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 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 Forty-Two

Wow, it’s been a whole week since I blogged about my life.  I knew it’d been awhile but I didn’t realize it’d been that long.

Another weekend is here and again, I’m so grateful for it.  I really thought by now that I’d have started to readjust to full time work…I mean, I’d been doing it for four years prior to losing my job, and there was only a relatively short period of time in between that job and this.  It’s been three weeks and I still get home every night absolutely exhausted.  By the time the weekend finally arrives I wind up sleeping half the day.  I initially assumed it was just because I was in learning mode all day and it was taking its toll, but each day I’m getting more competient and independent so I don’t think I can really blame that any more.  I know it’s only going to get worse before it gets better as pretty soon I’m gonna have to start my public transport daily commute, which not only takes longer but is also more stressful and requires more exercise.  The last part is good, don’t get me wrong, but will definitely deplete my energy levels more.

Anyway, it’s been a pretty good week overall.  Much of the same of what I’ve been doing, but with more confidence this time around.  So much so the guys trust me to help teach the other trainees (who have all been there longer than me).  Lucky they didn’t take offence to that, because I probably would have if the roles had been switched.

I had my first aggro customer since starting there yesterday.  It’s weird, at my old job as part of management I’d serve heaps of aggros and it was fine.  I mean, not my favourite part of the job but I could do it.  At my new job though I just couldn’t.  She wasn’t even yelling, she was just really rude.  I’d made the mistake, I guess that was part of it (I’d have never made a mistake like that at my old job, but the systems were much different there).  I was really taken aback by the whole thing.  I guess I’ve always had an issue with rude people to a certain point, even at my old job.  There’s just something worse about it than yelling or swearing.  I think it also came down to not having the confidence yet to believe what I’m saying.  It didn’t help they were questioning everything I was doing which made me doubt myself.  It was a stupid mistake I made, but in the whole big scheme of mistakes I could have made in this job, it was probably the least damaging possible.  She didn’t see it like that though and I had to ask one of the other girls to help out.  I just couldn’t deal with it.  I suppose that’s what they wanted though – the second I said I was training they kept hounding me for stupid requests and questioning everything.  They basically didn’t want to ask for someone else (heaven forbid that might come across as rude) but they wanted me to feel obliged to get someone else.  Why are people so horrible?  I don’t know.  Either way I ended my working week feeling frazzled and horrible.  At least I learnt something out of it – double check everything, even if it seems simple!

My diet was very up and down.  I’d eat a pretty good breakfast most mornings (strawberries and blueberries with no fat vanilla yoghurt and Chia and quinoa), then back it up with fruit for lunch.  I just couldn’t see it through to dinner most nights and would wind up eating something really bad.  It all comes down to how exhausted I’ve been…I just don’t have the energy to cook.  My friends have been telling me to get onto Lite N Easy.  I’ve been putting it off because it’s expensive, but I think I might have to bite the bullet and go onto it, just for dinners.  I’m not losing any weight at all at the moment and it’s because I’m sabotaging myself at night.  Plus if I don’t have the energy to cook now, I definitely won’t in a couple of weeks.

What else is new this week?  I upgraded to the iPhone 6s Plus.  I already had the 6 Plus but I wanted to move my number over so I could get my staff discount.  I’d been waiting for it to come in stock and it finally did on Thursday.  There isn’t heaps of differences (as expected) though I have noticed it’s a lot quicker to unlock with fingerprint unlock, and the camera is a lot better.  3D Touch is pretty cool too, though I haven’t found a lot of use for it yet.  It’ll no doubt be better once more apps support it.  The best new feature of the phone though is the colour – rose gold is so pretty 💜

As part of my upgrade I also got a Sonos Play:1 WiFi speaker.  I haven’t had a lot of time to put it through its paces but so far it seems pretty awesome.  The set up was a bit of a pain.  It needed to be connected to the modem via an Ethernet cable, and my modem is plugged in up high in my wardrobe.  The speaker isn’t light so holding it awkwardly while trying to follow all the instructions was tough.  Plus the instructions were vague at times so it took longer than it should have.  Still, I got there in the end and it’s got decent sound quality for a semi-small speaker.  My other annoyance is that it doesn’t support Apple Music (apparently it will by the end of the year but we’ll see) so it can only play the songs physically stored on my phone, or songs through other paid streaming services.  A year ago it would have been fine because I used Spotify back then, but I made the switch to Apple Music and I’m not too keen to have to go back to Spotify just for the speaker.  I guess I’ll just have to ride it out.

