Time to Change – Day Ninety-Two

So, the rain has finally come.  After sweltering through the past three days which all cleared 40 degrees celcius (that’s 104 degrees fahrenheit for those in the US), I don’t remember the last time I was so happy to see the sky grey over.  I’ll discuss this more later, as I’ll try to pick up where I left off last time.

I’d just been to the Taylor Swift concert, and honestly, that’s still probably the coolest thing I’ve done in awhile.  As predicted, my weekend wasn’t particularly interesting.  Neither was my working week really, aside from a massive sale I managed to get after the customer came in with a simple question.  Everyone at work was very impressed, and I got talked about in the next day’s before-your-shift meeting.  That was a nice feeling because firstly, my previous job never really gave any recognition like that and secondly, it makes me feel like I deserve to be there.  Or…I don’t know if that’s right…I guess it makes me feel like less of a newbie.  Don’t get me wrong, aside from asking more questions than older employees, I don’t think many people really see me as a newbie (mostly because there’s just so many of us), but I still feel like one.  It’s hard to shake that mentality, though at some point I’ll have to.  I guess after my probation ends, which will be in three months time.  We’ll see.  Either way, it was pretty cool that I was the topic of the day.  Even the store manager (who I have the occasional two-second conversation with but otherwise don’t have a lot to do with) pulled me aside and introduced me to someone (a higher up visiting the store or something) and said I was “the girl who did the massive sale yesterday”.  Apparently I was the “special mention” on their daily conference call.  Pretty sweet!

I caught public transport all week, and am really starting to get used to it.  I know when I have to sneak out a couple of minutes early from my shift to race to catch the train (or else sit around for 20 minutes waiting for the next one), I know without checking what time the bus comes each morning (keeping in mind my shifts change a lot, so it’s taken me awhile to get used to).  Hell, I’m even managing to keep my balance better on the train when I’m forced to stand up!  Thankfully, this hasn’t happened too often as I generally miss peak hour.

The commute still exhausts me.  I feel like I’ll never properly get used to it.  I know it’s probably way too early to say that but I’ve always needed a decent amount of sleep to function and often, I’m just not able to get that, which leaves me feeling groggy, grumpy and out of it in the morning.  It also means I spent a large portion of my weekends catching up on sleep, which don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with…but I don’t know how I’m going to cope longterm.  Still, each time I think about asking for a transfer, I remember all that I’d be giving up with it…and I just can’t do it.  It’d be like giving up a mansion to go back to a unit.  I’m hoping my roster will be a little better next month, but given how big our normal trading hours are, I’m not holding my breath.

I called in sick for the first time at this job on Friday.  This may not seem too interesting, but I’m one of those people that never, ever call in sick.  It’s something mum drummed into me the second I joined the work force – “save your sick leave in case you wind up in hospital!”.  While she has a point, the real reason behind her anti-sick-leave status is that her and my dad run a business and they’ve gone through a number of employees who use up their sick leave extremely quickly.  She knows what it’s like to be on the other side of them.  I guess, coming from management in my last job, I do as well.  So for me to call in sick, it’s a big deal.  I’d rather go work and try to stick it out until someone looks at me pityingly and tells me to go home.  I did vow, though, that I was going into this job with a different mentality.  I wouldn’t work excessive amounts of hours, I wouldn’t work when I wasn’t getting paid…and I’m not going to kill myself trying to work when I’m sick.  I left my previous job with something like 500 hours of sick leave, none of which I got reimbursed for.  That’s essentially weeks of paid leave I missed out on.  Now, I’m not saying I’m going to call in sick “because I feel a cold coming on” (that was a legitimate excuse someone gave at my previous work once), but I’m also going to acknowledge that sick leave is there to be used.  I think it helps that we have so many staff working that my not being there occasionally isn’t going to wreck havoc on the store for the day.

