Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.
Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.
Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?
Like many 90s girls, my first celebrity crush was on this guy right here, after watching Titanic a thousand times. I decked out my whole room in posters, and learnt the movie word for word (a skill I probably still possess today, although I haven’t watched it in a long time to know). I also avidly watched all his previous movies, and waited eagerly for his new ones to come out. Even though clearly I was way too young, I’d pretend like one day we’d get married (as you do at 14-years-old). I’d hoard photos of him on my computer, and my home page was his official website. This went on for years, until it fizzled out and he was replaced by the Aussie singer Ben Lee. Now, I have a deepfound respect for Leo, but don’t rush out to see his movies like I did back then. He’s still my favourite actor, and probably always will be.
Who was your idol back in the day?
Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
As those of you who have kept up with my story for awhile know, I work in Telco (for those of you who haven’t – surprise!). While Telco has a tendency to get busy over Christmas (like all retail), we have a different time of year that brings out the crazy in all our customers, and people storming through the doors. For us, this happens every September, when Apple announce their latest iGadget and the world goes into meltdown.
There are two types of people who work in Telco – those who can’t stand iPhone launches, and those who live for them. I am in the latter category, which is lucky, as the iPhone 7 launch was my fifth one, although first in this job. I worked the 4s, 5, 5s and 6 launches, although unfortunately missed out on the 6s as I was between jobs at the time. You’d think the novelty would have worn off by now, but you’d be wrong. If anything, my excitement grows every year. Seriously, this is my Christmas. I count down to it. I love knowing all the nitty, gritty details about what the plan is for the day in advance. I love reading up on the new phone, ready to answer all the questions that will come flying at me that day. Previously, I’d spend hours designing posters advertising accessory packs, and drooling over which cases we could have in stock by launch day. iPhone launch is my thing.
This year promised to be my biggest launch yet – not necessarily for the turnout, but just that I work in the biggest Telco store in the country, a store where the media flock to on a frequent basis. I’ve never experienced something like that before, and it was so exciting knowing it was coming up.
Let’s step back though. Back several weeks. In fact, let’s go back a couple of months. This is the quietest time in the Telco year. The calm before the storm. Our store is right in the middle of two of the busiest roads in the country, so we are always pretty chaotic. The closer it got to September though, the more often I found myself looking around, expecting a customer to serve, and instead got nothing. It was a nice change, but I also knew it wouldn’t last. The one thing all Telco employees hate in this lead-up though is the customers who walk in, proclaiming they know all about the upcoming iPhone and when it will be released and what features it will have. They believe that because they have mastered how to type “new iPhone” into Google, that they suddenly know more than anyone in the shop, and refuse point blank to believe that anything they read could be a rumour, or made up. They don’t understand how secretive Apple are, and how very little Telco employees know – I can tell you we get told absolutely nothing. As far as I’m aware, even Apple employees themselves don’t get told anything. It’s all on a need-to-know basis with Apple, and as frontline staff, we definitely do not need to know. So sorry, Mr Customer, if I take what you’re telling me with a very large grain of salt.
The calm goes right through until Apple’s Keynote announcement, which for Aussies, happens at 3am. From then on, things start picking up again in store, if only for customers walking in, asking to see the phone, and getting frustrated and/or disappointed when we say “it isn’t out yet, it was just announced, come back in a week”. Still, the storm is well and truely brewing. The other reason people come in is for pre-orders, which I still find a fairly new concept, as Apple only allowed this for the last three launches. Prior to that, it was line up or risk missing out. I’m on the fence about pre-orders – on one hand it’s great as it means customers can get their new iToys quickly without having to take time off work, but on the other, it dampens the spirit of iPhone launch a little bit. I still remember iPhone 4s launch clear as day, with lines snaking around the shopping complex as people eagerly waited for the chance to grab their own device. The atmosphere is electric because the people in line knew they’d be the first in the world to get them, and rightly so, as they braved the elements camping out for it. Now, with pre-orders, people can arrange a phone delivered to their home or office on launch day, all with a couple of clicks. Not really the same vibe.
Anyway, launch day eve finally rolls around. In this massive store, an incredible amount of planning has gone into the day, right down to where each staff member is sitting and when they’re going on lunch. Nobody knows if there will be ten people or a thousand people waiting the next day. Hell, we don’t even know for sure what stock we’ll have. All we know is, the storm is about to bare down on us, and we need to be ready to ride it out, whether it’s gritting your teeth and fighting through it, or like me – grabbing a surfboard and enjoying the ride!
Safe to say I didn’t get much sleep the night before. I was rostered to start at 7am, but got there well before 6.30. I was buzzing with excitement, so much so I could barely contain myself. There had been people camping out, but only a handful. Still, that wasn’t much of an indication of how the day would go, as most of our customers work in the city and would no doubt come in closer to starting-time.
