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 Fifty-Three

Before I talk about my day, I just want to say a massive thank you to all the people that take the time to read this blog, comment, like and basically just show their support.  I’ve hit four big milestones all at once: 500 likes, 100 followers, 100 blog posts and 1000 views.  All within the last three days.  I know that doesn’t seem like much compared to other people’s blogs, but keep in mind I only started this three months ago.  I think that’s pretty awesome!  So thanks guys.  Your support means a lot to me!

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Anyway, today went better than yesterday in pretty much every way.  Although I struggled to get out of bed (the struggle seems to get worse every morning!), I managed to get into the car by 8, and thankfully the traffic was pretty good today, unlike yesterday where it was the worst it’s been in a couple of weeks.  I rocked up at 8.45, and despite being rostered to start at that time, I took the time to google ‘is it better to eat an unhealthy breakfast or none at all?’, the verdict being unhealthy trumps none.  So I took another five minutes to grab an apple and cinnamon muffin from the closest coffee shop, then headed into work.  As expected, nobody even noticed I was technically five minutes late (I put this down to the fact that I’m not on their roster so they just trust that I’m rocking up and leaving when I’m supposed to).  The day wasn’t crazy busy like yesterday, so I felt more relaxed and got everything done I needed to, plus I learnt a few things I hadn’t managed to touch on yet.  That always makes me feel like the day was worth it, as I know soon enough I’ll be chucked into the deep end when I start at my “real” store.

I ate healthy at lunch, aside from a Coke Zero.  I’ve only had two soft drinks in the past two weeks, and while I know they’re bad, I think me going almost cold turkey on them is pretty impressive.  Six months ago, I would have Diet Coke at least once a day, sometimes more.  While I never felt addicted, I know when I initially stopped, I began getting migraines a lot more frequently.  I guess I was kind of addicted.  Since starting this diet journey, I’ve cut back a lot and honestly, I don’t miss it much.  I mean, I still love the taste and occasionally I crave them (like today), but mostly drinking water or milk satisfies me and I don’t really think about it.  The only reason I really craved it today was because two people at work got bottles at lunch and I was staring at them while I was on break.  Like I’ve spoken about previously, advertising is a lot more powerful than I realized.  All it takes is for me to see a logo at the wrong time and I really struggle.  I’m definitely getting better at fighting it and breaking habits though.  Every day I’m feeling stronger and fighting it is becoming easier.

As I left work, I was thinking about the advertising thing again.  As I walked through the carpark to my car, I could smell take away.  It smelt exactly like McDonalds (though I’m pretty sure it was actually coming from the Red Rooster nearby) and all I wanted right then and there was McNuggets and fries.  As I’d just been thinking about the whole advertising thing as this happened, I knew exactly why I’d been struggling so much these past few weeks.  I’m sure subconsciously each night after work I was smelling that smell and my brain suddenly wanted nothing more than my favourite junk food.  That alone wouldn’t matter, however the drive home requires me to drive past my usual Maccas pitstop, and it’s extremely difficult for me to control myself.  Tonight though, I did.  Tonight, despite having wicked cravings, I refused to give into them.  I knew breaking the habit required me to overcome this pattern, and I knew it had to start now.  And you know what?  Once I drove past, it quickly left my mind.  Despite knowing that there are Maccas everywhere – including 3kms from my house – once I went past my usual store, I no longer craved it.  It is all about habits, and I am starting to break this one.  I was extremely happy with myself.  Diet, 1, Junk Food, 0 (not counting the Coke at lunch…if it’s an constellation, it’s zero calories?  I know, I know, it’s still terrible for you.  But gimme a break).

Once I got home, I had to decide which Lite n Easy meal I was going to make.  This is a tough choice for someone so indecisive!  I finally landed on the “tortilla stack”, mostly out of curiosity.  I mean, I knew what they were, but this was one of my riskier choices as Mexican food is full of so many things I’m not generally a fan of.  My mind wasn’t put at ease once I’d zapped it microwave and pulled it out.  There were three kinds of beans, and some green vegetables that I didn’t recognise.  The old me probably would have said “nope!” and make spaghetti instead.  The new me said “fuck it, let’s do this” and I didn’t regret it.  It was delicious!  The beans didn’t have much taste (even the chickpeas were okay and I usually detest the yellow devils) and the sauce/salsa was awesome.  Plus, I really felt like I was eating healthy food.  I mean, I know that’s the whole idea behind LnE, but I could see the beans and veggies.  Needless to say, after five meals so far, I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the food this program offers.  For microwave food, it’s actually really great, and the variety is second to none.  Living by myself, I’d alternate between about four different dishes and that’s it.  There are only so many options that don’t require a lot of cooking (that results in leftovers for days) or crappy microwave meals.  While I know LnE is slightly more expensive than making dinner at home (okay, a fair bit more), I’m okay with the price knowing it’s healthy, it’s quick, it tastes great and it’s convenient.  And no, I’m not sponsored by them.  I wish I was.  Then I’d get it for free and I’d love that.  No such luck though!

