getting the cheaper one.  It does the same job but means I won’t feel obliged to keep using it after it’s well and truly outdated.

And no, I’m not sponsored by Apple.  I wish I was.  I’d have a more blingy watch than a Sports edition!

This prompt, and may more, can be found here.

“When You Are Feeling Blue, What Will Turn That Frown Upside Down?”

When I’m feeling upset, these are a few things that always make me feel a bit better:

  • Have a long, hot bath.  This is always my first point of call.  About a year ago, I rekindled my love of baths and now I try to have them 3-4 times a week in replace of showers.  Initially, I started having baths as my eczema was the worst it had been since I was a kid and soaking in bath oil helped.  I still add the bath oil (as the hot water definitely dries out my skin), but now I have baths for relaxation more than medical reasons.  I’ll sometimes blog or surf Tumblr or listen to music.  Often I’ll read.  There’s just something about the warmth that helps everything seem a little better.
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  • Write.  Sometimes the best way to feel better is to let it out, and the best way for me to let it out is to vent onto a word document.  I’ll often start it like I’m writing a letter to the person who’s upset me (if that’s why I’m upset), and then I’ll just let my fingers type whatever crosses my mind.  I average about 1-2 pages, and I find it often helps me to pinpoint why I’m so upset and get my thoughts in order.  I always save the document so I can look back on it later on and realize how far I’ve come.
    typing-on-keyboard
  • Cry.  I’m a big advocate of crying.  Sometimes, you just need to crawl under a blanket and let it all out.  I always feel worse and more stressed if I’m holding in my emotions, and I always feel a lot better after I release it.
    mom-cries
  • Talking.  Similar to writing, sometimes I just need to vent.  I don’t mind showing weaknesses and letting my guard down around certain people.  Those same people are the ones I always want their input about situations in anyway, so it makes sense to explode on them a little.  I think they’re used to it by now!
    BA2B9E Female Friends Having Lunch Together At The Mall
  • Junk Food.  Not an ideal solution but sugary, fatty foods always make bad things seem a little less painful.  Ice cream, donuts, fries and cookie dough is the top of my list.  And chocolate.  Always chocolate.
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  • Music.  If I can find a song that relates or fits my situation, it will be put on repeat over and over until I’m thoroughly sick of it.  There’s nothing quite like an artist putting your pain into words and over a backing track.
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  • Go for a Walk.  This is the newest one on my list.  Depending on the weather and what the problem I’m facing is, sometimes fresh air and exercise help to take my mind off the problem, or allow myself time to think the problem through.  There’s nothing quite like the feeling of warm sunshine and a light breeze to lessen the pain!
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What ways do you make your bad days better?

I found this prompt here, along with heaps of others!

“Write a Letter to a Special Person in Your Life”

This was a letter I wrote awhile ago, in one of my depressed moods.  I wrote it knowing very well the person it was addressed to more-than-likely wouldn’t read or know about it.  It was just to get it off my chest – a coping mechanism I’ve used for several years when my head and heart feel like they’re exploding and overflowing with thoughts.  Things have changed a bit since then, but I felt like this is a fitting response to the prompt.  I might as well put it to some kind of use, even if it was never given to it’s addressee.

