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 Fifty

Wow, fifty days since I set my mind to dropping weight.  Unfortunately it hasn’t gone as planned, and although I’ve lost a little bit, it’s nowhere near where I thought I’d be right now.  A lot of that is just me losing focus, though like I’ve talked about over the past week, I’m starting to regroup and get back on track.

Today was the start of my weekend this week, as I had to work yesterday.  I had a lot of plans, but in typical first-day-of-the-weekend fashion, I spent a majority of the day napping.  I skipped breakfast (I know, that’s not a good start, I have no excuse other than time got away from me and I couldn’t find the effort to make anything).  I headed off to my local nail salon to get my nails redone.  They usually last me between 3-4 weeks if I stretch it, but counting back, this particular refill only lasted two.  The main problem that I have is on one particular finger, whenever it gets slightly too long, the nail catches on absolutely everything.  I don’t know what it is about that finger, but it’s basically like gauge of when I need to get back to the salon, and the finger was hurting like crazy so off I went.

I have a wedding next weekend so I knew I had to pick something that would go with the dress I bought.  Plus, I’m always trying to avoid typical pink/red colours.  I figure if I’m paying for someone to do them, I don’t want them to look like I could have done them at home.  I know that even if they were pink, they’d still look professional, but it’s just a thing I have.  I can’t explain it.

Anyway, after seeing the girl get it next to me last time, I decided to go with a orange-coral colour.  When I first saw the girl getting it, I liked it but thought it wasn’t really my style.  As the time approached where I knew I’d have to get my nails redone, I started seriously thinking about the colour (I like to go in there with some kind of idea of what I want or I’m there for half an hour trying to decide).  I still wasn’t sure, but I decided I was going to try it.  I knew it would look nice with the dress I was going to wear to the wedding, plus I wanted to try to do something a bit out of my comfort zone.  I was used to having a normal colour topped with sparkles (which I still really like), but I’d done that for awhile and it was getting a little predictable.  When the girl had finished up, I was really happy with the colour.  Surprisingly happy.  I thought I’d be okay with it, but I wasn’t sure I’d love it, and I really do!  Plus, the girl sitting next to me saw the colour on my nails and changed her mind and decided she was getting the same colour instead of black which she’d originally requested.

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My favourite part about the polish is what it looks like while in the UV machine though.  I wish they made nail polish that glowed like this all the time!

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Apart from my trip to the nail salon, everything else has been fairly boring today.  I found some awesome new blogs, then fell asleep on the couch.  Tonight, I’m planning on doing some cleaning in preparation for the bi-yearly house inspection that’s happening on Thursday.  I’m having Lite n Easy Chicken Parma for dinner.  We’ll see how that goes.  My friend thinks it’s nice and the previous two meals I’ve had were really good, so hopefully this is too!  I’ve eaten pretty well today if you ignore the fact I didn’t eat breakfast.  I had saltanas and Savoy crackers with peanut butter for lunch.  My calorie count should be well and truely under today, which will make up a bit for yesterday’s cheat meal.

Oh, also worth mentioning, I jumped on the scale this morning (something I haven’t done all that frequently lately) and I’m almost back to the weight I was before I fell off the wagon.  Looks like my fortnight of not caring didn’t hinder my efforts too much, which is great.  I really think now that I’m eating portion-controlled, healthy meals for dinner (the main meal I had problems with), I will start losing weight steadily and not just in dribs and drabs.  I hope so, anyway.  It’s hard to find motivation when the scale stays the same!

