Time to Change – Day Eighty-Four

I’m back again!  Another long gap between posts full of long days at work and trying to squeeze sleep in between.  How’s everyone going?

The last time I posted was the day prior to my new store opening.  Wow, that feels like months ago.  Hard to believe it was less than two weeks.  I’m really settling in and starting to feel like one of the team, and getting used to how everything runs there.  There are still teething problems and small issues here and there, but for the most part I’d say it’s going really well.

Launch day wasn’t as big as I (and probably the company) thought it would be.  I mean, it was busy, but not chaotic like I thought it would be.  It was actually kind of good that it wasn’t, as it gave us time to properly adjust to the new store and take our time with each customer like we’d been trained to.  If it had of been busy, it probably would have been a lot more stressful.

In general, the job is great and I’m really liking it.  One of the phone reps who I knew from my previous job even told me that I look a lot happier here than I did previously, and although it caught me off guard for a bit, I realized she’s right.  I love the store, I love the team, I love how there’s no pressure to get customers out the door.  I mean, they don’t want you wasting time but there’s so many staff on that it’s okay to take an extra five or ten minutes if you need to.  Plus, like I may have mentioned in previous posts, the atmosphere is just more professional.  The management team actually feel like managers.  The store manager actually feels like the leader that everyone looks up to and can trust.  Don’t get me wrong, at my previous job, we tried to emulate that, but really, we were just kids faking it til we made it…and we just didn’t quite get there.  I also find it more professional in the sense that they’re very clear about what their expectations of you are – what your monthly targets are for everything, what else they expect from each sale (eg, leaving notes on the customers account).  They follow up on things if you do something wrong and explain clearly how to do it properly.  It’s worlds apart from what I was used to, and it wasn’t for our lack of trying as managers.  The company itself just didn’t explain itself clearly, didn’t have procedures in place to allow managers to check things, didn’t put enough emphasis on things they should have.  It’s where a lot of my frustration stemmed from, so it’s wonderful to be in a job where all this is not only in place, but seen as completely normal.

I think I’m also doing well in sales.  We have a tracker we get sent each morning and I’ve been up and down a bit, but overall, for my main targets, I think I’m doing better than expected.  I was nervous about this as although I know I can sell, I’m competing with dozens of others who have similar targets to me.  I just wasn’t sure how I’d go up against so many people.  It turns out, it’s not really as big of an issue as I thought it might be, mostly because the store is busy enough for it not to matter.

Aside from work, there isn’t much else new.  I feel like all I do is go to work then come home and sleep, sometimes fitting in a little catch up TV, sometimes not.  It’s exhausting, not just work itself, but the travelling to and from.  I’ve been catching public transport most days, with the occasional exception where I’ll drive.  Either option usually takes around an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how long I have to wait for the bus and/or train.  Driving is sometimes faster if it isn’t peak hour, but then I pay more in parking (and petrol), which is why I’ve been avoiding it.

One of the most painful things about working so far away, I worked out, is that my train doesn’t run after 8.20pm weeknights.  I mean, I know I’ve said previously I don’t want to be on a train at night – and I don’t – but when I have a 2-9 shift, I don’t have anywhere to park that won’t cost an arm and a leg (if I get into the city before 10am, I get ‘Earlybird Parking’ rates, which is basically a flat fee of $17 provided I leave after 3pm).  I looked into Uber, but even that would cost me $40+ each way.  From January, I’ve had to put in that I can’t work after 7.30pm for this reason.  In the meantime, I’ve got two choices – I either go in early and get Earlybird rates and kill time until my shift starts, or I park somewhere close to the city, then train it the rest of the way.  I took the first option last week, and killed time by seeing Mockingjay for the second time.  This week, I’ll probably do the latter option.

Last night, I went and saw Taylor Swift as part of her 1989 World Tour.  I’ve reviewed the whole event here.

Aside from that, I don’t think there’s anything else worth writing about.  I’ve spent a majority of today sleeping (as I do most Saturdays).  Tomorrow I’ll go grocery shopping and wash my hair.  Nothing really interesting, but it has to be done.  I wish I had more to write on, but with all the travelling, it doesn’t leave room for much else.  If I didn’t love my workplace like I do, I’d probably be asking for a transfer to somewhere closer.  Instead, I’m gritting my teeth and dealing with it.  At least I’ve started reading on the train on my tablet, which is making the trips go quicker.  I’m still rereading the Hunger Games, but I’ve almost finished it.  I’ll have to find something else after that!

As for Christmas shopping, I have no ideas and no money.  Standard for me really.  I know I’m gonna have to start making some decisions soon, but right now I’m trying not to think about it.

My diet still hasn’t really gotten back on track.  That’s another issue with working weird hours and all the travelling – it makes having regular meals difficult, and makes having Lite n Easy even harder.  I’ve had maybe two LnE meals in the past two weeks because for the most part, I’m not home for dinner (at least 3 shifts a week I finish around 7), and even if I finish early, by the time I get home I don’t feel like eating.  It’s tough.  I know I’m going to have to find a way around it, but I just don’t see how.  I can’t really take the meals to work because the trip in will cause them to melt.  I’m just going to have to try to pack a healthy lunch (which I have been doing) and actually eating it (which I haven’t been).  At least I haven’t put any weight on, and am sitting right on 90kgs, which is still the lowest I’ve been in a long time.  I just can’t seem to get under it.

Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, working in the city and catching public transport is at least giving me more exercise.  I’m averaging anywhere from 6-9000 steps a day, up from an average of 4-5000.  I also run up and down a huge flight of stairs many times a day, and each time I can feel that I’m getting slightly less breathless.  Maybe sometime soon I won’t even get winded at all.

Last night after Taylor Swift, I checked my step count and I’d done almost 15000 steps for the day.  That’s blown my previous record of 9000 out of the water.  I guess that’s what happens when you go to work then walk to and from the concert.  I was really happy that I wasn’t even winded after the walk back.  I mean, I know it was cold and we weren’t walking particularly fast, but it would have been a good couple of kilometres (maybe more).  I really do feel like I’m getting fitter, slowly but surely.  Yay!

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Screenshot of my fitness tracker prior to my walk back

Anyway, I think that about wraps up everything worth talking about.  How’s everything going with you?  Hope y’all had a good week too!

– JD

Time to Change – Day Sixty-Four

First off, I know I’ve been away for awhile.  I could say I was too busy but that’s not really true.  Honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to write.  It’s not writers block…I had plenty of stuff I could have written on, I just had no motivation to do it.  I wasn’t going to force myself to do it because I know that’s a surefire way to burn myself out all together and I really enjoy blogging generally, so I didn’t want to risk that.  I’ll try and write more this week!

Anyway, it’s been so long since I wrote that I feel like I don’t know where to start.  I left off getting ready for an upcoming wedding of one of my best friend’s sisters.  The wedding was really nice, outside in a Heritage Listed property in it’s fancy gardens.  The only issue I (and most people) had was that where we were sitting was in direct sunlight, so it was kind of uncomfortable squinting to see what was going on.  Oh, and there weren’t enough seats, which is kind of weird.  Both things that the venue would have been in charge of, I’d assume, so they probably should have known better and pre-planned to accomodate it.  The reception was held in the same venue but in a hall.  They used wooden Scrabble pieces to spell out people’s names (which was really cute) and had a little bag of custom lollies with their names and their wedding date on them.  The food was really nice too, though in typical Wedding fashion, was really small.  I had prawns as an entree (three of them), duck for main (one small leg) and creme brule for dessert (this was the biggest meal of the three, and the first time I’d had it.  It was nice).  I was worried the whole day I’d get a headache, as big outings like this generally trigger them (I have no idea why) and I’d forgotten to pack painkillers.  Right on cue at about dinner time, the first symptoms had started.  I think maybe my blood sugar was low, and the champagne wasn’t helping, because once I’d eaten dessert the headache went away pretty quickly.

It was awesome hanging out with two of my best friends, and we all looked so dressed up and mature.  Mature isn’t something we really pride ourselves on when we’re together though, so after dessert we headed off to the closest Pancake Parlour to eat a proper meal.  I love Pancake Parlour.  Sure, everything is full of sugar or fat but it tastes so amazing!  Plus, several of the shops are open 24/7, which has come in handy a couple of times in my life.  It was a great day, all in all, aside from the fact it was held on a Sunday night and I had work the next morning.  Surprisingly, despite going to bed hours later than usual, I pulled up okay.  Win!

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My favourite meal from Pancake Parlour – Chocolate Chip Pancakes!

Speaking of food, my diet once again flew out the window this week.  I started buying lunch again and while I could have found a lot more unhealthy options, the stuff I bought still wasn’t great.  I don’t even know why I started buying lunch, as I’d packed food.  It’s a slippery slope though, and once I started, I wound up doing it every day.  My diet over the weekend hasn’t been much better either.  At least my dinner’s (aside from last night) have all been Lite n Easy ones, so I didn’t go completely crazy.

My diet properly starts again tomorrow, to coincide with my starting work at my real store, after training up for over a month at a different one.  It was sad saying goodbye to everyone there, and they all had such nice things to say to me considering I’d only been there for a short time.  I even got flowers and a cake!  I doubt I’d have gotten that at my old job after five years.

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It’ll be really weird rocking up to a new store and team tomorrow.  I mean, I knew it was coming but I’ve gotten so used to the team at the other store.  I’ve met a handful of people from my real store but given how many staff are going to be working there, I feel like it’s going to take my a long time to meet everyone, and even longer to remember their names.

We aren’t opening officially until Tuesday week, so in the lead up to that we’re doing dress rehearsals and dry runs to get a feel for the store and make sure everything works correctly and flows like it should.  I’m glad they’ve included this (even though I initially laughed at it) because it means I’m not jumping directly from one store to the other and had to try to adjust straight away.  I had a bit of time to work out the differences (and there’s going to be a lot of them) and to settle into the new team.