Hi,
You drive me crazy, do you know that? Probably not. I can’t stand not seeing you every day. I really can’t stand that we can’t even meet up regularly. I know, you’re busy and you’ve got this grown up job now and everything is coming up Milhouse for you. I hate that I’m once again in this painful situation of missing and hoping for something that probably isn’t there. It crosses my mind almost daily that I should just walk away. Block your number. Delete whatsapp. That would be the sensible MATURE thing to do, right? For all the joy you bring to my life right now, there’s at least an equal amount of disappointment and sadness. Surely that should be reason enough to move on? It isn’t though. Because sometimes you say or do something and suddenly…suddenly it reminds me why I’m in this situation at all. Granted you probably don’t even know you’re doing it. I’d even go so far as to suggest you’re trying your very best not to do anything like that because girls liking you makes you uncomfortable. Oh yeah, I noticed that. I’m not an idiot. I do find it kind of funny though…not haha funny, just…curious. Being on the bigger side myself, I’d give anything for someone to take an interest in me. Even if it’s awkwardly one sided. I just find it curious why you seem to push people who like you away? I’m not saying you should force something that isn’t there, I just…I would have thought your “big person” mentality may still be there somewhere. What would I know about that though? I didn’t know you then. It may sound funny to say, but I wish I did. Firstly, because maybe you’d have given me a shot…a proper shot. But secondly – and more importantly – because then maybe you’d believe I like you for who you are and not just because you’re super cute. Oh, that’s a plus, I’m not denying that, but you’re more than that. Infinitely more. You’re so funny. I could listen to you for hours and not get bored. And you’re cheeky. You’ve got the cutest smile when you do something naughty. And you’re so smart. World-smart, like you’ve experienced everything. You are always (infuriatingly at times) right. For me to admit that, as I’m sure you know, is a massive deal. I don’t like to be wrong. You’re patient, moreso than anyone I know. You know how to listen and how to respond. That is something that can’t be taught, no matter how much schooling or work experience you’ve had. You’re generous. You don’t mind spending money to make people happy. In this world, there aren’t enough people who understand the importance of that. You’re honest. God, guys your age need a lesson or two in that. It’s refreshing to be given a reality check once in awhile. It’s so nice to hear words come from someone else that you’ve been thinking all along instead of white lies to make you feel better. I guess what I’m getting at is, you are amazing on the inside, so who gives a fuck about the outside? I feel like you just assume anyone who likes you now only does so in a physical sense. I can appreciate that, and I’m also sure you have plenty of examples to back it up with. My point is, I’m not one of them.  I’ve gotten to know you pretty damn well and there isn’t a thing I’d change…well, except the uncomfortableness. I hate that we met the way we did though. I mean, I loved working with you and I enjoyed seeing your face every day, but I just feel like if we’d met in different circumstances, maybe things would be different. Do you remember way back at the start when we talked half the night and you bailed on a party to keep talking? Do you remember those times we could hardly catch our breaths from laughter?  Don’t tell me you didn’t feel something at some point. I saw it in your eyes. That’s why I wish we’d met under different circumstances. I know workplace relationships are a bad idea, and I certainly know how you felt about them. I wish we’d met at a party or through mutual friends or even – god forbid – Tinder. Just somewhere that let us be…I don’t know…free to see how things went. Properly. I feel like this is all being said too late. I always hoped deep down you’d say “fuck it” and ask me out anyway but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. You didn’t want to jeopardise your job. I get it. I mean it’s kind of funny now, given how everything turned out, but still. At the time, I get it. Oh I hope I’m not wrong about it all. It’s one thing to know you don’t feel that way now but it’s another thing entirely to know I was wrong all along. I’ve never been good at picking up signals but I know I caught you staring at me more than once and I know I certainly felt something between us. Please don’t say I imagined that.
Anyway, this turned into an essay. I could keep writing forever and still not fully explain everything. I guess the main point of all this is, I love you and I miss you uncontrollably and I just thought you ought to know. Or I guess, that I ought to tell you. Properly. Not someone else getting in your ear and sniggering as they tell you, as I’m sure has happened previously. I’m sorry about that. I should have been honest from the start, so that didn’t happen. It wasn’t fair on either of us. Too little too late as I’m sure this all is, I needed to get it off my chest. Maybe it’s not too late.

I found this prompt, and many more, here.

Time to Change – Day Twenty-Nine

Yesterday I had a good surprise come my way.  I told you my luck is changing!  I jumped on the scales, expecting bad news, as I’ve eaten very poorly over the past week while I was trying to re-adjust to working life.  Instead, I’m at my lowest weight yet!  Not by much, granted, and given that my weight fluctuates so much there’s a good chance it won’t stay that low for long, but still…it was a very happy surprise!  I knew I’d been doing a lot more steps during the week, what with catching public transport and working in the city, but I thought I’d counteracted all that by eating fast food for lunch each day.  I guess not!

Apart from that pleasant surprise, yesterday was a pretty good day overall, although it was a little hectic for my liking (given that’s I’m back to the standard two days a week off).  I slept in a little, then got up, went to get my nails done – purple and sparkly this time! – then hit up the grocery store as I wanted to try banana M&Ms and banana Tim Tams (I’m obsessed with banana flavoured anything), and then across the road to get some “get well” balloons for later on.  [Side note for Australians: Banana Tim Tams are amazing, banana M&Ms are okay but not fantastic.]