Hope your day was just as relaxing as mine!
PS a big welcome to all the new followers from the past 48 hours 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Forty-Nine

I’m writing this in my car, pulled into a random side street a few kilometres from my house, waiting for my dad go come and save me.  My car is playing up big time and stalled on me while I was crossing a 4-lane Freeway.  Luckily I had a green light, luckily it was rolling just quick enough for me to get into the street before the lights changed, luckily there wasn’t anyone behind me.  Still, despite all that, I’m not feeling really lucky.  It’s times like this I wish I knew more about cars.  It’ll never happen though because to know about them you have to have at least a basic interest or passion in them and honestly, I don’t.  I can’t even pretend to.  When guys talk about cars my eyes glaze over and my mind starts to do this:

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This is why I either over react about things that don’t matter (like when my car was leaking oil and I dragged my dad 40 mins away to my house for him to say they probably just over filled it during the service it had just had) or I completely under react and assume if I just keep driving, the problem will fix itself (which is basically what happened in this instance…only it did not fix itself).  This is also why I asked my dad to come and look at the car today and not use roadside assist.  It’s one thing for dad to roll his eyes and tell me it’s nothing, it’s different if a professional comes out and has to point out you’ve overlooked something dumb (it’s happened before).

Even aside from the fact I’m stuck annoyingly-close-but-not-close-enough to my house right now, today hasn’t been the best day.  I woke up feeling pretty good, after falling asleep at 8pm on the couch when my time-of-the-month cramps let up for a little bit, then dragged myself to bed at 9.30.  I slept pretty solidly right  through til about 6.30, then remembered there’s no traffic on Saturdays and fell back asleep.  Woke up with just enough time to get dressed and organised but not to eat breakfast (gahhh) and rushed off to work – the first Saturday I’ve had to work in months.  I was dreading it because I know how crazy my old work was on Saturdays, and my new work was always at least double that on a normal day.

I was greeted by the manager who I hadn’t seen for over a week, and he made me feel a little better about the day, though whole heartedly agreed it was going to be chaos.  Despite that, he was so cheerful that it made me feel good.  We need more people like that, I think.  They’re who you want around on hard-to-get-out-of-bed mornings.

Anyway, the day went okay I guess.  Crazy busy by lunchtime but thankfully the floor manager (aka the conceirge) was on the ball and putting everyone on the list and advising of the long wait time.  I can’t stress enough how wonderful floor managers are.  We had a good one at my old work too, but prior to telco introducing them, it was bedlam on busy days.  Everyone just had to cue up and wait, and they never knew how long they’d be in line for.  They also weren’t acknowledged or greeted or thanked for waiting.  As a staff member at that time you were so focused on getting your customer in and out it just never occurred to you to do any of that as people waited.  Then you’d finally get to the people in line and they were already in filthy moods before the interaction even happened.  Now, with the floor manager greeting everyone who walks in, filtering the customers between one-minute jobs (bill payments, recharges, simple tech issues) and longer issues (contracts, bill disputes, more complex tech problems), it means everyone is spoken to, advised of the appropriate wait time, and allowed to leave and come back.  It makes the customers happy they’re acknowledged, and they love that we aren’t taking up huge chunks of their day making them wait, especially bill payers who would otherwise be stuck behind all sorts of longer issues (personally I don’t understand why anyone under about 60 needs to come into a store to pay a bill these days anyway but that’s beside the point).

Having everyone on a list meant that the franticness and pressure of a weekend shift is lifted a little, as there aren’t dozens of people greedily eyeing you off as you wrap up with your current customer.  It also means everyone can take a lunch break without feeling guilty or people huffing and puffing as you walk out of the store.

So that part of the day went okay.  The store got so hot though.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it previously but oh god, does this store heat up.  My other store did too, but not like this.  Everyone sweats even on cool days, and it’s made worse when it’s busy as there are more bodies (staff and customers) in the space.  It’s horrible.

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So, I got interrupted because my dad arrived.  And just like I’d fully expected, he drove it to the petrol station then the rest of the way to my place without so much as a hint of stalling or issues with getting into gear.  Trust.  My dad knows a bit about cars (he used to race them when he was younger – which explains where I get my lead foot from 😉 – and his brother is a mechanic) but he didn’t really have much to say except maybe I’d just bought cheap dirty fuel and it was causing issues.  As I was on a bit of a budget until now, this is potentially true.  Honestly, I can’t remember what I filled up with last time.  I know I used a gift card so I’d have assumed I’d have put the high quality stuff in, but I may not have in an effort to stretch the voucher.  I know right back when the car was brand new, bad fuel caused issues as well, so I’m not ruling it out.  Dad filled it with premium (which I generally do) and said the whole way home it ran fine.  Honestly, I don’t care what was causing the issue, as long as it doesn’t keep coming back.  Or if it must come back, not temporarily so everyone thinks I’m crazy!