As it’s in the city, I know my step count is automatically going to be higher than it has been while working in a shopping centre, so I’m just going to make sure I eat healthy and hopefully my diet will get back on track.  In preparation, I bought myself a lunchbox and a big glass water bottle.  While I’m sure the new store will have fridges and a water fountain (hell, they’re even giving us access to a free squishy machine in the back room!), I know if I rely on that stuff, I’ll be tempted to leave my lunch in the fridge and go buy food instead, and I’ll forget to drink water.  If I’m lugging it to and from work, I think I’ll be more inclined to eat it.

All weekend I’ve been rekindling my love for SimCity 4.  I know a lot of people think it’s terrible (and parts of it definitely are) but overall, once you get used to the interface, it’s fun and interesting and full of challenges.  I initially played it when it first came out, but got frustrated with their unreliable servers causing the game to drop out and not save sometimes hours worth of progress, and eventually gave up.  I briefly got back into it when the expansion pack was released but that didn’t last long either.  It had been so long since I played it, I initially struggled to remember where everything was (there are so many menus and buttons) and had to google where to find things.  Eventually though, it all came back to me and I started playing properly again.  The servers seem a lot better now (so it should, the game has been out for two years now!) but online isn’t as fun any more because it doesn’t have many active players.  Luckily that isn’t an imperative part of it so it was still fun.  So much so I lost about twelve hours (probably more) of my weekend to it.  That’s also another reason why I didn’t blog – I knew I should, but I just couldn’t switch off the game.  I found ways to make heaps of money so it was a lot of fun spending it all then trying to juggle the repercussions of it.

The other part of my weekend was spent watching YouTube tutorials on how to use my hair straightener to curl my hair.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to learn forever (as my family friend/hairdresser used to do it to my hair and I’d never managed to replicate it).  I had moderate success with it after watching the tutorials, though I’m still not great at it.  I’ll practice it a bit more as I think I want my hair done nicely for the store’s grand opening.  I’ve got a week and a bit to get it down pat!

I don’t think much else is new.  I’ll definitely update you on how tomorrow (and the rest of the week) goes, both with the new store and my diet! 🙂

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Four

Today I had training in the city.  Training I’d already done twice before.  Despite that, my day went okay.  I woke up extra early to finish cleaning in preparation for the inspection that was happening today while I was at work.  I then got ready and raced out the door to the bus stop.

The morning was a bit crazy, as I’d gone to the normal building we usually have training in, to find nobody there.  After asking another colleague who was already with the trainer where he was, it turns out they were in a different building up the road (the building, it turns out, where I had my original interview for the job all those weeks ago).  I wasn’t the only person who made that mistake…it seems like half group did.  By the time everyone finally found their way to the right address, the session was already 15 minutes behind.  What a mess.

Anyway, we had one of the trainers that I’d had through my induction and he’s really good (and kind of cute) so that was fun, despite the boring topics that I could practically recite in my sleep.  We had a lot of laughs and, best of all, got let out over an hour early.  I love love love getting out early as it means I’m not crammed into a peak hour train, and I get home quicker.  So much win!

I also got confirmation that I’m going to be at my temporary store for another week, which I’m really happy about as the manager there already told me if I was going to be with them, he was changing my roster to 9-5 every day, instead of the obscure late shifts I’d been given.  So happy!  I hate late shifts so this works out fantastically.  Plus, I’ve come to really like the team there so spending another week with them is going to be great.

My food for the day was pretty good.  After all the early morning cleaning, I ran out of time for breakfast so I grabbed a Boost Juice on the way to training.  I accidentally ordered a large one instead of small, but only managed to get through about half (which is why I wanted a small one in the first place!  Whoops).  I had banana bread for morning tea…probably my worst food choice of the day, but I think that makes today a good one.  I could have done a lot worse!  For lunch, I got dragged out to the local food court (I’d bought lunch but I didn’t want to carry it around with me).  I’ll admit, I was extremely tempted to buy fast food.  It all smelt so good!  But my colleague insisted we eat healthy (luckily) so we got yoghurt instead.  I also got a diet coke, but I couldn’t even manage to get through half the bottle.  I really am turning a corner!

During the afternoon, the guy who was supposed to inspect my house (and whom I’d been cleaning for the past three days for) told me that he’d forgotten to bring the spare keys and would I be home to let him in later?  I told him there’s no chance of that so he had to reschedule.  Urgh, seriously?!  You had one job!  Bring the keys!  Very irritating as now I’m gonna have to do a big vacuum and whatnot next Wednesday too.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually don’t mind vacuuming, but trying to get all the hair up is a big job…and by next week it’ll be like I never did it.  Living with a golden retriever basically means you live in a house constantly confetti’d with fur.  Especially if you don’t have time (or patience) to constantly stay on top of it.

After getting home, I was really craving junk again.  Fish and chips in particular.  This has always been one of my absolute favourite meal choices, so it was very hard to shake the craving.  I just tried to force it out of my mind, and decided I’d just make Lite n Easy Crumbed Fish instead.  It’s basically the boring, healthy version of fish and chips, but with a bucketload of veggies on the side.  This was probably one of the worst LnE meals I’ve had, though I guess that’s more because my mind was wanting me to tuck into greasy, salty fish and chips and it got bland fish and veggies instead.  Anything would seem bad when it’s put like that!