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Once that was done, I headed to mum’s and then we headed off on an hour drive to visit my grandma in hospital.  As I mentioned here, she was diagnosed with cancer last week.  They operated on her a few days ago, though with her dementia, she often can’t remember it, as I predicted.  She was looking pretty good when we got there, sitting up in a chair by the window, watching a massive tree slowly get cut down at a property across the road from the hospital.  She was as talkative as always, and just as forgetful.  She switched from talking about the operation and going home, to asking when the operation was.  At one point she was so convinced she hadn’t had it yet that my mum had to show her the scar.  This apparently happens quite a lot.  My parents and uncle are talking about putting her in respite care prior to her going home, as they’re worried she’ll get home and forget all about what happened, then lift something heavy or do something she shouldn’t and do damage to her scar.  As my grandpa passed away last year, she lives by herself, and she’s always been very independent (probably where I got it from!) so her staying with one of us is probably not an option as she’d refuse, and one of us staying there isn’t ideal either as she lives an hour and a half away.  Still, I think she’ll be very frustrated in respite care.  Her independence will feel like it’s in jeopardy.  Not much anyone can do though, really…a bit of a blow to her self-esteem is better than a stomach full of popped stitches.  Plus, once she gets out of care, she probably won’t remember too much about it anyway, so I guess that’s a plus.

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After we got back from the hospital, I headed straight home to go to a house warming.  I’d gotten ready, jumped in the car and gotten all of about two streets away when I get a text from one of my friends I was meeting there saying she’d been held up and would be about an hour late.  As the other friends I knew were going to be as late as that too, I turned around, headed home and killed time.  That’s one of the pitfalls of being shy and introverted…you absolutely cannot be the awkward person at the party who doesn’t know anyone.  It’s way too stressful.  I got a message about half an hour later asking if I could pick my friend up at the station on the way.  Another introvert secret – we love having an excuse to turn up to a party with someone else!  I said yes and headed out.  Even with navigation, I still always manage to get lost.  Sometimes it’s my fault for diverting from the map, and sometimes it’s the nav’s fault for being vague or misleading.  Last night, it was the nav’s fault for being vague.  I missed the turn off and wound up getting stuck for 15 minutes on one of my least favourite stretches of road ever.  Worse than that, because I didn’t know exactly where the station was, I also drove right past it, and where I was isn’t very forgiving when that happens, especially on a busy Saturday night.  There weren’t any parks, I couldn’t find side street to turn down and the roads were narrow and packed which added to my stress levels.  Worse, when I finally found side streets to turn down (kilometres away from the station), they were all one-way.  Seriously?!  My friend called me and asked where I was, and I could only give her vague answers because I legitimately didn’t know.  I wound up driving around some more, and between me basically doing a circle of the block and her notching up her step count, we finally managed to meet up, a good half an hour later.

By the time we arrived at the house warming we were an hour later than we initially planned, but our other friends had only just turned up so it was all good in the end.  It was fantastic to see them all again as it had felt like forever, and we chatted away like no time had passed at all.  Before we knew it, it was time to head off.  I had to drop my friend to her partner’s place right in the heart of the CBD (did I mention how much I hate the city?!), which was fine up until she jumped out of the car.  Then I was alone with my nav again…and my nav hates the city just as much as me.  It basically managed to get me on one side of the bridge, do a massive U-turn through the city, then get back on the other side.  I’m still not sure how it managed that.  I missed one turn but as far as I’m aware, it wasn’t one that led straight to the bridge, so it shouldn’t have caused major issues like that.  Then again, I’m the most directionally-challenged person ever, so maybe it was a bigger deal than I thought?

Anyway, what should have taken me about 40 minutes took me over an hour, but I finally got home.  It was the latest I’d been out in a very long time, but I’d had a great time and I’m so happy I finally got to see those guys again.  They make me so happy.

