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And I hit a nice uphill slope.

(punches air) 9.3 on my bleep test tonight! Never gotten higher than 8.7 and wasn't feeling that good today so beyond elated with that. Also managed more press ups than usual, but got less on the plank test.

I've been in a bummed mood about Taekwondo for a while - I'm really struggling at this level. Now, I always struggle at each level, but its been over a month and I'm still haven't got a good grasp of the basics in the pattern, let alone the pattern itself. So this gives me hope that I'll be able to get back on track soon.

Should probably help that I'll be able to go to Sunday training from now on too. If you weren't keeping up to date, I handed in my notice at the end of March, and as of the 29th of April, I am no longer an employee of Morrisons. I will forever more be £230 out of pocket each month (winces in pain), but on the other hand, will no longer be tired, exhausted, sick and generally be taken advantage of by money-saving head honchos who have no clue what its like to be on the shop floor.

My last Sunday really drove home why I had to go. We've lost a ton of staff, and the supervisors were told they weren't allowed to hire anyone to replace them (on top of which, someone's gone on holiday and another is about to take paternity leave) and instead transfer people from other parts of the store (making THEM short staffed). So work has, slowly but surely, been piling up. I came in to find not only was there still a pallet from last nights load still to be worked, but a promo pallet from TWO nights before, and our normal chill literally full to the brim with trolleys while the shop floor was empty. And only two of us in, one to do bread, and me to do the load with the night shifter till they left.

It actually got to the point where customers are noticing how overworked we are. They kept complaining about the lack of things on the shelves, and to be honest, we probably had all of them in the back - we just couldn't GET to them. By the time the morning (and previous nights) load had been done, the two of us on morning just had an hour to try and do as much of the back chill as possible before we had to leave the ONE member of staff for the rest of her 8 hour shift on her own for the rest of the day. Guess what? Everything on the trolleys went out -_-

I will in all honesty really REALLY miss Morrison (don't scoff!). You can't spend 7 years in a place without becoming pretty heavily invested in it. But I was simply tired of being tired - and as much as I believe in loyalty (and money), its no longer something that I can continue to do happily.

Though its time to place your bets on whether or not I shoot out of bed at 6 on Sunday cursing and thinking I'm late. Entirely possible.

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One Lifetime Dream - Check

Well, I've finally locked myself in. Yesterday I bought tickets.

I am now officially going to Japan in September, from the 21st September until the 6th October. Still planning exactly what I'm gonna do there, but I'm thinking Tokyo for 2 days, Osaka for 3, Hiroshima 2, Miyajima 1, Kyoto 3, Himeji 1 and Tokyo again at the end for 3. Possibly meeting Ricky somewhere along the way too.

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Between a rock and a bad, bad place

Note to self, write up Minami when you actually have 2 hours to sit down and focus on it.

Really need to find those 2 hours too, cause I've managed to hit a major slump despite just coming back from Minami. I kind of wish I had this week off, would have made life so much easier.

First off, my suitcase somehow got waylaid on the way back from Southampton. And when Flybe did manage to track it down and deliver it...it wasn't my bag. At all. As we speak their is a nother bag being couriered to me, but no clue if it will actually be MY bag or if they're just going through their lost and found in the hopes that I like one.

This is annoying, especially since I can't clean up my room until it returns, because that suitcase is where I normally keep my cosplay storage, so its still strewn about my room in organised-but-inconvenient piles. But it would have been tolerable, if it hadn't been for 2 other things.

1. I grade at Taekwondo this weekend, and though I would have been ready in November when the last grading was (but had to miss due to Nana's birthday), I'm not ready this time round cause the last month has been nothing but cosplaycosplaycosplay! So I'm looking at a week of cram-filled exhaustion before I can relax.

2. Work has become very sour very fast. Not entirely sure how much I should talk about it, but lets just say there was an email yesterday that was the electronic equivilant of a powder keg, and today had the 'kid-with-matches' reply email.
Things are becoming very tense, and they have been for a while. And its the managers own fault too. NOBODY was happy with this move, but rather than working with staff they've literally done it and abandoned us. Its been months, and we haven't had a single Team Talk (supposed to happen each month) because it keeps getting rescheduled. Never mind the fact that Team Talk is the ONLY time the staff get to voice concerns or problems, while hearing from upper management. So you've got everyone with tons of complaints and problems, and nowhere to put them. On top of which both teams are still hissing at each other and any minor attempt to unify is met with outright hostility to the unifier (and admittedly, the medical team is just as bad as the pharmacy one).
So with this current climate, this little addition has everyone walking on eggshells and worried about the fallout, and of course NOBODY knows anything concrete (mainly because its not actually something we have any right to know about), and its not helping morale. Managers needed to do something months ago, but since they've been trying to shove the responsibility onto each other (since they know TT will be a nightmare for them), they could at least do some damage control.

So...yeah...work is just not a nice place to be right now, Taekwondo is exhausting, and my room makes me stressed. Not a great week.