As I caught public transport, my step count finished up at over 7500, which is really good for me!  And on top of that, because I had a decent day, my calorie count was under my daily goal limit for the first time in a long while.  Hells yeah!

Today I also – finally – got my old blog posts back from MySpace, written back when I was 15-19, all 75 of them.  I’ve only had a chance to read through a few of them (they send it to you in a basic format so it’s absolutely littered with HTML code so it makes it difficult to decipher), but it bought back so many memories!  So many adventures, long-gone worries and friends I don’t speak to any more.  Also, so many cringeworthy things I told the world about back then.  I’ve got a couple I want to share with you, but that will have to wait.  It’s really late and I have work tomorrow.  Stay tuned though, they’ll be coming!
(Side note, if any of you used to post on MySpace, I’d recommend requesting for them back.  So good to have access to them now that the website doesn’t show them through profiles or support blogging any more!  Embarrassing or not, I hate knowing parts of me are gone.)

How was your day today?

-JD

Time to Change – Day Forty-Seven

Well, today was definitely better than yesterday!  I’m feeling pretty good right now about everything.  I’m even feeling wide awake, unusual for this hour.

I had my second day of training in the city.  Unlike yesterday, the trip in was wonderfully uneventful, aside from the fact it was raining so I had to drive to the bus stop.  Not a huge deal, though it did eat into my usual step count a little.  I arrived in the classroom right on time, and only one other person was there, so technically the 15 or so others were late.  After the dramas of yesterday, that made me feel awesome!

The training itself was okay.  It wasn’t as interesting as yesterday overall, but it wasn’t totally boring either.  It was more revolving around sales and customer service techniques that I’d learnt at induction, but it was a good kind of refresher.  On top of that, there was a lot of group work so I got to know my future workmates a bit better, so that was cool.

For the most part, I ate really well today.  I started the morning with yoghurt and strawberries, blueberries and Chia seeds (I made sure I allowed myself time for it today!).  For lunch I had sultanas, an apple and light n crispy shapes – the same as yesterday, as that seemed to work well.  As an afternoon snack I was a bit naughty again and ate chocolate, but as I previously spoke about, it helps me get through all-day training sessions without getting a migraine.

The weather had been miserable all day, and we got a great view of it out the 14th story window. During the afternoon – towards the end of the session – news broke that there’d been damaging storms in some areas and a tornado warning IN MY SURBURB.  I know I have a lot of readers from outside Australia so to you, that might not seem that crazy.  Tornadoes very rarely happen down under.  When they do, they most often happen in warmer climates such as Cairns or Queensland, and mostly happen in winter.  I’ve never heard of one happening in Melbourne, in Spring, in a very non-coastal area.  Especially when there’d been absolutely no lead up or prewarning.  I wasn’t even aware it was set to storm today, much less THAT.

I knew the media had a very good track record of blowing things out of proportion (no pun intended) so I wasn’t too worried.  I’d seen some blurry cam pics on social media of the tornado and while there was no denying it was one (or at least, looked like it), the pictures didn’t show it being near any populated areas.  It’s not to say it wasn’t, I just didn’t want to stress over it, as the media hadn’t reported any damage to property or injuries to people, and they love to report that kind of stuff.

We got let out early from training after we struck up a deal with the trainer, so I was already on my way home by 5.  By then, the rain had completely cleared and it was blue skies and sunny.  I’m sure people think it’s an exaggeration when they hear “Melbourne can have 4 seasons in one day”.  It’s not.  If you had of flown in at 4.30pm today and someone told you there had been massive storms and tornadoes just hours before, you would have looked up at the pretty sky and warm sunshine and laughed at them.  I walked onto my morning train damp and sticky from rain, I got off my afternoon train sweating.  I’ve grown up with this crazy weather nonsense my whole life and I still can’t believe it.

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These were taken within a couple of hours of each other!

Anyway, I digress.  As I got off the train, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’ve only ever seen tornado damage on huge scales on TV.  Hell, even big storms can leave trees upended and cars damaged.  Instead (as I half-suspected earlier), aside from some puddles, there was absolutely no evidence anything had happened at all.  The station looked exactly as it had 10 hours prior, everyone at the station looked calm and unhurt.  Maybe it didn’t affect this particular area, I thought, just in case I got home to half my house gone.

I looked intently out the window the whole bus trip, expecting at some point to see some damage.  Nothing.  No trees – or even branches – out of place, no construction sites upended, no roads flooded.  Nothing.  It looked like maybe there had been a sunshower awhile ago and that was it.  Very anti-climactic, although I’m not complaining.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of a random tornado blowing through my front door when I wasn’t home.

I was also relieved to see my big Lite N Easy order sitting neatly on my front door mat.  I was firstly worried it might have gotten damaged (or blown away completely) in the weather.  I was also concerned someone might steal it.  I guess the first problem kept the second one from being much of an issue.

I was so excited to open up the box and put it all away, and to pick my first meal.  I was starving and spoilt for choice.  I still couldn’t believe all these options were so healthy.  After filling up my freezer, I decided it was gonna be good old mac and cheese tonight.  7 mins in the microwave and it was done!