Oh wait.  I just remembered I didn’t fill up at my usual place last time.  I filled up near work.  And I don’t remember what I put in but it very well could have been cheap stuff.  God, I’m so stupid.  I never really trusted that place (though I never had any issues for the years I’ve been going there) so maybe dad is right.  I hope so.  Easy fix if it is, as I won’t be driving past that petrol station much longer anyway!

Anyway, where was I before the interruption?  Right, work.  So, overall the day went about as well as I expected.  Busy, but under control, and really hot and uncomfortable.  I really hope my new store is wonderfully temperature-controlled.  I figure it probably will be since it’s not part of a shopping complex.  Looking forward to that!

I was naughty on the way home.  I’ve said previously I have very little self-control with food.  I ate well for lunch (after skipping breakfast), but I couldn’t resist Maccas on the way home.  I know, I’m supposed to be dieting.  I am going to eat well all weekend (having very little junk at home, that isn’t going to be too difficult) so I saw it as a cheat meal.  I know my trigger is being in the car, after a long day (and a long week), driving past my regular Maccas.  I know that very soon I won’t have this trigger any more, so this could be one of the last times I let it get the better of me.  As much as I love Maccas, I’m relieved that I won’t have to constantly fight my temptations on the way home every day.  But you’ll be passing Maccas on your way home from your new store!  I hear you cry.  You aren’t wrong.  The difference is, firstly, that’s not part of a bad routine I’ve let myself get into, so the temptation isn’t anywhere near as strong, and secondly, I don’t want to be one of those people eating on the train.  I also don’t want to be the sadcase sitting in a fast food restaurant by myself.  I know there will be times where my workmates want to eat out – and on those occasions I probably will too – but I feel like this isn’t going to be a super regular thing so I’m not too concerned.

I think the first point is the strongest though.  If it isn’t part of a routine or habit, I generally don’t have any issue with it.  A Maccas opened up about 3kms from my house, and you’d think I’d eat there all the time, but I’ve never eaten there.  Although I see it on the way home, I have to go out of my way to get it, which I just wouldn’t do.  I also made a conscious effort to make sure I didn’t eat there so that it didn’t form a habit.  I’m going to try to do that where possible with the places near my work too.  I’m going to bring my lunch each day, and as much as possible, go straight home after work.  The less food I buy there, the better.  I know this is all just talk at the moment, and it’s easier said than done, but I think I can do it.  It’s a chance to have a fresh start.  I built up a lot of bad habits in my five-and-a-half years in this shopping centre and surrounding area, whereas I’ve never worked in the city.

What else is new today?  Well, I woke up with a sore ear (again).  This one I think is self-inflicted.  I have a bad habit (there’s that word again!) of cleaning my ears frequently with cotton buds.  I know, I know, that’s really bad.  That’s why I think it’s self-inflicted.  It happens every now and again, and gets really sore, then clears up within a few days.  You’d think I’d learn but because I’m so used to cleaning them, I find it very hard to stop.  Plus, they get really itchy if I let wax build up.  I need to kick this habit too, but it’s just part of my routine.  Still, if I can shake the fast food addition, I can easily do the same with this!

I’m gonna wrap this up here by saying I’m so glad it’s finally the weekend.  It seems like it was Monday an eternity ago.  I’m getting my nails redone tomorrow, then I have to clean the house as I’ve got an inspection on Thursday.  I hate inspections so much, but at least I started cleaning last weekend so it’s not such a huge job.  It’s still big as I avoid cleaning at all costs normally, just not as big as it often is.  At least the backyard looks nice.  That’s usually the main issue they have, but the grass got mowed on Tuesday so it’s not out of control!