We all grabbed our laptops, food and caffeinated beverages, and listened to the managers give pep talks. We were given a run down of the plans (again) and told where we’d be sitting. We then headed downstairs, where they’d set up a red carpet, a DJ booth and bowls and bowls of candy for the customers. The media were already out in force, with at least 3 different major news carriers there, waiting to film the first customer collecting his iPhone. There were also famous footy players there to add to the hype. We all got into a group behind them, where photos were taken, and video was captured that landed on several news stations.
As with all launches, we aren’t allowed to sell any of the phones until 8am. God help you if you sell one before then! Apple have ways to track this and you don’t want to piss off one of the largest companies in the world.
As 8am crept closer, we met with all the customers in the line, and then the countdown began. I’m talking a literal countdown, like on NYE. Then the doors opened, the the first customer came through the doors, with the media swarming him, asking what it was like to camp out overnight and what it felt like to be one of the first people in the world to get an iPhone 7. We all got our own customers, and the day was off.
The media hung around for most of the morning, filming everything we were doing. We had managers walking around, trying to feed us sugar, and our barista was handing out coffees by the trayful. The music was pumping and all the customers seemed to enjoy the set up. Despite being very early in the morning for someone like me, I was loving every second of it.
By midday, my excitement levels had dropped off a little. There weren’t as many customers as we’d been hoping for (thanks mostly to our record number of pre-orders), and exhaustion had begun to set in. By the last hour of my (very long) shift, I was a walking zombie. I couldn’t even fain excitement any more. My legs hurt, my eyes were drooping and even my crush couldn’t lift my spirits much. I’ve never felt that exhausted that early on a launch day. Usually, I can work through from 7am to 10pm at night and still be buzzing. I think it came down to the fact that we wound up sitting around a lot instead of being constantly go-go-going, which gave me time to realize how wrecked I was.
Overall, it was a fun day, but I was extremely glad to be told I could leave half an hour early. The second I got home, I flicked on the TV and counted how many times I was on it – multiple times over three different stations. Once the news ended, I went straight to bed and slept like the dead.
And if you think that iPhone launch ending also brings the end to the storm, you are dead wrong. It has been, and will continue to be, absolutely crazy busy for the next several months. Some days this is great as it makes the shift fly by, and other times, it’s like walking straight into hell. You are constantly surrounded by masses of people, and when stock is out (which is 90% of the time right now), the only question on everyone’s lips is “when is it back in?”, which we never have an answer for.
Regardless of any of this, next September will leave me counting down until launch again. It’s addictive and electric and if there comes a day when I’m not in Telco, I’m going to sorely miss it.
How many of you have gotten the new iPhone?
Maybe for this one post. Maybe forever. Who knows?
I’ve been AFK for a lot longer than I realized. I mean, I know it’s been awhile, but re-reading my last life-related post, it was last year, when I was still fairly new at my job and had just signed my building contract. That seems like a lifetime ago. Could it really only have been nine months ago?
So much has changed, and yet, nothing really has. I’m still at the same job, but in a much different place mentally. I’m still single, although there is definitely someone new in my life. I’m living back at home, but only temporarily – my house is well and truely on it’s way to being done now. More than that though, I feel like I’m a different person to back then. Can nine months really change you that much? I’m not sure. I think it has though.
In my last post, I had only been at my job three months. I was feeling new and awkward and vulnerable. I was shy, I didn’t feel like I knew anyone. I was just another face in the big crowd of staff. Flashforward to today, where I feel like I have found my place in the store (front and centre!) and have some wonderful friends there. I feel like I can pretty much talk to anyone there now, which for an extremely introverted person, and given there’s 80+ people working there, is a big thing. A very big thing. It took a long time to find a job after I lost my previous one, but I feel like I was meant to work here. The job definitely has its downsides (I mean, it is retail) but I still love it.
I’m also currently learning the ropes for management. This has always been on the cards due to my previous job experience, but I’m super excited it’s finally happening. At my previous job, it just kind of happened out of necessity – I mean, it’s not that I didn’t want to do it, but there wasn’t any formal invitation to it, and I never got the official title for it, or the pay to match it. I was just kind of assumed to be doing the role because nobody else could, and because I was already doing it, why should they increase my pay? It was an extremely frustrating situation to be in, and I’m sure not an entirely uncommon one in the working world.
Anyway, while this is similar in terms of they won’t be increasing my pay anytime soon, the title is given and the whole store knows what’s going on. Ideally, obviously, I’d love to be paid for it, but I completely understand that they want to train people first and make sure they’ll do well before anything is set in stone. Either way, I feel much more comfortable with this scenario. I also feel like, in general, I get a lot of recognition in store. I touched on this back in my last post, but that was only a small taste of what I get on a regular basis. It is safe to say that while I knew recognition was a nice thing, I never fully understood how far it goes with job satisfaction. I feel like this is one of the major reasons why I love working where I do. All the store leaders go out of their way to highlight when staff are doing well, and are full of encouragement to get everyone doing better. When I say encouragement, I don’t mean nagging, or shaming, or being negative – all things I’ve received in my last job, and in turn, I’m ashamed to say, have probably been guilty of dishing out too – I mean celebrating wins and talking about success stories, and sharing tips and tricks on how to do well. It’s a very refreshing change from where I was previously, and I wholeheartedly want to take this on board with my management skills too.
