The Resolved Unravels

I rarely drink but when I do, I like to have a salted caramel martini in front of a roaring fire. ;)

It has been a big couple of weeks here in Snoskredland – with The Other Half leaving his toxic job and moving to a new job on top of a birthday for me and some news about former colleagues at the toxic job, a place where I also worked too..

Remember when I told you I didn’t work there anymore – at the very end of that post I said –

For me there are some unresolved issues that simply will never be resolved. Years ago that would have driven me crazy. I hate unresolved stuff. Now I am pretty good at resolving my side of it and letting it go.

I am pretty good at that UNTIL I discover that the very thing I most feared happening has actually happened. In order to explain that statement to you, I have to give you a little bit of not especially interesting history but I don’t want to go too far into detail.

Last year, mid-Santa, my offsider told me she had been sexually harassed by the 2nd in charge person. Given that she was very young and newly pregnant, she did not want to “rock the boat” by reporting what happened. I felt very strongly that she needed to report it.

Guess why? Because if she didn’t, and it happened to someone else, there would be no record of it happening. But she was resolute – I suspect because the 2nd in charge had something he was holding over her head.

While I could not report it because it did not happen to me, I was able to speak up and raise concerns and I did make it very clear to the business owner what had happened and who had done it. Of course without an official complaint he could not do very much, so he called both her and myself into his office and tried very hard to get her to make an official complaint or even just tell him personally so he could take action without making it official but she still refused.

If I had been the business owner, you can bet I would have made some changes even without an official complaint and the very first one would be dropping that harasser as second in charge. But as they say in the classics, not my monkeys, not my circus.

The harasser remained as second in charge, but I made it VERY clear to the business owner I was reporting directly to him as the owner from now on and while the harasser could be 2nd in charge of the rest of the store he was to have nothing to do with my area at all. I would not take no for an answer on that. He agreed with it. I would have quit on the spot otherwise and it was mid-Santa so he really had no choice but to agree.

I pulled the harasser aside and told him I knew what he had done and that I wanted nothing more to do with him at all, and that I had made my feelings clear to the owner. I refused to speak to him unless it was work related. I actually found it very hard to even look at him. I was furious because he had taken advantage of a young girl who he knew was vulnerable.

But I also had work to do, it was our busiest time of year and I had to focus in on that. As much as I wanted to punch that guy in the face on a daily basis, it would not have done any good. Ohhh, he was so slimy and smarmy and arrogant, knowing he’d got away with what he’d done. Some days it was very hard not to punch him but some how I always managed it.

As time went on, I kept encouraging my offsider to put in an official complaint or even just to put what happened in writing, and then give it to the HR manager and ask them to put it in the safe unopened for a later date in case it was needed. I felt that when it was time for her to go on maternity leave, she might want to take action then. She still refused. My main point was – what if this happens to someone else, how will you feel then?

I felt so strongly about this that I made a call to head office when I left, speaking to someone in a position of power that I met at the conference. I said look, I know there is nothing you can do without an official complaint but I wanted you to at least know this happened in case something else happens down the track. I did find out she actually took some action, arranging for the business owner to attend mandatory training re this particular area.

I suppose my former offsider would be able to tell me the answer to that question I asked now, because of course it did happen to someone else. I found out during the last couple of weeks. I don’t have specific details of what happened, but I do know the harassed person resigned and made an official complaint. The 2nd in charge received a written warning. I don’t know if he will remain as 2nd in charge.

But I am, again, furious. Despite my earlier attempt at resolving things within myself. If my offsider had made an official complaint, that would be two complaints of the same thing and it would be very unlikely he would still have the job let alone have a chance of still being in charge of anything.

I wanted to write about this many times and in fact I did write it out a couple of times and delete it, way back in December when it happened. This was a difficult situation to be placed in, and I hated it. And I was not the person being harassed. It was far worse for her. I’ve been bullied in previous workplaces but this was a whole other level of Not Awesome. It certainly contributed greatly to my decision to move on.

Nobody should have to put up with bullying or any kind of harassment in their workplace. We have laws in place to prevent this and many companies have strict procedures around all of this, but if the people involved will not speak up, the laws can’t do a damn thing.