Abandon Ship

So this Saturday I was working at Morrisons so I wouldn't have to work Sunday, and my supervisor goes to me:

"You're not planning on leaving are you? Everyone's handing in their notice right now."

...now, most people know by now that I AM leaving. I was gonna leave in March but at the moment I'm thinking of staying until Easter - work my days off from NHS and leave with a little bit more of a nest egg, but I was a little surprised to find out everyone else had the same idea. Think I've figured out why though.

Now, I'm leaving because the amount of work they're making us do has increased while the staff we're allowed to have has decreased (making it no longer worth the money I'm getting, even for time and a half). We've more or less been hoping this is a temporary measure, but last week everyone got the 'ten for twelve' meeting, which is basically the store managers telling you what the ten goals for Morrisons is for 2012. And on this list was a need to cut costs to make profit in other endeavors. And that meant cutting the workforce by 1%.

Doesn't sound much, and they justified it by saying that all other supermarkets run on a 5% wage on the floor, while we have 10%...yeah, but Morrisons reputation is all about how there are always people on the shop floor to assist...we're not just cashiers. And according to reports, last year's chaos came from cutting it only 0.5%...we still have half a percentage to cut loose - which probably means FFPP will lose at least one more member of staff...

With this joyful news, I don't think its any coincidence that everyone's decided to cut their losses and get the hell out of town before they find themselves saddled with work that just 2 years ago would have been split between 3 coworkers. Unfortunately I doubt even this mass exodus will change their minds. For one thing we're just one store, and secondly, its a university town - we already have a high staff turnover. For every person that leaves, there are 3 more applications waiting for an interview. But with this in mind, its no wonder one of the other points was to try and speed up promotion in the company. At the moment it takes 15 years to make it to store manager from beginning at the store. You can get into space in 8! If its taking that long no wonder they don't have anyone to take over any of the new stores...

Anyway, in other news, I had the Student Awards Ceilidh for Taekwondo on Saturday night. Despite multiple dress issues (first dress didn't fit, 2 dresses I ordered without realising they were in China, and on the fence on whether or not the one I chose was 'formal' enough), and risking a hairstyle I've always loved but never actually tried (curly mohican), I had a great time. My arms are covered in bruises from the Strip the Willows though - the guys really loved swinging us around as hard as possible. And the little kids in their kilts...There are no words for how adorable they were...maybe adorabibble?

Best was the little guy Ollie, who was only convinced to wear one after Peter told him after class one day beforehand that people would put money in your sporran if you wore a kilt. First thing he did when he walked in was stand in front of Peter expectantly - once Peter was reminded of this, he honoured the story and gave him some cash. Got even better when tiny little Ollie actually won an award, and when he was getting his photo taken, the awardees had to get on their knees to pose with him ^_^

The one downside was that I was so busy dancing...that despite not being on medication, I spent most of Sunday in what felt like a drugged stupor. Really hones home the fact that I need to leave - if I have anything I have to do at the weekend I have no energy once I've done that and work.

Finally, after everyone was recovered it was Bleep Test tonight. And we had to restart ours after the computer crashed...meaning we went in tired so I'm down a good 1.5 levels T_T And I felt pretty confident about my original one too. Did improve at my fitness test though, 3 press ups (0 last time), and up to level 3 on the Plank Challenge (didn't even complete level 1 first time).

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Icing on the Cake

I was already having a pretty miserable day, but this just completed it perfectly.

GG sent me a message asking if he could borrow my expo footage. I'm happy to oblige...only to discover it's not with my other con footage. I go through every disk collection I have (which is no small feat) and rake my hard drives, but I can't find it.

I take CARE of my footage, I still have the first stuff I ever took, so I have no idea what happened. All I can think is that somebody asked for a copy and I gave them my only one by accident.

(That, or, worst case scenario, when I was copying everything to disk something went wrong and I went and deleted footage before it was saved...but I triple check everything before I delete stuff from my hard drive, so that's hard to believe)

Thankfully, I did find it through some creative electronic searching. Somehow ended up on my laptop system hidden in a random folder. I must have been seriously desperate for space to put it all there and then forget about it. Put me in a lousy mood for tonight though. I hate nerve adrenaline.

Anyway...having a lot of bad decisions and choices whack me right now. Little unimportant things, but they keep adding up into one big headache. The number 1 right now is the TKD Ceilidh on Saturday. Not only does the dress I bought not fit me, its the wrong colour. The two other dresses I saw and bought online I bought while sleep deprived, so discovered they were in China and in no way able to get here in time without paying twice what each was worth until AFTER they were ordered, so at the moment don't really have anything. On top of which Toni and Guy close at 4 on Saturday, and since I'm working (so I don't have to work Sunday), I'll literally have to leg it to get there on time.

My ebay purchases also bite me shoe-wise. Spent more than I should on a pair of shoes, only to discover that a size 6 is a bit optimistic, so THEY'LL have to be returned too.

And on a not-shopping related note, I just feel awful again. Its not sickness or even exhaustion, just this settled feeling of dread and misery that decided to show up and stay for a while. Its not like me, but I just can't shake it.