Anyway, I digress.  I woke up with a headache, but it seemed to go away within about half an hour.  I wasn’t due in at work until 2, and had scheduled a meeting to sign my building contract for my house at 9.30.  It was the first day of scorching heat, and it was already in the mid-30s by the time I got there.  My head started to hurt again, but again, I ignored it.  The meeting was dry, as my parents read through the thick wad of paperwork, pretending to understand what it was saying.  Then I had to sign countless pages, and initial them, and then do it all over again for a second copy.  Oh man, it took so long.  By the time that was done, my head was feeling pretty terrible, though at least the place had air con.  Once the meeting wrapped up, and I had to step out into the heat, I knew a sick day was on the cards.  I’m glad the place was only 20 minutes away from home, because I was feeling weak, dizzy, nauseous and wished I’d bought my sunglasses, because the light was not my friend.  I stumbled into my house, which thankfully was lovely and dark (the blinds drawn and fans already running on high in an attempt to outsmart the heat).  Despite all this, I was still in two minds about calling.  Mum had drilled her ideas into me so hard that it made me feel even more sick at the prospect of making the call.  The only reason I managed to was because I knew I couldn’t handle getting onto a hot train and then standing on my feet, making small talk with strangers for eight hours, feeling like I might vomit on their shoes the whole time.  When I called, one of the guys I feel like I know okay picked up…thank God.  If it was someone from back of house like I’d assumed, I’d have been more nervous as I don’t have much to do with them.  The guy was lovely and told me I’d need a medical certificate (I’d already mentally prepared for that), and told me to get better.  That was it.  Painless.  I then called the doctors and made an appointment for much later in the afternoon, and settled in on the couch, relieved I didn’t have to work.  I slept off the migraine and by mid-afternoon was feeling great.  And guilty, because I could have done the second-half of my shift no problem, but I tried not to dwell on that.  I’d already called in sick, they’d probably already replaced me, and besides, hoarding sick leave didn’t work out well last time.

I went to my doctors appointment, expecting to be sitting around for an hour.  It often happens at the place I go to, but I stick with it because the doctors are really no-fuss-straight-to-the-point…which is great when you just want a medical certificate, and that’s at least 50% of the reason I go to the doctors.  Instead, I was sitting there for maybe two minutes, got called in, and walked out with the med cert two minutes later.  Amazing!

I was feeling great by Friday night, knowing I still had two days off.  I think the migraine was partly from the heat (and therefore, lack of sleep), but also because I’d been running myself into the ground with work and the hour-and-a-half commute each way.  I’d been feeling off for a couple of days.   I think I’m going to have to start listening to my body more now, and using my sick days for the occasional “mental health” day.  I know that’s not what they’re actually for (and my mother would be horrified), but if I ignore my body, it only makes things worse.  We’ll see how we go though.

The last two days have been mostly spent holed up at home, determined to beat the disgusting heat without air con.  The air con as never worked properly in the place I live in, and I know I could get it fixed, but it’s not worth the trouble when I know for the most part I’m not home during the day, and that I’ll be moving out soon enough into my own place with proper air con.  Until then, I survive with lots of fans and the blinds drawn.  I quite like the darkness anyway, but my dog gets a little frustrated.  She loves nothing more than the back door wide open so she has free rein of the house and yard…and that wasn’t happening this weekend.  I’d let her out, but the second she’d come back in, everything would be shut up again.  I think overall for the three days I did pretty well.  I mean, it wasn’t air conditioning cold in the house, but it was manageable.  On the plus side, fans are a lot cheaper to run than air con, so hopefully I’ve saved some money that way!

This morning I had to brave the heat as I needed to get my nails redone.  They weren’t catching on anything yet (my sign that they’re in desperate need of fixing up), but I knew I wouldn’t have time during the week to go anywhere thanks to my commute time and odd work hours, and then it’s Christmas and everything will be closed.  I really didn’t want to go, but I really couldn’t avoid it.  I usually go to a place about 30 mins away, as I really like it there, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen today…if I had to go there, I wouldn’t go at all.  I decided I’d try the place five minutes down the road, and that I’d get there early in an attempt to beat the crowds and the heat.  They were set to open at 10, so I was there at 10.  All the other shops around it opened, and the opening hours on the door confirmed I was there at the right time, and yet…nothing.  There were no lights on inside, no movement, and slowly, other people began to join me in waiting.  I waited fifteen minutes, then gave up.  Even if she’d arrived right then, there’d surely only be one of her, otherwise someone else would already be there to open up.  And if there’s only one of her, how could she possible serve the four people waiting?

