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 Fifty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-JD