This morning I slept in a little again, got up, tried to catch up on some of my TV shows that had piled up during my busy week, planning after a few episodes to get some housework done.  Instead, I had a long soak in the tub, then got out, put on another episode and promptly fell asleep.  I woke up 3 hours later feeling refreshed but guilty – I hadn’t exercised, done housework, put a dent in my TV shows or even eaten properly.  I didn’t dwell on it though.  My slept debt had been pretty huge after this week, so it wasn’t massively surprising I’d fallen asleep.  I got up, put some washing on, made a very late lunch and re-watched the TV show I’d fallen asleep through.  Now I’m sitting in the sun, blogging, glad it’s not too hot.  I might go for a walk later, although my foot is still giving me issues.  I’ll see how I feel.  I’d really only be going for the dog’s sake, as if it were up to me, I’d be resting my foot in preparation for tomorrow and the rest of the week.  I just feel bad because now I’m working full time again, the dog is being left alone a lot, which makes me want to take her for her beloved walks.  Decisions.

Like I mentioned, I’m back at work tomorrow, my first full week of being at my new job out of training.  I’m really looking forward to it.  The team is awesome and I feel like within a couple of days I should be right to do a lot of things without help.  I can’t wait for that.  I feel like such a bother having to tag along with other people.  I know it’s inevitable and part of a new-job experience, but it still sucks.  I guess it’s just my fierce independence showing through again.  I hate relying on other people for things!  Hopefully it’ll go well 🙂

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Twenty-Two

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Day 22 – What Makes You Unique?

Hmmmm.  Another question I’m not sure how to answer.  I tried to answer this last night but I actually couldn’t think of anything.  I guess because it’s all the small, trivial things that add up to big things that make me unique, so it’s hard to put it into words.  I don’t think I have anything big that sets me apart.  I actually don’t have a better answer than that. 😦

-JD

“Tell Us About Your Most Disappointing Job Interview.”

After going through at least 15 in the past few months with basically all of them leading to a “sorry you’ve been unsuccessful” call, this prompt is one that hits close to home right now.

The most disappointing one was definitely my first one, but not just because it was my first knock-back in five years.  I really wanted the job.  Like really wanted it.  I was currently still employed at my previous work, but hating every minute of it.  I wanted to get out of there.  I had friends working at the place I was interviewing for.  The pay was good, it was supposed to be a lot of fun, the uniform was better.  I had ample experience for the position.

I walked in confident.  Maybe too confident, I don’t know.  They’d asked me to prepare some stuff prior to the meeting, and I’d done that to as high a standard as I could manage, and presented it in the nicest way I could think of.  They were impressed with it, that much I could see.  They were really nice, I felt like the interview went really well.

Towards the end, I found out I’d been interviewing for a different store than I’d applied for.  One much further away.  I didn’t say anything.  I desperately needed to get out of my current employment and I really wanted to work for these guys.  I’d just make it work.  It wouldn’t be ideal but I’d do it and arrange a transfer later on.

I left thinking I’d done really well.  I thought I was as good as hired.  My experience speaks for itself, I thought, and the interview went smoothly.

A week ticked by.  I was starting to worry but it had taken literally months to hear from them after I applied, so I didn’t let myself stress too much.  I shot them an email asking what was happening, and got one back the next day saying they were still sorting things out.  It’s fine, they’ll call, don’t worry, I told myself.  So I kept waiting.  The next week, I got a call.  Freaking finally! I thought.

“Sorry, we were really impressed by your preparation and everything but we don’t know if you’d be right for the store.  We’ll keep your details on file though.”

I couldn’t have been more floored if aliens had dropped out of the sky right that moment.  What?!  How did this happen?!  I was so upset and disappointed.  I’d really wanted it and I thought I’d done well in the interview.  I had the perfect credentials for the job.  How could they say no?

I’d learnt a valuable lesson from it: don’t get your hopes up for things completely out of your control.  After I lost my job shortly after, this lesson would come into practice again and again.  I never let myself get that disappointed again.  Luckily.  If I did, I would have been a mess by the time someone finally offered me something.