I headed to the closest shopping centre instead.  I’d been avoiding going there as this close to Christmas, I was worried it would be flat out.  I guess it was, but I wouldn’t say it was busier than usual.  The shops had only opened half an hour before though, so I guess a lot of people had slept in, or gone to Church, and decided to wait for the cool change to come through.  Whatever the reason, I was pretty pleased.  I wandered into the first nail place I could find, and there were pretty busy, but told me to take a seat.  I waited maybe fifteen minutes, but I received acknowledgement and apologies the whole time, so I didn’t mind.  Hell, I was expecting to be told to come back later when I first walked in, so I was okay with the relatively short wait.  Once I did get served, I found the service friendly and attentive.  The first girl took her time fixing up my nails, carefully removing the old shellac and paint and reshaping them.  Then another girl took her time repainting them, doing 5 layers on each, which was actually really nice as it felt like she cared about how they turned out.  She also made sure they were 100% dry, which is something I’ve had issues with in the past.  My only gripe about the place – and it’s a small one – is that they didn’t take card, meaning I had to quickly run to the ATM and pull cash out.  I could have easily done a runner, but they’d done such a great job I didn’t have the heart to do it.  Still, I wonder how many times that’s happened.  It’s their own fault really, for not taking card in the first place, and for having the smallest “cash only” sign in existence.  I’d definitely go back there again though, even if it feels like I’m cheating on my usual place for them!

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Tomorrow I’m back at work, but only for four days thanks to Christmas, and then I have a four day weekend, woohoo!  I’m not 100% sure why I have Monday off, though I’m thinking it’s because Boxing Day falls on a Saturday this year, and Saturday is my usual RDO, so they’re giving my Monday off instead.  That’s just a guess though, and I’m not going to question it in case it’s a mistake.  I mean, I don’t think it is, but I’m so looking forward to 4 days off that I’m not gonna risk it!  I also got some goods news yesterday – the store is closing earlier than originally planned on Christmas Eve, so I’m only working until 6pm now instead of 8!  Yaaay!

My diet still isn’t back on track.  I know it’s all just excuses, but when you’re roster is everywhere, you spend 3 hours a day on public transport and you don’t even have a set break time, it’s extremely challenging to find time to eat healthy food.  I’m just glad I’m getting extra exercise in to help make up for it.  I know it won’t do much, but it’s better than nothing.

How’s was everyone else’s week?

– JD

PS I realized I skimmed over the fact I signed my building contract.  I know it should be a big deal.  I mean, it is a big deal.  It’s final and locked in and in six months or so, I’ll be a home owner with a mortgage.  It all just feels so surreal though that it just felt like more paperwork.  It didn’t help I was feeling so unwell, but I think even if I wasn’t, I don’t think I’d have felt too excited about it.  Like, I acknowledge the importance of it…but until the building starts and I can finally see work being done, it’s still just a pipe dream.  It’s nothing but scribbles and words.  I’m hanging for the day when I can move in and see all the stuff I chose on colour day in real life, with my furniture in there.  Until then, I just can’t get excited about it all.

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 Seventy-Two

Hey guys,

Once again it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  I’d like to say it’ll get better but I’ve got a big month coming up (without even including Christmas) so we’ll see how we go.

So, the last week I’ve spent working in my own store instead of the one I was training in.  It isn’t open yet (that’s tomorrow!) so we spent a week being trained up on absolutely every faucet of the store and how it’s going to run.  First off, I just want to say how amazing the store is.  I mean, it cost $15 million or something insane like that (I feel like that might be an exaggeration but that’s what I was told) so if it wasn’t amazing, I’m sure there would be plenty of people with plenty to say.  Either way, I love it.  It’s two levels and huge and I really think the customers will be very impressed by it all.  My favourite part of the whole place, though, is something the customers will never see – the back room.  It’s seriously bigger than the whole store (shop floor and back office together) that I used to work in.  We each have our own massive locker (only accessible via our personal passcard), there’s a beanbag room, a huge break room and kitchen with vending machines, a slushy machine, a fridge, two microwaves and a fully stocked breakfast bar (including a toaster and sandwich press).  We also have a PlayStation 4 and a table tennis table we can use.  I can’t stress enough how fantastic it feels to have a company truely care and want to look after their staff like this, especially coming from a company that didn’t even want to give us money for a small store Christmas party.