This week is going to be interesting.  I’m in store again Monday, then it’s a public holiday Tuesday (yay extra sleep!), then I have 3 days of training (another round of it), then I’m working my first Saturday shift in store, which is going to be mental.  At least the day will go by quickly.  I guess I should get used to crazy though, my new store is probably going to be like that all the time.

I don’t think I have any more updates to add.  I really need to find time to write more often!  Hope everyone had a good week 😊

-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-Three

I’ve had another busy couple of days.  It seriously feels like I’m making up for all my laziness over the past few months in one big hit.  I’m enjoying it but it’s exhausting and a little overwhelming.  I’m trying to adjust but I’m struggling and I can’t wait for the weekend so I can relax.

Yesterday I started doing most things alone at work.  I decided anything I didn’t know I’d just try, and if I got stuck I’d ask questions.  I know that makes some of the other staff a bit nervous but it’s the best way for me to learn – I struggle to focus when other people do it and I have to watch, and most of the staff don’t explain what they’re doing or slow down for me to learn properly.  I don’t blame them – I’m sure when I was teaching new kids at my old job, I did the same thing.  I think I did well, considering.  It’s tough though.  I feel pressured to do things fast as I don’t like to make customers wait and get annoyed they’re stuck with the trainee, but the systems are a lot more complicated than my old job and going fast sometimes just isn’t an option.

After work I had to go to training in the city.  I’d only found out about this 24 hours before and I was in two minds about going at all.  It was basic training on one of the products I’d been selling at my old job for years.  I didn’t think I’d learn very much, and I dreaded the idea of having to go to it after a full day of work.  I decided I’d probably better go.  I was worried if I didn’t go I’d look bad, and I don’t want that if I’m aiming to get promoted sometime in the future.  The training was long, dry and boring, as I was expecting.  It didn’t finish until after 8pm and by the time I got home, it was after 9.  I picked up some pizza on the way home, throwing my diet further off track, but there was no way I was cooking that late…especially when I had work at 9am the following day.

Needless to say, it was a struggle to get out of bed this morning.  It doesn’t matter how much I’m enjoying work, I don’t do well on little sleep.  I’d had weird dreams all night, which also didn’t help my mood.  I headed in, feeling fairly average instead of my usual excited self.  Luckily, my day actually turned out quite good.  I ran into a couple of people from my old work who I’m still on good terms with, and they were really interested in what I’m doing now and happy to see me, which was really nice as I’m used to getting the cold shoulder from a lot of the people still there.  Then I had lunch with another friend from my old work who isn’t there any more either.  It was great to see him again.  I also got to have a good talk today with my (temporary) manager about how I’m progressing at work and hear his suggestions on how to learn more.  He was impressed with what I was already capable of doing by myself, and is really keen to get me filling in the learning gaps quickly, which is great because that was what I was hoping he’d say.

On the way home I stopped off at the automatic carwash, after procrastinating about it for months.  I don’t care what anyone says, these things are the best.  $10 and the car goes in filthy and comes out clean, and you get a cool show while it’s happening.  I wish there was one closer to me…I guess maybe there is, but I haven’t seen it.  I should probably take the time to find one, as I won’t be working in that area very much longer so it won’t be my local one any more.  End of an era 😦

My foot is starting to feel a bit better, finally.  I still haven’t gotten back into my walks as it’s only just started coming good and I’m still worried I’ll do damage by pushing it.  Hopefully by the weekend I’ll have a bit more confidence in it.  My weight is back up a little but there’s no surprise there, with my diet and no exercise.  I really need to get back into it, and will.  I’m slowly starting to adjust to my working life, so by next week I should be right back into it.

One more day and I’ll be in relaxation mode!  That’s the only thought that’s going to get me through tomorrow!

-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