Happy weekend, y’all!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Forty-Eight

Today is being written of as another good one.  It’s funny that the days slated to be the most boring of the week have become some of the best.  Don’t get me wrong, even the best training sessions in the world are still classroom-based and at least moderately sleep-enducing, but this course (can three days be considered a course?  Hmmm) was definitely one of the better I’ve done.  So far I’m very impressed with the quality of the trainers my new job employs.  World’s apart from a large portion of the trainers at my old job.  I suppose it also comes down to the content as well, and I have found both three-day “courses” I’ve attended so far at this job have content worth learning.

Anyway, where was I?  Today’s training was focused on tying up lose ends for the previous two days, as well as introducing us to a few more sales tools we’ll have at our disposal.  I love sales tools.  The more they can throw at me, the better.  I’m lazy in every sense of the word (hence the weight issue), and sales tools save me time and energy.  I’m seriously excited my new store is going to be bursting at the seams with them.  I can’t wait to get in there and mess around with them and put them through their paces.

We also learnt about an existing product that I hadn’t really learnt much about yet.  It was really good to have to broken down and the differences thoroughly explained, as I really feel like I can now see the benefits for customers and I can properly sell it.  It’s not a product that was offered at my old job, and one that is very underused and not spoken about at the store I’m working at now.  I don’t blame them for not teaching me, as the product isn’t something you’d sell (or even mention) to some customers, but I really want to start talking about it more now I know about it.

We wrapped up the training with a pep talk and group activity led by my new store manager.  As I wasn’t interviewed by her and I haven’t worked in store with her yet, I only really know her by face and name.  She knows who I am well enough to say hi in passing (she may or may not remember my name).  It doesn’t bother me, given she’s now a store leader of 90 odd staff (at least 20 of them newbies), but it was really nice to hear her story and how she wants the new store to run.  She’s really big on store culture and making it a focus, which I think is fantastic as it would be really easy for a store that big to fall into a mess of cliques, chaos and gossip.  None of that leads to a workplace anyone wants to come in to each day.

She seems really friendly and down-to-earth.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her a bit better.  I’m also hoping to let her (or someone else who can address it) know that I’m looking to be trained up in other areas.  The new store is full of people who specialise in things.  I’m not really picky about what to be trained in (the more, the merrier!), I just don’t like being seen as “just another full timer”.  I know I just started so for the moment I’m trying not to let it bother me, but I know pretty soon I’m going to start getting restless.  Coming from management in my old job, it’s tough to feel like you’ve taken a step backward.  I’m trying my best not to look at it that way, as this new store is going to be world’s apart in every way from what I’m used to, but ultimately I have been demoted.  I’m not expecting to be given management for quite awhile so being trained in different areas will have to do.  Anything to keep the job interesting.

The best part of today was being let out at 3pm. So good!  We were rostered until 5 so an early home time is fantastic.  I’m currently sitting (not standing!) on a train which is full of empty seats.  I was expecting to battle peak hour madness so this is the best feeling.

The weather is still pretty miserable but no storms or tornadoes today (touch wood).  If it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain when I get home, I might take the dog for a walk.  I walked to the bus stop today so my step count will be pretty good either way but I feel bad for the dog being cooped up all day.  No promises though, the sky is pretty grey and I really don’t want to get caught in a downpour with my new phone.

Today I ate about as well as yesterday.  Chocolate snacks to keep away the headache (more successfully today than the previous two days!).  The same breakfast and lunch, with the exception I swapped an apple at lunch for a banana.  Tonight I’ve got Lite N Easy Butter Chicken.  I’m a little nervous because I’m not a huge fan of Indian food a lot of the time, but it looked good in the picture so I’m going to try to be open minded.