The training week was interesting.  There were parts I really enjoyed and parts that I probably could have done without.  It was awesome getting to know the (giant) team, and I think I’m doing pretty well with names and faces considering there’s over 90 of them.  It helps we all wear name tags and I’ve added a lot of them on facebook as well.  I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but the company do really well in picking really wonderful trainers for these things.  For most of the week I was in a guy named John’s group (I’d been in one of his trainings previously but I’ll admit, I wasn’t sold on him then.  To be fair though, I didn’t want to even be in that training as it was after a long day at work and on a boring topic).  It turns out he’s awesome.  He’s really funny and supportive and he made the week a lot of fun.

After the week wrapped up, we partied up like we were all 18 and our parents were out of town.  We were given access to what seemed like a limitless supply of alcohol, pizza was delivered and we hung out in our giant back room and got to know each other.  Some people headed to the bean bags and set up a make-over area (I didn’t last there very long as it isn’t my scene), others huddled around the PS4 and versed each other in games of FIFA16.  There were people who set up a table tennis competition.  The main attraction, however, was beer pong.  There’s nothing quite like bringing a crowd together like a drinking game – especially when, after a couple of hours, the store manager agreed to play.  Very amusing to watch!

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Booze and PS4

I’ll admit I wasn’t feeling too good towards the end (I probably shouldn’t have mixed drinks…or even drunk at all given I was already headachy before the party started).  That being said, I hung around for quite awhile, until I knew if I didn’t leave, I’d be on public transport at night.  I know that’s an inevitability sooner or later, but for right now, I’m trying to avoid it.

As I walked out of the building, I walked headlong into the last thing I was expecting – a giant protest marching at a snail’s pace down the street.  I guess this shows just how much I’m not a city chick.  If I was, maybe it wouldn’t have come as such a shock, but I’ve never been this close to a protest ever…not one on this scale, anyway.  I had one storm past my old work through the shopping centre once, but that was a couple of people taking an leisurely stroll compared to this.  It was interesting and I was fascinated by it as I was headed towards the train station.  Then I realized I’d have to cross the road…and that was going to be an issue as the protest was going in both directions as far as the eye could see, and everyone was so tightly packed in that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.  I think quite a few people had the same issue as me – some just decided they’d hang back and watch, and I guess wait until it fizzled out or moved on.  I didn’t have that luxury as I knew I was already cutting it fine trying to get home before nightfall.  Then I saw a guy with a stony look of determination on his face, his eyes pointed squarely across the street, and he marched into the crowd, weeding his way through.  I decided I’d have to do the same.  I don’t think anyone in the protest was too impressed as I forced my way though, but honestly, I don’t care.  As much as I’m okay with people trying to change the world and show the government what they stand for, I’m not going to miss my train because of it.  Especially not when it looked like it could go on for a long time yet.

I was extremely relieved when my feet hit the pavement on the other side of the road.  As I kept walking, I still couldn’t believe how many people were part of the protest.  If I had of known it was happening, I probably would have left the work party earlier and kept walking to try to find the end of it.  Instead, I headed into the train station, glad that having the work party at least meant I’d missed peak hour so I’d get a seat.  I got home right on nightfall, thankful I’d decided to shove through the crowd when I did!