If the people this happens to will not speak up, that leaves the door wide open for it to happen to the next person. And that WILL happen. If someone behaves this way and gets away with it, they think they can always behave this way and get away with it.

work

Another World

Surely someone somewhere is cataloging all the worlds? I found this one near Daiso in Sydney. This is a world I could spend some serious time in when it is summer.

But it is decidedly NOT summer here at the moment. After a long streak of utterly gorgeous blue sky days with mostly warm weather – certainly warm for May! – the temperature has plummeted this week and we got over 100mm of rain in the space of 24 hours.

stuff

Zero Gravity

How I loved this song once I knew the story behind it. They did a great Australian Story episode on it a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to catch it. What an amazing idea and those dancers look like they were having a great time. I’d love to have a crack at that. They are actually suspended in the air on poles.

The Other Half is NOT at all a fan of this song. I think partly because it is very catchy and it does tend to get stuck in your head, and partly because it has operatic parts to it which he does not enjoy. He would prefer I do not listen to it in his presence which really means the only place I can play it is at work. I’ve just finished making a new work playlist with nearly 260 songs on it.

Another song which got stuck in my head this week was Brain Damage by Pink Floyd, which appeared in the Westworld season 3 trailer.

While looking for these two videos I stumbled upon this video of Julia Louis Dreyfus talking about fashion from her life.

A couple of weeks ago, unhappy with the local options for brooches, I went online and ordered a bunch of brooches direct from China. They have not arrived here yet, but can you guess what happened as soon as I did that? BROOCHES. BROOCHES EVERYWHERE. Most stores I went into yesterday had 5 or more options when previously they had just one. Obviously I prefer paying less than $3 for a brooch and if these turn out to be fabulous I may order more eventually.

The election went well and I truly enjoyed my day as second in charge. I was relentlessly cheerful. It didn’t matter what got thrown at me, I handled it with a smile on my face. I got to wear the yellow “supervisor” tabard instead of the purple “staff” one and I chose my outfit to match.

There were at least 10 of us in the booth all from different backgrounds and political leanings. There was one moment in the day where I got to make an announcement and everyone clapped and cheered – the news came in that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott had lost his seat.

For me I had always disliked that man because he insisted on imposing his religious beliefs on Australia. I do not think that is appropriate.

The moment that turned my dislike to utter hatred was when he sat at his sister’s wedding with a face like he was sucking a lemon. Tony was anti-same sex marriage and his sister was marrying a woman. He couldn’t even pretend like he was happy for her, not even when the cameras were watching him the whole time – it later aired on Australian Story, I think.

Yet when he lost his seat of 25 years last weekend, she was standing behind him, tears in her eyes, sad for his loss. She deserves a better brother.

There was one not so great leftover – I had to take someone to get dinner as they had not brought it and did not have a car. It wasn’t until we were in the car that I smelled.. them. A delicate bouquet of stale cigarette smoke, BO, long unwashed clothes, and perhaps foot odor. In total they were in my car less than 15 minutes, but when I returned to it at nearly 11pm, the smell hit me like a truck.

The smell did not leave over the following days, and I personally believe it attached itself to me at least once this week and followed me wherever I went. After that happened I took my car seat covers off and washed them even though it did not tell me I could wash them (hopefully I can put them back on) and then I took my car to be washed and hit with the fragrance bomb, and then I added a couple of scented things yesterday. I hope it will be gone today.

Anyway there you have it, a bits and bobs post. I’m hoping to get some time this weekend to write a couple of larger ones! ;)

music, work

I Have Been Waiting For You

my new dark salted caramel friends. Yes, years I have waited. Why nobody made a dark salted caramel chocolate that I could buy on supermarket shelves, I am still baffled by. But here it is. And I am about to try it, right now, while writing this post on the blog. OMG yes it is awesome but a bit up money at $6 for this block. I will stock up when it goes on special.

Work has been fabulous. The new job is awesome and I am having a great time, with some minor adjustment issues all on my side.

You see, I had fashioned myself a uniform of sorts. It had to be very warm because my last workplace was like being set down on an Arctic ice shelf, with two air-conditioning vents directly above where I stood for much of my day blowing cold air on me. And hilariously in summer, the hotter it got outside, the colder it got inside. I wore Uniqlo heat tech long sleeve turtlenecks and a suedey puffer vest – with great pockets – and I was still freezing most of the time.