Looking back, I think I didn’t get it because I was so rusty at interviews.  I took their niceness for me doing well, instead of politeness.  I probably said a bunch of thing wrong.  I wore the wrong thing.  I probably came off as desperate.  I’m not sure.  I just know that by the time I got to the interview where I was offered a job, I felt like I was very different.  I carried myself differently, answered the questions differently, took my time, dressed much more corporate.  I also understood that for every job that was advertised, roughly 19 other people were going for the same role too.  I didn’t know that going into the first interview.  I knew they’d had a few applicants, sure, but not that many.  It’s certainly a sobering fact to learn.  It doesn’t matter how good you are, there are 20 other people who potentially have more experience than you.  It’s a rough world right now.

-JD

#loveme challenge – Day Twenty-One

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Day 21 – Something You Are Proud Of

I’m proud of surviving through this year.  I’ve had a really tough one – the toughest one of my life by far – and now that I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I can look back and say that I did well to handle everything as well as I did.  I had moments of weakness (a lot of them), but I also had moments where I proved to myself I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.  I feel like this year has forced me to grow up a lot, and to see things differently.  I have a newfound respect for my job and how important it is because I now appreciate how much it sucks to be job hunting.  I’ve had two cancer scares in my family, I had my first accident that was my fault, I had my first wisdom tooth removed, I had my first episode of sciatica (nobody realizes how much we take moving without pain for granted until they can’t do it!), I lost a lot of friends who I thought I could trust but they stabbed me in the back, I lost out on seeing the guy I like every day because he got a new job.  The list goes on.  It seriously has felt like all this year has dished out for me is blow after blow, and you know what?  I’m still standing.  I might be scarred and battered from it all, but I’m doing okay.  And okay is probably the best possible outcome I could hope for after all this.  Some days are tough, and some – like today – are wonderful.  It’s nice to finally have a good day.  It’s like a rainbow after a storm.  I know now that I’ve survived all this, I can survive anything!

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Time to Change – Day Twenty-Seven

Today was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.  I know, it’s basically the opposite of what I predicted yesterday.  It was my first actual not-induction-or-computer-based-training day, at a place I didn’t think I ever wanted to go back to after how I was dismissed from my last job there.

I left the house early, expecting school traffic like there almost always is.  I guess I left early enough to miss it, because I got a really smooth run.  Usually that would be fine but I arrived half an hour early and I didn’t want to hang around near my old work.  I also didn’t want to seem too eager at my new job…half an hour is overkill in anyone’s books.  So I just sat in my car until it was time to go in.  I was pretty nervous – more nervous than I was before my interview, my first day at induction and waiting to get my needle – as I didn’t know what it would be like if I came face-to-face with some of my ex-colleagues.  Plus, I was also a little worried about having to meet so many new people all at once…it’s pretty much an introvert’s nightmare.

As I headed in, I gave myself a strong talking to.  I wasn’t going to let bitches from my past bring me down.  Instead of going the long way and avoiding the old store like I was tempted to do, I steeled myself and walked straight past.  I didn’t see anyone, so for the moment it was all good.  I headed into my new store and into a room full of people, most of whom didn’t know I was coming.  After doing a round of introductions, I was already feeling a lot better.  Everyone seemed really nice and the manager was cool.  We discussed my telco history and what I’d been up to in induction.  Then I buddied up with one of the guys and the day had officially started.

It went really well.  I basically bounced between staff (and there were a lot on!) and watched what they were doing.  Honestly, I would have preferred to be putting it through myself, but even watching I began to notice patterns and similarities to the programs I used in my last job.  Everyone was so friendly and were all eager for a chat and to see what they could help me with.  By mid-afternoon the manager checked in again and I told him that I feel very comfortable already and I could probably start processing stuff.  He was pretty happy to let me do my own thing.  I’m so glad I’ve landed in a store with a manager like that.  I was dreading getting someone who wanted to stay by the book or who believed trainees shouldn’t serve customers.  I made it clear from the start I wasn’t your regular run-of-the-mill newbie, but I still wasn’t sure how it would go.

The best parts of the day were when the delivery guys and phone reps came into store and their faces lit up when they saw me.  I’d been in that shopping centre for a long, long time and I’d gotten to know these people well, along with all the security guards.  They seemed like they’d genuinely missed seeing me, and I know I was happy to see their faces again.  I laughed every time each one first saw me, as a look of confusion crossed them every time, like “wait, did I walk into the right store?”.  I didn’t get to see my favourite delivery guy, though I’m sure in the month I’m working in the centre, I’ll cross paths with him.  I was always a little sad about how abruptly my employment ended at my old job, because it meant I didn’t get to say any goodbyes to these guys.  I know it probably sounds weird, but after seeing them multiple times a week for years, we got to know each other fairly well.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say we were friends or anything, but we certainly had rapport and inside jokes.