I best wrap it up here.  My stop is fast approaching!  Hope you had a great day too 😊

-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 Forty-Six

Today was a day I think I’d rather forget.  I slept badly the night before, had to wake up early to head into training in the city, ran out of time to eat breakfast, got onto the bus to find my Myki card wasn’t scanning (a problem that had been happening on and off more frequently for the past few weeks), so had to line up at the service desk at the station to get it swapped over.  I missed my train while waiting in the line.  In my haste to catch the next train (after waiting almost ten minutes for the card swap to happen) I forgot to tap on, only realizing this after I’d gotten on the train.  Great, I cursed.  Nothing I could do about it.  I got off, tried to get out of the station but it wouldn’t let me because I didn’t tap on (gahhhh) so the customer service rep had to let me out…and I walked straight into a bunch of Authorised Officers (aka Myki Police) who quickly established I didn’t tap on.  I tried to explain what happened but they didn’t believe me – or I guess, didn’t care – so I copped an on the spot fine of $75 and was delayed even further.

I raced to the building where training was, cursing the awful morning I’d had.  I was supposed to be there at 8.45am for a 9am start…I landed in my seat at 9am on the dot.  I hate running late, it makes me feel flustered and disorganised.  Add that to the annoyance and frustration of the public transport dramas and I wasn’t feeling particularly positive.  Plus I was hungry but didn’t have time to eat.

Trying to force all that out of my mind, I attempted to enjoy the training.  The morning was bearable but I wouldn’t say completely enjoyable, though the guy running it was pretty cool and it was nice to get to know some more of the people I’d be working with soon.  By the time lunchtime rolled around, I was starving, and happily ate the healthy food I’d packed – saltanas, an apple and light n crispy shapes.  This filled me up more than I expected, and I felt good that even if the rest of my day was terrible, at least I could say I ate well.

The afternoon training was more interesting, learning about all the new technologies the new store will be decked out with.  Very excited to see them in action!   Despite the interesting topic, a headache had inevitably started, as it usually does when I’m cooped up in a room all day.  I took painkillers, finished the last of my water and counted down until afternoon tea break.  When that finally came, I raced downstairs to the convenience store, bought more water and a couple of chocolate bars and some more painkillers.  I drank half a bottle of water and downed the chocolate and started to feel a bit better.  I don’t know what it is about training, but I always feel awful by the afternoon.  I guess I struggle to focus for that long, and a sugar hit seems to help.  It made me a little frustrated that I ruined a good diet day, but I’d rather that than risk the headache turning into a migraine.

After training finished for the day, I met up with one of close friends who I hadn’t seen in awhile.  It was good to see him again.  We went to get dinner.  We took awhile to find somewhere because he’s very into health food and I’m a fussy eater, but we wound up at Spudbar, where we both found stuff we liked.  I wound up getting a roast potato stuffed with cheese, shredded cabbage, corn and garlic butter.  While not 100% healthy (especially the butter part), it had a lot of cabbage and corn, so it was definitely one of the healthier options we could have eaten in the food court.  I wasn’t sure I’d like it (I’m always a little apprehensive about things like cabbage) but I really enjoyed it, and I feel good that apart from the chocolate hit and the garlic butter, I had a really good food day.

By the time I’d said goodbye to my friend, it was 7pm.  I headed down to the station (making sure it tap on, I wasn’t going to make that mistake again!) and waited for my train.  It was a long trip home, with it getting darker and darker.  By the time the train arrived at my station, the streetlights were on.  By the time my bus had arrived, it was completely dark and on top of that, raining.  Seems like an appropriate end to an overall shitty day, I thought to myself as I got off the bus at my stop, hunched over as the rain fell.  I walked as fast as I dared, but I have a tendency of being gravity-challenged (I slip over a lot and am quite uncoordinated) I didn’t want to risk running home.

By the time I stepped through my front door, it was 8.30pm, I was wet, tired and worn out.  I’d managed over 8500 steps (one of my highest days so far!) so I felt pretty good about that, if nothing else.