The new place is warm and if it wasn’t, I would be able to change the temperature myself. There is no uniform and probably no need for one though I could definitely come up with one if I wanted to. I did not realise how much time knowing what I would wear saved me each morning. I pick out my outfit the night before.

I also never wore earrings to my old job – it was actually too dangerous with the machinery. I always wore a brooch to make up for it. But now I can wear earrings, and I will.

Since the start of the year things have been quite chaotic in this household. With family from interstate visiting we had a lot more outings than usual and we’ve got out of the habit of many household routines, like the regular fortnightly grocery shop.

It has been more bitsy shopping here and there, picking up things for a few meals at a time because we weren’t sure where we would be. Batch cooking has also taken a back seat with The Other Half only at work three days a week and only needing three lunches.

It is time to get back on the no spend days horse, and time to get back on the grocery budget and meal planning. We’ve started that process today.

Home, work

I Don’t Work There Anymore.

You may recall last week my post Pondering small and large frustrations. I wrote that on the Sunday. On Thursday of that same week I resigned from my job because I had found a new one!

If you had asked me in January whether I would leave this job anytime soon, the answer would have been NO WAY. Absolutely not. I loved every minute I spent at work, I loved (with two annoying exceptions) the people I worked with, it was challenging, fun, interesting, never the same two days in a row.

There is a long version of this story but why would I bore you with that when I did not enjoy living it? Instead I will give you the super short version..

A day arrived when I was literally SHAKING with anger at work. That was the point I knew I had to move on.

I went to see my employment guru, we re-wrote my resume, I got my head in the job-seeking game, updated all my online profiles, set up email job alerts and joined the local job search groups on Facebook. I officially started job seeking on the 12th of March.

I found out about my new job in a store that I am a regular customer of via the Facebook – it seems these days a lot of jobs are not found on the job search websites.

Having been there a number of times and knowing their general vibe, I wrote a funny cover letter and attached my resume. I was the only one to take such a risk but it paid off, the receiver absolutely loved it and thanked me for making her laugh in the midst of many oh-so-serious cover letters, and scheduled an interview with me as soon as she had a spare minute. When I got there she told me she’d already decided to hire me just based on our emails back and forth – there had been several.

My interview was at 9 on Thursday 28th March, by 11 on Thursday I was at my now-former work resigning, and on Friday I did a shift at my new job. It was very fast and slightly a shock to most people when they found out. Heck, it was a bit of a shock to me but I am totally fine with being shocked this way. :)

I did not need to give any notice and I had made a pact with myself that if I did not receive a roster for the next week before I arrived to resign, I would not offer to work any more shifts other than to train someone new if they needed it.

I arrived to resign only to meet a new staff member who was being trained to work in my area as a surprise. Cheapskate Boss had not even bothered to tell me he had employed a new person to replace my offsider once she went on maternity leave.

We had talked about that happening eventually but I believed we had agreed to involve me in that process so we could find the right kind of person. That just confirmed to me – not that I needed any further confirmation – I was making the right choice in leaving.

I had thought it would be very difficult to walk away when the time arrived but in truth, it really wasn’t. When I went to pick up my stuff today – stuff I needed and bought with my own money in order to do my job because Cheapskate Boss would not buy it – I found out he has cut the shifts down to 4 hours instead of 5. I won’t miss many of the people but I will miss certain parts of my job.

My first shift at my new job went very well, it is a place I always loved to visit. It is definitely a different vibe to where I have been.

I’ve had a little bit of unexpected time off this week as I normally worked Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday. That has been good for me. I took some time to get organised wardrobe wise and house wise.

I also took some time to get out and exercise. We had some gorgeous weather as you see above! While exercising, I mentally packed my boxes of former job related shyte up and stored it somewhere that I won’t have to look at it.

For me there are some unresolved issues that simply will never be resolved. Years ago that would have driven me crazy. I hate unresolved stuff. Now I am pretty good at resolving my side of it and letting it go.

work

Toting

I’m known to be one of the worlds most organised people – if I think I am going to need something I bring it with me. I tote bag a lot. At one point in her 2018 New Zealand tour, the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle was provided with a gorgeous tote bag.