Once 5 o’clock hit, I headed home.  I intentionally walked past my old work with my uniform and lanyard on.  I didn’t look in, but I wasn’t going to hide or sneak past either.  If they saw, they saw.  I’m not letting horrible people from my past control my life now.  If they want to bitch or gossip or whatever, it doesn’t make any difference to me.  They aren’t part of my life any more and karma is fast on it’s way, I’m sure.

I was feeling great when I got home, and decided to go for my walk.  I’d gotten home a lot earlier now I was driving instead of catching public transport, and the weather wasn’t humid (thankfully!) so I headed out.  I got just before halfway through my usual walk when I had to turn around and head home.  My ankle (which has been sore for over a week) was getting worse.  I could practically feel it swelling up.  I should have worn my brace but it’s quite chunky and hard to fit into shoes.  I hobbled home, really annoyed that for the first time in awhile I actually wanted to exercise, and now I was cutting it short.  I iced it and put my brace back on and it’s feeling a little better again.  I was planning on exercising both days this weekend and I still want to, but I don’t know if it’s a good idea.  I can’t afford to hurt it any more, as my new job requires me to be on my feet all day.  Why does my body fall apart when I need to it stay together the most?

Tomorrow I’m going to get my nails redone (I’m thinking purple this time) and then I’m catching up with some friends I haven’t seen in way too long.  Should be a good day!  I can’t wait until next week to get back to work.  I haven’t felt this motivated for a very long time.  I think my luck is finally starting to change.  My ears have even stopped hurting almost completely – today is the first day I haven’t had to take painkillers.  Such a relief!

-JD

Call Me, Maybe

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Call Me, Maybe.”
Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your lifeline, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?

I love my phone.  I’m beyond addicted to it.  I’m so addicted, in fact, that I carry a spare one around with me in case I forget my everyday one at home.  It’s bad, I know.  After working in telco for five years and it being my job to know phones backwards, it’s definitely rubbed off on me.  Prior to working in telco, I had a pink flip phone that I’d used for five years.  It was reliable, had access to MSN and Facebook and I could text quickly on it (kids today will never understand how much effort it took to type on those phones!).  After starting in telco, I went through an average of 4 phones a year up until about 2 years ago when I slowed it down to between 1-2 a year.  I was obsessed with having the latest features, the coolest brands.  I knew the best way to get them on contracts so it wouldn’t cost me a fortune.

Like most 20-somethings, I’m part of the ironic group of people who use their phone for everything except phone calls.  If it rings, I’ll answer it, but I rarely call anyone.  I hate talking on the phone.  I’d rather take an extra 10 minutes and have the conversation through text message.  It’s not so much I’m addicted to texting, but as an introvert I find it a lot less confronting.  I have time to reply.  I’m not put on the spot.  If I don’t feel like talking, I can reply later.  I’m also one of those people who ignore calls if I’m not in the mood to talk.  Sorry.  I know if I do answer when I’m in one of those moods, I’m no good to talk to anyway.  One word answers and I try to get off as quickly as possible.  I’d rather ignore the call, mentally prepare myself for a conversation, then call back.  It’s nothing personal against whoever is calling.  I just hate phone calls.

I use my phone for games (sometimes), emails, banking, social media, photography, fitness tracking and navigation.  I use it to post blogs, to find quotes on Tumblr, to play music, to read books.  I read a fact somewhere that Gen Y-ers look at their phones an average of 300 times a day.  No way!  I initially thought it was rubbish.  Then I caught myself pulling my phone out of my pocket again and again.  Checking the time, getting distracted my something else, putting it back, remembering, pulling it out again.  I’d check it continuously for texts.  I’d google something.  I’d check my emails.  I’d post something on Instagram or Snapchat.  I started to realize 300 was probably not a high enough number.  Is it any wonder the battery needs to be charged every night?

Yep, it’s official, I’m addicted!

-JD