Tomorrow I have to do it all over again.  At least I feel like I’ve gotten my bad luck out of the way.  My Myki card is new and working properly so I won’t have to worry about missing the first train, not tapping on and I know I won’t get another fine.  I also know by not missing the first train tomorrow, I won’t be so late and flustered.  I’m going to try to allow myself time to eat breakfast tomorrow as well, to make doubly sure my day starts off on the right foot, and I’m going to pack lunch again as that worked well today.  I’m getting my Lite N Easy order delivered tomorrow, so I’ll also be able to have a good dinner waiting for me when I get home!

Hope your day went better than mine did 🙂

Time to Change – Day Forty-Five

I’m struggling.  I have officially hit the wall.  For me (maybe for everyone, I don’t know) there is always a point where all my good intentions and positive thoughts and motivation vanish.  Sometimes, it happens suddenly.  In this instance, it’s been more gradual, but it’s definitely happened, there’s no denying it.

About 90% of me wants to give up.  Being fat sucks but it’s all I know.  I’m not going to give up though.  I’m allowing myself some time to refocus, as if I don’t I feel like I won’t be able to properly get back on board, then I’m going to get right back into it again.  I need to.

I’m taking it a step further this time.  Since I can’t trust myself to make healthy choices after a long day at work (this has become extremely apparent), I’ve ordered Lite N Easy for the first time in my life.  My friends swear by it, and I think it will really help me, firstly because it’s calorie and portion controlled and also because I don’t have to cook it.  It’s dead easy.  A majority of my issues at dinnertime stem from the fact I really hate cooking.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, when I say I hate cooking, I don’t mean all the time.  If I’m relaxed or feeling creative, cooking is fantastic.  I hate cooking, however, when I’m tired and hungry and grumpy.  I hate it when it feels like a chore.  So I really think Lite N Easy will be good for me.  I’m really surprised about the meal choices too.  That was one of the reasons I’d never done it previously – I was worried they wouldn’t have stuff I like, being a fussy eater.  Instead, they have a huge selection and I feel a little spoilt for choice.  I really hope it tastes as good as it looks in the pictures and doesn’t turn out to be the standard cardboard flavours of frozen dinners.

But what about breakfast and lunch?  I hear you ask.  I did consider going all out and ordering those meals as well, but having a look through the options, there were some that I didn’t particularly like the sound of, and this program isn’t exactly cheap.  I guess there are more expensive options out there, but I didn’t want to spend big bucks on meals I wasn’t going to enjoy either.  I find that during the day – provided I pre-plan and bring food from home – I’m generally okay with my eating habits.  Even if I’m hungry, I’m working so I just have to suck it up.  My plan is to eat healthy for breakfast – either eggs, weetbix or fruit & yoghurt – and have fruit for lunch.  While probably not the most filling of meals, it’s healthy and easy.  As I’ll soon be doing the long public transport commutes to my new job, I know even if I’m hungry by the time work ends, I won’t have the luxury of a sneaky trip through a Drive-Thru any more, which is generally what happens currently.  Plus, I’ll be walking a lot more as part of the commute, so I think I’ll start losing weight again.

Aside from the new focus on dieting, nothing much has changed since my last post.   It’s a public holiday today, so I’m getting paid to sit around at home in comfy clothes and catch up on my writing, which is great.  I’ve got three days of training coming up, which generally I’d be dreading – and maybe I should be this time – but it sounds like it should be interesting.  It’s all about the expectations and operations of my new store, as it’s going to be big and new on a scale they’ve only attempted once before.  I love that I get to work in an environment that is all about embracing the future, and I see it as a great opportunity for experience and – hopefully – advancement.  Plus, having such a huge team means I’ll no doubt wind up meeting some cool new people!

I’m procrastinating going grocery shopping.  I’ve been putting it off since Saturday, and it’s crunch time as I’ve run out of dog food and need to go.  I’m trying to hold out until at least 7pm, as trying to find a carpark there on a weekend or public holiday during the day is crazy.  At least now I’ve ordered dinners for the next two weeks, my shopping trip should be pretty quick and easy!

Have any of you tried Lite N Easy (or other similar programs)?  Let me know what you think!

-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