This sent me on a tote bag tour of my own. I eventually found some brilliant ones at Society 6. My experience has been that they are well made out of a good material and thus far I have been unable to destroy them with toting – as tends to happen to your cheaper and some of your more expensive options. They have three different sizes – the 13×13 is on the small side but perfect for lunching out and strolling, the 16×16 is a more useful size for shopping in general, and the 18×18 is good if you have to take a lot of spare stuff with you eg shoes and an entire other outfit like I did last weekend for the election.

There are many different kinds of designs. I was very tempted to get one for my Mother at Christmas that said “It’s beginning to look a lot like fuck this” because that is exactly how she feels about Christmas. Here are some of my personal favourites.

Succulent Garden

Gold Indigo Malachite Marble

“Honeybees”

Koi fish – Yin Yang

REALLY MERMAID BLACK GOLD

Effervescent Orange Atomic Age Black Kitschy Cat Trio

Purple Lavender Quartz Crystal

This is just a very small selection. They have over a thousand totes you can choose from, many of them unique art uploaded by the artists themselves. You can search by colour if you know what colour you would like, or you can type in a word and see what pops up – perhaps peacocks?

Perhaps dogs?

I’ve got 3 in my cart right now which are going to be gifts for family the next time they do 30% off with free shipping. ;)

shopping

Pondering small and large frustrations

Yesterday I worked at the state election. If you have never worked at an election I highly recommend it and there will be a federal election coming up this year – you can check out the employment page here and register your interest.

In the process of updating my info for the federal election I was surprised to see I have been working at elections for nearly 10 years now. I always enjoy it even though it is a very long day. I got up at 6:20 and I didn’t get home till nearly 10pm. Once the booth closes the staff have to do the counting.

The contrast between this one-off casual job and my regular job is vast. While I truly love what I do at work, there are a lot of frustrations there at the moment and I am pondering a possible departure as a result.

I might be a strange being but for me, I do not tolerate boredom well. In my travels out and about in the world, I see a lot of staff in stores who stand about chatting to each other while customers roam unapproached and unserved. I’ve had to interrupt such conversations as a customer when I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

I honestly can’t understand it. I guess that is their way of escaping the boredom but for me, my way of escaping it is to DO SHIZNIT. AKA clean, move stock, tidy, mini-stocktake, merchandise, make tickets, do something anything.

As I sat yesterday in my chair at the election, I said to my co-worker – I never sit at my job. Never. In fact some time ago when I discovered other staff would use the stool in my area as a place to rest their bones for a while and browse the internet, I took the stool out into the warehouse and asked the staff there to hide it somewhere it would not be found.

This hiding plan was a success, the stool has never returned, and now nobody uses that computer to waste time and surf the web. It is a good thing too, I was forever having to move that stool out of the way. I don’t know where the warehouse guys put it and I am fine with that.


(I’ve done some editing so I could post this without identifying my workplace, apologies for that. This was an early version, the current version has spaces for 7 days of ticks.)

I recently made some check lists for work as my coworker had suddenly started to forget important things that needed to be done, like the till. She went home and left all the money in there. Another co-worker found it at the end of the day and had to reconcile that till as a surprise to herself.

While I am pretty good at remembering things and have never once left my till money in the register I have found the checklists to be extremely useful. I love ticking things off. I love that anyone can walk in there and see exactly what I did that week and when I did it. I just laminate them and use a whiteboard marker because you can clean that off easily without much effort.

My coworker thought this was a great idea and ticked things off for a couple of days, then forgot the checklists exist. I’m not mad at it because I am loving the checklists for myself but I am worried for her that she’s mentally not present a lot of the time and a bit concerned she might forget the till again..

With The Other Half starting uni this year, his mind was full of stuff, and the very first day he went he forgot to lock the back door. I decided a home checklist was a great idea, and we now have one on the laundry door. It has been handy because he gets up and leaves before I get up, so at one glance I can tell what he has done and what I need to do before I leave.

Most of the time I appear to be serenely floating across the water like a swan but the feet are always madly paddling underneath. Occasionally there is a day where it seems the swan is upside down and all you see is my madly paddling feet, but those days are further apart than they have ever been. I feel confident in what I am doing and 99% of the time am absolutely loving it.

