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 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