I was extremely surprised by it.  Firstly, the portion size was great.  It made about as much as your typical box of M&C, but with about half the calories.  Very filling.  Secondly, the taste.  While I don’t think I’ve ever really had proper home made M&C to compare it with (it’s just not treated with the same appreciation as I hear it is in the States), I can tell you it tastes a lot better than any pre-packaged stuff I’ve had.  “Of course it does”, I hear you cry.  Keep in mind, not only is this low-cal, but comes frozen.  In my mind the risk was pretty high it’d be on par with packet stuff, or potentially worse.  Instead, it was some of the best I’ve had!  If all my Lite n Easy meals are this good, they’ll have a customer for a long time to come.  I don’t want to get too carried away just yet though.  I’ll give my final verdict after I’ve had at least a few more meals!

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So overall, a good day.  Due to driving to the bus stop my step count was under 6000, but I think that can be forgiven since apparently it’s tornado season in my area.  I punched in all my food into MyFitnessPal and basically broke even, so I’m not complaining.  If it wasn’t for the chocolate I’d be well under!  Still, I’m not complaining.  This is the healthiest day I’ve had in about a fortnight and I feel like I’m slowly getting back on track!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Thirty-Five

I can’t remember a time where I’ve appreciated a weekend more.  At least, not in the past year or so.  I can’t believe how tired work makes me.  I guess it’s just trying to learn so many new things at once (coupled by the way the shop heats up so by the end of the shift I feel sweaty and sticky and horrible) but it still surprises me how draining it is after doing a similar job for so long.

Yesterday was another good day.  Aside from maybe an hour, I worked independently and fairly confidently.  Everyone is super friendly there and are all really easy to talk to and ask questions, which is really helping.  I wound up putting through two contracts and had three add-ons for the day.  The add-ons I’m especially proud of as I feel confident in selling them and processing them now, which I’m happy about as I feel like without knowing that, I’m dragging the store down with the contracts I was doing.  Plus, I feel like it’s another big thing I can tick off my ‘Need to Learn’ checklist.

I was practically running for the exit at the end of my shift.  I was so pumped to be heading home for a relaxing couple of days.  I had a long sleep in this morning, then went out to lunch with my best friend.  It was nice to catch up, and I got some extra steps in walking around the shopping centre.  I came home, tried to tackle my overflowing TV shows that had been piling up all week, then had a long soak in the tub.

I also decided to bite the bullet and update my Facebook details to reflect my new job.  I know this may sound mundane and not worth mentioning, but it was a big deal for me.  Initially I wasn’t going to change it until after my probation (that’s still my plan for LinkedIn) but the original reason for me not updating it is so the people who threw me under the bus at my last job didn’t know where I was working.  Well, that lasted a whole 3 days now that I’m working two shops away.  Plus, I don’t have any of them on Facebook anyway and my profile is set to “Friends Only” for everything.  On top of all that, in the week I’d been working in store, I’d had quite a few people spot me and come in and say hi.  I figured it was about time everyone was let in on the change so I didn’t have to tell them individually.  I just hope updating it doesn’t lead to issues down the line (my new job doesn’t know I got fired), but I’m 95% it’ll be fine.  I deleted anyone who I thought might be an issue prior to doing it.  I feel better for updating it, as it felt weird having my profile still saying I worked at my old work after how it all ended.  I didn’t really want to be associated with that place any more.  I’m trying very hard to close that chapter and this is another step towards it.  Plus, now I’m slowly adding people from my new job, I was worried it would be confusing to them if it isn’t accurate.  Can you tell I’m an overthinker?

Tomorrow is housework, a walk and grocery shopping…after another long sleep in, that is.  I can’t seem to even make a dent in my sleep debt but I’m going to give it a good crack!

After I go grocery shopping I’m going to get back on my healthy eating plan.  It’s been a terrible week with what I’ve eaten and how little I’ve been exercising and I need to get my focus back.  I refuse to fall off the wagon completely.  This is just a bump in the road.  I need to keep it up so that in the future, I don’t have to look back and wish I did.

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-JD

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

Time to Change – Day Twenty-Five

So, I’ve had a massive couple of days.  It’s exhausting going from zero to a hundred in the space of a week.  It feels weird to think this time last week I was sitting around all day, and now I can barely catch my breath.  It’s good and I’m enjoying being employed again, but it’s hard to get used to and even harder to find time to write (especially because my TV shows are already starting to pile up and get out of control, argh!).

Yesterday was pretty good.  My ears were still giving me grief but I made an effort to keep my painkillers topped up instead of letting it get out of hand then battling to get it under control.  I was in induction again, and it went well.  All the people in there were really friendly and fun, and the trainers were awesome.  I’ve been in a lot of crappy training sessions in my time, but this wasn’t one of them.  The day’s focus was on products, which is something I didn’t know much about in terms of telco-specific stuff, but I knew a lot about in it the broader sense.  I still feel like I have a lot to learn about the products they offer, but I’m not letting myself get too overwhelmed or concerned by that stuff.  I know it’s easy to get lost in it, but realistically you can fake-it-til-you-make-it with the help of computers and brochures and stuff.