After dinner, I spent a whole hour cleaning the house.  That is a long time for me, but I was in a good headspace tonight so it actually felt kind of good.  I vacuumed, and was amazed (as usual) at the amount of dog hair I got up.  Retrievers sure know how to drop hair!  I also cleaned up the backyard, wiped down the windows, cleaned the benches, put away the dishes and took out the rubbish.  I’m so domesticated!

Ha, not really.  But the house is looking pretty damn good.  I think the inspection should go okay tomorrow.  If it doesn’t, I’m not too concerned.  They can’t do very much…nothing is actually damaged, and given that, I’m sure if they find anything I can fix it up.

I’m in the city tomorrow for training.  My third round of this.  I did a whole day on the topic three weeks ago at induction, a refresh last week and now I have another whole day on it.  I’m all for learning new things, but I think a third day on the same stuff is a little overkill.  Oh well, nothing much I can do about it.  At least I’ll know all the answers!

I probably should wrap it up here.  It’s getting late and I have a few more things I tidy up before I leave tomorrow…and because I’m in the city, I have to leave earlier than usual.  I feel a long day coming on.  At least my step count will be higher thanks to public transport!

Have a great day tomorrow 🙂

-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-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-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 Twenty-Six

Today was a tough day.  I woke up knowing it wouldn’t be a barrel of laughs, but it was definitely worse than I anticipated.  It started out much the same as every other day this week – getting ready quickly, walking to the bus stop, commuting by bus and train to the city.  We were in a different place today and I am extremely directionally challenged.  I managed to get thoroughly lost despite following Google Maps in my hand, messaging one of the guys I was meeting asking where it was and only being about 300 metres away.  How do I manage it?  Talent.

Anyway, so that kind of threw off my day even more.  I hate getting lost.  It’s stressful and frustrating and seems to always happen when you really don’t need it to.  Once I finally got there, we went in and started the day.  We registered ourselves onto different internal websites, then spent hours doing compliance modules.  For anyone who’s ever had to endure them, you’ll understand my pain.  It was horrendous.  Thankfully, I’d had plenty of experience in my previous job with very similar trainings so I smashed through them and finished first.  Even finishing first, I still spent a good chunk of my day on it.  Once that was done we worked out rosters and where we’ll be placed to train for the next month.  Wouldn’t you know it, I got landed two shops down from where I used to work?

Fan-fucking-tastic.

Of all the shops in all the state you have to put me there.  Next to a store full of people who hate me.  Next to people I wouldn’t trust again in pink fit.  Part of me wants to walk past them all and wave and act like this was part of my game plan (a rather large part, actually).  Another part wants to park as far away from possible, sneak into the store, hide from the front of it as much as possible and not leave it until home time so they won’t see me.  Still not sure which route will actually happen.  I think it’s unrealistic to think I’ll be able to avoid all of them for a whole month…especially because I need my pants altered and that shop is right outside my old work.  Yep, I think plan A is what will happen.

Anyway, so after finding that out we needed to try on uniforms.  Something I’d been dreading.  Please be big sizes, I thought.  I hate hate hate working out uniform sizes so much.  It was every bit humiliating and embarrassing as I thought it would be.  I tell them size 20, they look at me and say “no way, you’re not a 20, you’re like a 14”.  Um, I haven’t been a 14 since high school.  Try on an 18, too small.  No size 20s.  Try on a 22, and it fits.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

They don’t have any shirts in stock to fit me, even in guy sizes.  Great.  I’m the only one without a shirt now while they order it in.  Fuck.  I have a cardy but it looks horrible buttoned up.  Yep, this was a feel good exercise alright.