Public transport in general has been going okay for the most part.  I hate that it means I have to get up at 6.30am (my previous job allowed me to get up at 7.30) but I quite enjoy not having to drive as much.  I am going to try to avoid getting on evening peak hour trains though, even if it means kicking back at work for half an hour.  I had one night where we were so jammed in that people from the next stop physically couldn’t get onto the train (and had some rude bitch asking me to move in more when clearly, we were already on top of each other).  It was extremely uncomfortable, made worse because I had terrible balance so need to hold something if I’m standing on the train, but the only thing I could grab was the rails on the roof, but I’m so short that I can barely grip it even at full stretch.  Not good.  Another night, a bunch of dero teens decided to sit on the seats right across from me, play shitty music on their shitty phones and treat it like their lounge room, including standing on the seats.  One of them beat up another kid in front of everyone, then later the same idiot even played “I just had sex” (not sure if that’s the title of the song but it was repeated over and over) and said it’s his favourite song with a smug look on his face like it was because he’d actually been laid…um, 16 year old shithead, that’s unlikely, and everybody on the train knows it.  It doesn’t matter how loudly you play that song, you ain’t fooling anyone.  I felt bad for the older lady sitting near them, who I’m sure was getting even more annoyed at them than me.  I really wish parents taught their kids train etqteique (particularly if you know they’re going to regularly catch it to and from school), as being young is no excuse to act like that.

Apart from work, I’ve had an awesome three-day weekend.  Seriously, it’s been one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time, and I didn’t even hang out with anyone.  Saturday I spent catching up on sleep and I redyed my hair to a brighter colour of red (still not entirely happy with it but it’s getting there).  Sunday I went to the shops to get my work uniform taken in, spent the afternoon relaxing (I started re-reading the Hunger Games) and I also purchased FIFA16 which I’m really enjoying.   It was on sale due to Black Friday and although it isn’t a game I’ve previously had any interest in, it looked really interesting when the boys were playing it at work.  Turns out I really like it, and I think I’m pretty good at it.  Sunday night I decided I was going to take myself to the movies.  This is something I’d previously never had considered – I’ve always been concerned about what people think (the fat chick sitting alone in the movies), but I decided I no longer care.  If they want to think that, that’s fine.  I really wanted to see Mockingjay Part 2 and I didn’t want to wait until my friends were free (if they even wanted to see it at all).  I also decided that I was going to spent an extra $10 and buy tickets for a comfy recliner seat.  Ever since the Hoyts Lux experience I had on my birthday, normal movie seats just don’t cut it for me any more – they’re uncomfortable, especially if the movie is long.  The recliner ticket was the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I didn’t feel too judged (or maybe I just didn’t care enough to notice) and I really liked the movie.  I’ll definitely be doing it again!

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Today I had a busy day.  I headed back to the shops to collect my altered clothing, then I headed to Big W to buy a curling iron (I’d done some research and decided to get a Remington Perfect Curls, as it looked both good and idiotproof).  I got to the register, dug around in my wallet and found a partly-used gift card, went to put $10 on it as I wasn’t sure how much was left but didn’t enter it properly, and it wound up putting the whole lot on it – and it went through!  That was a massive win for the day, as I was nervous spending that much money right now (I wanted curls for tomorrow’s launch so I was just going to suck it up, but it wasn’t the best time to be spending cash).  Seriously, I couldn’t believe I’d gotten that lucky!  After that, I headed to the nail salon to get them redone.  I decided to get matching colours to my lanyard for tomorrow, and they looked really good in the end!  I then headed to the grocery store, then finally home.  A very busy day!

When I got home I cranked up my new curler and put it through it’s paces.  After trying for a week to get my hair straightener to do curls and epically failing, I was a little nervous as to if this would work.  I was extremely impressed with it!  As the reviews had said, it was definitely idiotproof, and it just worked.  There were two curl setting options – bigger, wavier ones or smaller, tighter ones.  As curls tend to drop out of my hair quickly, I decided to try the smaller ones, and within about 45 minutes, I was done and it looked really good.  The next test is to see how long they hold for, but I think it should be okay.  I’m so glad I bought it!

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Remington Perfect Curls 2-in-1 – definitely recommend!

I’m going to wrap it up here as I need to start making dinner (we won’t talk about my shocking diet this week.  Maybe I’ll have some better news next post).  Tomorrow is going to be a super huge day and I’m so excited for it!

Hope y’all had a great weekend too! 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Four

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How was your day today?

-JD

Time to Change – Day Forty-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 Twenty-Five

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

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

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

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

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

Wait what.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-JD

Time to Change – Day Twenty-Three

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-JD