Public transport is definitely a challenge.  I’ve done it before (in fact, I did it for a month this time last year) and I’d rather PT than driving into the city and paying through the nose for parking, but it’s certainly different.  Firstly, you have to get to the station, which is always a longer walk than it would be to a car park.  Not necessarily a bad thing as it gets my step count up, though adds to my exhaustion at the end of the day.  Then you wait for the train.  Then you get on and it’s peak hour so there’s no seats and barely even anything to hold onto so you’re basically focusing entirely on not falling over as the train lurches around.  You know if you do fall, it’ll be like human dominoes and you certainly don’t want to be the one that causes it.  After 45 minutes you finally arrive at your station, then get off and hurry to the waiting bus (praying it doesn’t leave before you get there).  You get on and hope he doesn’t take off until you’ve sat down, lest you fall flat on your face (I’ve done it before).  Twenty minutes later, you get off the bus and walk about a kilometre home, avoiding big trees so you won’t get swooped by crazy mother magpies.

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Seriously, I hate the fucking things.  Then again, I hate most birds so that isn’t really saying much.  Still, there isn’t much that scares me more than the sound of flapping fast approaching and the thought of claws and wings suddenly attacking you from behind.  You ask any Australian what they hate about spring time and chances are this will make it into their top three.

Anyway, I digress.  After getting up super early, battling public transport in the morning, doing training all day, battling even worst public transport at night, I get home absolutely wiped.  I didn’t get the chance to rest yesterday though.  I jumped straight into the car and headed to the doctors to see what they thought was going on with my ears.  I always arrive early and I always wonder why.  I always seem to land the ones that are miles behind.  The doctor next to her saw six separate people to my doctor’s two.  She was half an hour behind, so I didn’t get in there until 7.30.  At least she was thorough with her questioning.  We basically got nowhere though.  She said it wasn’t ear infections (surprisingly) and thought it might be part of an ongoing migraine, which I wasn’t so sure about even though when it first started it coincided with one.  Then she dropped the bombshell – she said if it was from a migraine, I should get a needle to hopefully fix it.

Wait what.

I hate needles.  I was totally blindsided by it.  I didn’t even know migraine needles were a thing, and even if I had of, I didn’t think what I had was a migraine.  So I get sent to another waiting area then ushered into a nurse’s station.  She tried to brush it off as nothing but I mean, hello, you’re sticking something into my skin.  That isn’t nothing!  Still, after getting a wisdom tooth out recently, I knew this wasn’t gonna be anywhere near as bad as two needles in my gum.  It was okay.  The needle itself didn’t hurt at all until the very end, but for the rest of the night my whole arm was so sore.  I was paranoid it would become stiff like it did once when I was a kid (though I had a feeling as a kid I probably didn’t move it at all for fear of pain and that caused issues).

So, after all that, I got home at about 8.15, tired, hot, sore and hungry.  Not the ideal end to the day.  By the time I fed the dog and got changed, it was 8.30.  I had half a bag of popcorn for dinner, watched one episode of the Block then went to bed and fell heavily asleep.  I haven’t slept like that (without drugs) for a long time.  It was one of those sleeps where you wake up and it feels like five minutes ago you crawled into bed.  While it probably means it was a good sleep, it isn’t a nice feeling because it’s like you never got to appreciate the time between work.

I battled PT again today, and had my last day of induction.  It’s funny, as I said I’ve had heaps of trainings before in my life with people I don’t know, but it’s never felt as friendly as this.  We all got on really well and had a lot of laughs.  We even added each other on Facebook at the end of it.  I think it has a lot to do with the cool people who ran it – they were just as friendly and awesome, and really set the tone for the whole training.  Today was focused mainly on systems and tying up loose ends.  I think overall I liked this day the most as I’m a bit of a systems nerd and really enjoy that aspect of work, and getting to play with all the different features.  We didn’t go in depth at all today but we saw what was possible and what we’d learn about in the future once we get into store and it seemed pretty awesome (albeit confusing and complicated).

After finally getting home, I had to leave straight away (again!), this time to go grocery shopping, which I’d been putting off for a couple of days.  Once again, I wasn’t home until after 7.30.  At least I’ve now had a chance to catch up on a few TV episodes and relax a little.  I’ll probably had a bath later on, before resting up and doing something similar tomorrow – induction might be over but now it’s compliance training, which is going to be dry and long and boring.  At least I should be able to smash through it, after doing all this at my previous work.  I’m looking forward to getting my roster for the next month and seeing where I’ll be put to train up prior to my store opening.  Hopefully it’s close by.