By the time it let out, my head was hurting, my ankle was killing me (it’d been getting progressively worse for a week) and to add to it all, it was so humid and disgusting that I was sweating by the time I’d gotten the train station.  I tried touching on with my Myki, but it wasn’t working.  I tried again and again.  Nothing.  I was holding people up.  It just wasn’t working.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

I took so long I caught the eye of one of the wandering helpers, who managed to get it working.  Once I got into the station, I immediately knew something was wrong.  It was a madhouse, even by peak hour standards.  You couldn’t even move there were so many people.  I’m still not 100% sure but I think one of the trains was broken down or something so everyone decided to go to my platform and catch a different train.  Luckily it wasn’t my train, because they were packed in like sardines…moreso than usual.

When my train arrived I was forced to stand up, which wasn’t fun because my ankle was seriously giving me grief.  There wasn’t anything I could do about it but try to ignore it.  The train was packed and it was hot and unpleasant.  I grit my teeth and put up with it.  It was a relief to get off and jump onto the bus, even if that was packed as well.  At least I got a seat.

After limping home, I collapsed onto the couch, wanting to never move again.  Instead, I had a look at my ankle.  Definitely swollen.  So instead of relaxing like I so desperately wanted to, I got back up and hoped into the car and went and bought a brace for it.  I knew if I didn’t, I’d regret it.  I couldn’t avoid standing on it – it was part of my new job and I wasn’t going to be all “Sorry, can’t stand, my ankle hurts” – so at the very least I knew I had to give it some support.

Finally, I got home after an epically long day again.  I can’t remember the last time my days felt so packed and exhausting.  I, once again, ate like crap, and I feel bloated and gross.  Now that I’m back in my old stomping ground, I’m going to be able to plan my meals and stuff a bit better, and be home slightly earlier.  I think this will help a lot.  I’ll be able to find a routine again and hopefully I’ll be able to get a smaller uniform size sooner or later!

Hope your day was better than mine 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Eighteen

Today was one of my worse days.  I woke up and felt very unmotivated.  Mostly, it was the thought of starting my new job today, one that I didn’t really want to go to.  I knew I should go for my walk before I left, but it didn’t happen.  I told myself I’d go afterwards.

I arrive at the new job ten minutes early.  They were flat out merchandising the place so I stood around awkwardly, being more or less ignored for fifteen minutes.  Then, when they remembered I was there, I was told to read a generic introduction booklet.  It didn’t get much better from there.  I was told to move stock around in an attempt to re-merchandise but having limited experience and no knowledge of the products, it was a slow, frustrating process.  I was shown how to do end of day, and it is world’s apart from what I’m used to.  People used to complain about the processes at my old work…now, I’d have given anything to have it back.  This was so slow and backward.  Nothing seemed logical, the computer program seemed to have way too many over-complicated steps and half the close was spent re-writing stuff that the computer already figured out.  I don’t know, I know I shouldn’t judge so early, but I’m dreading going back tomorrow.  The most frustrating part of the whole thing was I got a call from the other job I’m waiting to hear back from but couldn’t answer it, and by the time we finally left (45 minutes later than I was rostered for, mind you), they’d already gone home for the day so now I have to wait for them to call back tomorrow…and I’ll probably be working again.  Urgh.  I just hope after all this that I get some good news from them.  I can’t wait to get out of this job.  The only good thing about it is the customers, who were all lovely.  If that was 80% of my job like I thought it would be, then maybe it would be okay.

This basically sums up all my interactions with customers.

Anyway, after that shitty first shift with my feet killing me and my stress levels well and truly off the charts, I sunk into a hot bath the second I got home, downing half a (small) block of my favourite chocolate for dinner.  Not an ideal part of my diet plan but hey, if chocolate can bring people round from a dementor attack, it can definitely make me feel better about losing control of my life!  At least, that was my excuse, and I’m sticking with it.  On the plus side, even with the chocolate, I finished under my calorie limit for the day, and my weight hasn’t gone up…hasn’t gone down either which is annoying but better than up!


Unfortunately I didn’t get my exercise in today.  In the end, after leaving work much later than anticipated, getting stuck is traffic and having to get petrol on the way home (stupid petrol light!), it was dusk as I was pulling into my drive.  Ah well.  I’m sure all the merchandising I did today and am set to do tomorrow will partly make up for it.  Maybe.

Hopefully I’ll have a happier post tomorrow and some good news on the job front.  So frustrated I missed the call.  I hate having to wait so long to know the outcome, especially when I can’t wait to get out of this job!  I really hope something good finally comes my way.  I don’t know how much more bad news I can take.  Fingers crossed!

-JD