Tying in with all this, as I touched on earlier, there is someone new in my life. I don’t really know how to describe our relationship (I feel weird even using that word) but I know there’s something there. It came completely out of left-field and I think we are both a little shellshocked by it, which is why it’s hard to describe. I’ve worked with him since I started my new job, but didn’t really notice him – well, no more than I notice any of the other 80+ team members. He was always friendly, but still, just another face in the crowd. Until suddenly he wasn’t. It was literally just like that. One day, absolutely nothing. The next, absolutely everything.
That’s the thing with me. It’s always been a bit that way. I fall extremely hard and extremely fast. Some of my friends are a bit jealous. I don’t know why. It’s not a good thing and has lead to me getting hurt 100% of the time. The other (or maybe the same) issue is, I’m super clingy. Like…if you knew me as just an acquaintance, you’d probably never pick it because I’m seriously introverted. I am happy to not speak to people for a week at a time kind of introverted. Until my heart latches onto someone, and then suddenly, the second we aren’t communicating, it’s all “noooo, come back, I already miss you soooo much!”. I can step back and see myself and know it is 100% crazy and not at all attractive but I can’t help it. I have to literally tell myself dozens of times a day that I need to back off, he’s not going anywhere, you don’t need to be acting like this. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Which is why we are currently sitting in this limbo status. It is 100% my fault for being way too overbearing, and I’m working on it. I really am. He’s basically told me he’s not interested right now, which hurt like hell, however since then we’ve gone right back to how we were, so it’s just a weird place to be in. That being said, I’m not complaining too much – it could easily have gone the opposite way and he refused to talk to me at all, making for a very awkward workplace. Plus, I feel like this is just a learning experience on how to take things slow. So, learn I shall. Maybe things will eventually fall into place, or maybe we’ll both drift back to being just colleagues. I know what I’m rooting for, but I’m not going to push it either.
The other big update is my living arrangements. Since my last update, I was forced to move back to my parents place – the landlord of my rental property sold the house and the new owners wanted to move in. So back to my childhood home I went. After living out of home for four years (and wanting to get out of home for many years prior to that), it hasn’t been easy readjusting. I’m very grateful I had somewhere to go, don’t get me wrong, and my dog is loving the fact she has company almost all the time now, but it is still a very hard place to be back in. I’m fiercely independent, and on top of that, my relationship with my family has always been tense. It improved considerably after I moved out and got my own space, and now, day by day, I can feel it slipping back to how it was. I feel very suffocated being back and having to answer to people again, and being told what to do and when to do it, instead of in my own time and at my own pace.
My mum especially doesn’t seem to understand why I get home and lock myself away, but then, she’s never really understood me much anyway. She’s outgoing and very much a people-person. My dad is quieter, but also enjoys being outdoors and getting things done. I’m like my nan, who prefers to be left alone and doesn’t like her routine messed up. They see me as lazy, and while I’m not denying that, it stems from my need to unwind from a day spent talking to strangers. As an introvert, I need to mentally recover from that, and if I can’t, I have a tendency to lash out or become very upset. If that means sleeping all day on my day off, or going for a drive by myself, or watching 10-year-old Simpsons episodes, then that’s what I do. When I was living by myself, nobody was there to judge me on it, and it felt completely normal. Now, all I’m getting is snide comments and rolled eyes. I’ve literally been spending hours and hours at work just hanging out to avoid home – this is something I haven’t done at all since I started working there, and something I swore I wouldn’t do for my own mental health, but now, I’m finding that my mental health is being affected if I’m at home too long. I’d rather be around my friends at work than being told what to do at home, even if that means sacrificing my unwinding time.
Thankfully, my house is well on the way to being finished. After so many delays I’ve well and truely lost count, the framework went up a couple of weeks ago, and since then the roof has gone up and they’ve put in the windows and wiring, and the fencing. The bricks will be getting laid tomorrow and the plastering should be completed by next week. I’m hoping like hell it will be done before Christmas, so I can go back to living alone again. My dog isn’t going to like it, but on the flip side, she’ll actually see me more as I won’t be avoiding home like I am now.
I can’t believe how much has changed in what feels like a short amount of time, but there you have it. It’s also hard to believe exactly a year ago, I was going through some of the darkest moments of my adult life, and today, I’m feeling pretty positive about everything. 2016 has definitely proven itself to be a great year so far!
How has everyone else’s 2016 been?