In terms of my diet, it went out the window this week.  Honestly, while I know I should be focusing on it and keeping it up, I just didn’t have the energy.  I had so much else going on that what I was putting in my mouth just didn’t make it onto the list.  I fell back into old habits hard.  I think once I know the gameplan I can mentally prepare a bit better and work out how I’m going to tackle it, but right now with everything so up in the air, it’s just too difficult.  This is pretty much how it was this week:

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At least working in the city and using public transport has automatically lifted my step count to an average of between 5000-7000 a day.  I haven’t had a chance to go on my walk (I feel bad for my dog who has kind of been shafted – one week I’m there and walking her every day and the next I’m out of the house heaps and not walking her).  I will make an effort to start the exercise back up once I get my roster and know where I’m working.  I know I need to stick to it, it’s just a lot harder now to find time for everything.

My ears are still sore, but I’ve cut back on the painkillers a little bit, and it’s coming and going more now instead of being constant.  I don’t know if that’s because of the injection or just because whatever’s going on is fixing itself.  I feel like it’s probably the latter – I even told the GP I didn’t think it was from migraine pain because I get migraines heaps and they’ve never been like that.  I don’t really care what the issue is, I just need to feel better.  Being sick on top of all this is making everything even more stressful and exhausting.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, even if it’s going to be boring.  I really think I’m going to enjoy the job once I get settled in, and I can appreciate it after losing one and then hating the next one I got.  Really makes you want to do well once you find something you like!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Twenty-Three

So, today was my first day at my new job.  It was induction so nothing too scary.  I wasn’t really nervous at all.  I’ve found that happening a lot lately.  Things that should have me shaking in my boots don’t phase me at all any more.  Not sure whether it’s a sign of maturity or just me being more non-chelount.

That being said, I slept horribly last night.  I woke up what felt like continuously.  Very frustrating.  It was made worse by me knowing I needed sleep, and began a vicious cycle of stressing about not sleeping and therefore not being switched off enough to sleep.  Maybe subconsciously I was nervous?  I don’t know.

Anyway, the day started off pretty cruisy.  I didn’t start until 11.30, so I took my time getting ready.  I got on the bus at 9.30 and was in the city by 10.30.  It was as I was getting off the train I realized I’d gotten in an hour early instead of half an hour.  I’m still not sure how I managed that, because I checked half a dozen times prior to it that it started at 11.30.  Yet somehow, my brain automatically thought 11 when I was planning everything.  I decided I’d get a smoothie (I got a large but I don’t know why I did.  I always forget how much is in them.  I barely managed to get through half so it wound up being less than 200 calories in the end).  I wandered around for a bit but I hate the city and being in such a crowded place, so I quickly found a seat and waited it out.

The induction started okay.  I was one of two people who had worked in the industry previously, so most of what they went through was stuff that had already been drilled into me previously.  I guess that was lucky because the migraine I’d had on and off decided then was the perfect time to come back with a vengeance.  Luckily it was almost lunchtime by then.  I spent half the break in the toilet covering my eyes from the light and hoping nobody noticed how long the cubicle had been locked for.  I honestly would have sat there the whole break except I thought I’d probably better find some food.  The painkillers I’d taken had taken the edge off by then, so I headed to the closest place I could find.  Oportos.  Hmmm, not my first choice but it would do.  I ordered my all time favourite comfort food – hot chips – and took them back up to the classroom to eat, worried I was running out of time thanks to the guy taking ten minutes to get my order done. (Seriously, ten minutes for some fries!  It wasn’t even busy!  Are you freaking kidding me?).

I downed some more painkillers before the class started back, vowing I’d go to the doctors that night.  I don’t like having to take so many but it was either that or go home sick…and that just wasn’t an option on a first day.

I survived the rest of the day.  The migraine stayed at bay, though I could feel it trying to overpower the drugs.  I started to feel it again on the train home, but it wasn’t enough to concern me.  Once I started my walk home, I called the doctors who said they didn’t have any appointments tonight except for 10.40.  After the crappy night’s sleep last night there’s no way I was going to trek out at that time of night, so I made an appointment for tomorrow night instead.  I’m hoping it might clear up before then but it’s probably wishful thinking.

On the plus side, without going for my walk today, I clocked up over 7000 steps!  I usually average about 5000 including my walk so I was pretty happy about that.  Another plus was I officially start full time work as of today – as it was induction and the store I’ve been hired to work at isn’t opening until next month I wasn’t sure if there’d be a gap or not.  Turns out there isn’t!  Yay, time to be financially secure and independent again!

Anyway, I think that pretty much sums up my day.  I have a longer day tomorrow so I’m hoping I’m feeling better.  I feel like the doctor won’t have much else to say than “rest up” which isn’t going to happen right now.  Stupid body falling apart the second it’s called into action!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Twenty-One

I skipped yesterday.  I’d like to say it was an accident but truthfully, it wasn’t.  I had plenty of time to do it, but I just didn’t want to sit there and write that I had a lazy day.  That I could have gotten my exercise in but didn’t.  That I fed myself excuse after excuse about why I shouldn’t go yet until – oops – it’s nighttime.  I know one day isn’t going to matter so much and I sound like I’m being really harsh on myself but I know if I’m not, that everything will just slip back into the way it was.  I can’t afford for that to happen.  Part of me wants it to…a rather large part some days…but I don’t want to be known as the ‘fat friend’ forever.  It sucks.  Only I have the power to change that, I know that, but some days it’s just so hard to find motivation and energy to keep going.