On the plus side of the fence, my one highlight of the last few weeks was getting to Glasgow to get fabric, and got to see An-chan and my brother before Oklahoma! And then spent Saturday with my Dad and my Nana. Course, thanks to a mistake on my part, I ended up getting back home much later than planned and completely stressed, completely undoing all the good the trip had done.

Just...can someone whack me with a cattle prod and help me get my optimism back up to regular levels again please?

Back in Business

Finally have my sewing maching back, but looked at my calendar yesterday and realised just how much I have to do and how little time I have to do it in. I’ve started up Kickboxing on top of my Taekwondo, which means I’m now doing 2 ½ hours of exercise 2 nights a week, plus kettlebells, so am generally exhausted, especially in the mornings. On top of which, said TKD has its annual Awards Night at the start of March, so that weekend will be packed, and there will be a grading sometime that month too…probably the 10th. Which means one week will be set aside for training.

Getting my costumes finished for Minami is still doable…but really have to prioritise things. Making great headway with Erutis, not so much with Lamia, especially since certain fabric I needed appears to have vanished from the Internet (unless I ship from Asia). I know Mandors has it though.

On top of which, Dad really wants to see me before he goes offshore again, so I have to work that into my schedule too…and then I remembered Sainsbury’s is doing that voucher deal again…

So, I need fabric that is only available in Thailand…but it available in Mandors…

Dad wants to see me since last time was November…

I have friends performing in a certain musical all next week in Glasgow…

I have one of Sainsbury’s £19 return vouchers…

Guess I’m losing another weekend and coming up to Glasgow on Friday 24th-25th ^_^

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The Mathematics of Sick Days

At the request of pretty much everyone in my vicinity at work and home, I had a doctors appointment on Tuesday to see about my cold/cough/hacking-up-a-lung thing I'd had the last 2 weeks. Told me that there's pretty much nothing you can do for a cough but rest - which meant no work for 2-3 days unless I wanted it to last another month and infect everyone at work. So for the first time since school, I was actually off work for something that didn't leave me bed-ridden, but was justifiable as sick leave.

This week, I discovered it takes me approximately 3 days of sick leave to be driven mad. First day, fine. Second day, little bored. Third day...I was ready to rip out my lungs just to warrant going back to work. I couldn't DO anything. Cosplay? sewing machines being repaired and even if it wasn't, the whole point was to rest - making a costume is easily as stressful as work. Video games? No way of knowing how long this would last and I wasn't starting a game knowing I wouldn't finish it before I went back to work. Read?...think I've gone through everything in the house and my current fandoms twice now.

Did get through a bunch of things on the to-watch list though. But absolutely no desire to watch anything with subtitles - typical.

Anyway I was so stressed at being at home and not being allowed out, that even though I probably could have justified staying home today, I bundled up and went into work just to get some stimulation. As it was Diane was in on her own, so as shocked as she was to see me make my way in on Friday, she was happy enough to see me.

Did make it through the day just fine, though my voice is still completely gone. Gonna rest up again tomorrow and hopefully I'll be recovered to do my Morrisons shift (right now skating on thin ice with them...despite having done nothing wrong T_T).

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The D Is Slain

"God you look awful...I mean, how are you?!"

This is my roommates first reaction when I dragged myself through the door tonight. Apparently this bitter chill that's taken over Scotland has managed to defeat my still recovering immune system and knock me down for the second time in 2 months. The worst part? I fell ill (literally felt it happen) at Taekwondo.

I was fine when I left the house. But by the time I hit the gym I could feel the tickle in my throat warning me of what was to come. During the first half hour I was shaking, sweating and using every ounce of focus on just keeping myself up on 2 feet. I had a sinking suspicion I wasn't going to make it through the entire session without collapsing, but I kept at it.

As it turns out, those fears were right. The last half of the class we were boxing. The first round I did okay, second round I was clearly on my last legs - even my opponent could tell I was running on 2%, if that. Then I went up against Peter, who could see it, and figured he could snap me out of it with some usual taunting - normally works a charm for me. Sadly, doesn't work when the person is sick rather than just plain exhausted.

He was using open fists, and I've taken blows to the nose far worse than the one he gave me, but the second after I'm on the ground, and burst into tears for absolutely no reason.

I'm guessing illness, exhaustion and possibly just hitting the right nerves set it off. Either way, Master Wallace immediately sent me off - and I spent the next ten minutes trying to drag back some composure.

I eventually go back in for the last five minutes once I've sat down and got some fluids in me - I'm pretty sure I'm recovered enough to last - and I do. But probably because all the guys were scared to hit me in case I began crying again.

I've never fallen ill this quickly before...and really wish I knew what happened in the gym - Peter is completely confused as to what happened, as is Master Wallace, even sick I can usually handle myself. Just a bunch of things happening at the same time.

Getting an early night tonight, hopefully a good cold drink and a decent nights right will nip it in the bud.

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Knew I'd get round to this eventually

Took forever and a day – but finally, FINALLY wrote up Paris.

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