I think a lot of the problem is, my weight isn’t changing.  I mean, it isn’t going up so that’s good, but the whole point is I want it to go down.  It’s been 3 weeks and I’ve only lost a kilo.  I’m fairly certain I’ve lost centimetres from my stomach, but because I didn’t think to measure before this started, I’m constantly doubting it.  I think I’m just at that kind of crossroad that inevitably happens when I try to diet.  Each time before this, I’ve always thrown in the towel at this point.  I certainly am on the boarderline of it now.  My carefully planned meals are slowly sneaking back to unhealthy options, my exercise is once again a chore…it’s certainly not a great headspace to be in.  I’m not giving in though.  I’ve come this far – further than pretty much any of my other attempts – and I know this all has to be helping my body in some way.  If nothing else, it’s stopping me from binging on junk food and making it worse…at best, it’s making me fitter and healthier.

Anyway, yesterday, as I said, was a lazy day.  I caught up on people’s blogs for a few hours, sat in the sun, watched TV.  Found out at dinnertime that there was a second season of Finding Carter that I never knew about (one of the pitfalls of living in Australia.  Everything is delayed.  I thought Foxtel had began rectifying the issue but apparently not).  I tracked down the episodes and watched four or five of them before bed.  Fell asleep to Inside Out (such a fantastic movie.  Oh how I love anything Pixar!).

Woke up this morning feeling guilty as hell about yesterday and telling myself that no matter what happens, I’m going for my walk today.  I wasn’t going to let myself give up.  The first thing I did was check my weather app, which told me it was going to be humid by lunchtime and then a good chance of rain all afternoon.  Right, morning walk it is then!  I got up, watched a couple more episodes of FC, then headed out.  It was another one of those days where I hated every step.  One of those days where you just want it to end before it’s even started.  I guess I should have expected it…it was windy, overcast, I felt guilty for not going yesterday, plus my body was probably feeling the affects of that too.  I got home, only to find out my Apple Watch had only logged half the walk.  Still not sure why.  I didn’t do anything differently and it’s never done it before.  Very annoying though, as I love looking back at my records when I need motivation, and now today’s looks like I didn’t get my exercise in when I did.  *sigh* That’s technology for ya.

I finished watching the rest of FC once I got home, then had a nap.  Woke up with a splitting headache and neck pain (though the neck pain is basically constant these days).  I took some pain killers and ran a bath.  I’m feeling okay now, though I can tell the migraine is still there, just hidden away under the effects of the medication.  I really wish I wasn’t so prone to them.  I’ve had them regularly ever since I was a kid.  They got worse when my eyesight started getting weaker, slightly improved once I got glasses, and now they’re back to being at least once a week, sometimes more.  Plus on top of that is this near-constant neck pain.  Once I get back on my feet financially again, I’m going to have to book myself into the osteotherapist.  I used to go a year or two back and they did help a bit, though I was going mostly for my back and shoulder pain (I’ve also got scoliosis, though it hadn’t bothered me too much for awhile now).  If only the sessions didn’t cost a small fortune, I’d go regularly.

Now I’m sitting here, waiting for the storms to come.  No rain at all as yet (thanks a lot weather app!) but the skies are finally getting darker and I think I’ll see some lightning tonight.  I love storms.  I love the craziness of them, the noise, the flashes of light, the sleeting rain.  Ever since I was little I’d hang out for them.  I’m glad my dog is okay with them…one of the dogs I grew up with hated them and would bark continuously until it was over.  That kind of ruined the magic of them a little bit.

Hope y’all had a productive day!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Nineteen

Today was great!  Okay, the morning wasn’t.  I had my second shift and it wasn’t much better than yesterday’s.  It still felt like all I do is move things from one side of the store to the other.  Plus, the traffic on the way there was horrible.  At least I remembered to wear comfortable shoes, unlike yesterday.

Luckily, I finally got in contact with the guy handling my other job application (after a serious round of phone tag) and he told me that I could be starting as early as next week, depending how quickly they can get the paperwork sorted.  That certainly made the rest of my day a lot better!  I can’t wait to never go back to the place I worked today.  Like I’ve mentioned previously, I do feel kind of bad about putting them out and just up and leaving, but ultimately I have to do what feels right and I can tell you right now, that job doesn’t.

I got home to a beautiful day, not too hot, but lovely and sunny.  I caught up on some TV then decided to go for my walk.  It was nice to be outside in the fresh air (as it always is) but I still really struggle under the sun.  You’d think now it’s been nice weather for a few weeks my body would start adjusting from winter-mode, but it isn’t.  Still, my tan is coming along nicely (probably better than it was at the end of summer last year, thanks to my workaholic ways and at-home-hermiting) and I feel like even if the scales aren’t moving, that I’m losing certimetres from my waist.

When I got home I was a little bit naughty and had pizza for dinner.  I know, it’s not good but I decided to treat myself after an awful couple of days, and I still managed to stay under my calorie limit for the day.  Plus, I hit over 8000 steps today, a new personal best!  Back onto the diet tomorrow!

Hope everyone had a great day 🙂

-JD