When I think about leaving, I think of the things that challenge me, things that I LOVE doing – and bear in mind I am the only person in the store who enjoys those particular aspects of that job. Everyone else hates those tasks. I would truly miss them and be unlikely to find them in any future role.

There are just some small and large frustrations that make me think maybe it is time to look and see whether there might be another place for me, where my hard work is appreciated and valued. So, I ponder. :)

This post was inspired by another post – Working.

work

February Goals

This year I am getting back on the focused exercise train. Too much work, allowing some undesirable foods to creep back into the diet and not enough walking or running have seen a small weight gain on the scales. Not much, because I am doing something about it before it continues, but enough to make me feel slightly uncomfortable.

I wasn’t really sure what kind of goal to set. I did a few walks in January and generally felt they went ok, but I would like to get back to running again. I also wanted to get some serious distance in across the month BUT I have to be realistic about it.

In general I work 3 days a week at the moment but that could increase without much notice as a surprise to myself, in fact I could be called in to cover at the last minute. Making plans and appointments is a bit difficult for that reason. I just have to be prepared.

What I’d like to do at the end of the month is take my mileage and divide it by 28 and it works out to 5km per day. That means I would have to walk 140km in the month of February. I could do it as 14 10kms, which leaves me free days if I don’t get a chance to walk. Is it doable? Who knows. But I know when I set a goal I like to smash it, so.. we will see. I’ll check in once a week to let you know how I am going. We are now 3 days into Fitness February so here is the first check in.

I kicked off the day before February began – this walk will not count to the February total, but I’m just going to put it here for the record.

On Friday February 1st, I did my first 10km for the year. I divided it up into two 5kms when I tracked it on my Fitbit because I set two different pace goals – 8 minutes per KM for the first half, and 10 minutes per KM for the second half.

Friday was a really good day for it, overcast with cool temperatures of just 22C (71.6F) and not much breeze – it would have been too cold for me if there were one.

For the first 5km I ran 100m out of every 500m, which might have been a bit ambitious but felt ok at the time. The next day I was a bit sore and I had to work plus we had family over for a BBQ so I couldn’t go for a recovery walk on Saturday. But I made up for that on Sunday.

I did not set pace goals for Sunday, I really just wanted to stretch out and try to sort out the muscle soreness. My plan was to walk 45 minutes in one direction, then return back to the car.

It was a gorgeous hot sunny day, about 27C (80.6F) with a strong sea breeze. It turned out I needed a bathroom visit mid-walk and I decided to keep going to my preferred bathroom rather than stop at the most used one at Moona Moona creek, which was absolutely packed. This added an extra 1.5km onto my walk, and some extra time as well. It was ok, I wasn’t in a hurry.

In fact every carpark was packed and I couldn’t get my usual favourite spots, so I will have to keep that in mind for Saturday and Sunday walking this month.

February Total so far – 21.08

exercise, Fitness February 2019, Snoskred Lives

Merry Christmas To All

That about sums up how I am feeling today, less than 5 hours after I completed what I have secretly nicknamed “The Santa Obstacle Course 2018”.

When I realised I had finished it, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and I felt like dancing. But I still had two hours more work to do, stocktaking our little area, tidying up because my offsider is a bit of a hurricane at times and also forgets to put things back where they live, cleaning, sorting, fixing.

After that I caught a lift home, made coffee, cleaned some in preparation for tomorrow – we are hosting Christmas – snuck out for a quick take away dinner, had afternoon coffee at the late hour of 7pm, cleaned a little more, and I still have a bit more cleaning to do.

I had no idea it was possible to be this tired. I’m ready for sleep already. It isn’t physically tired, though there is some of that. I’ve been getting my 10000 steps every single work day these past weeks. I’ve actually kicked the chair out of my area because I don’t have time to sit and I don’t have room for the chair.

It is 90% mentally tired and part of it is Aspie tired. You see, usually at any given time in my job, I might have 20-50 items with various names on them, waiting for the customer to pick them up. All of that is mentally catalogued via my Aspie Super Powers, filed away neatly in my brain. When the customer arrives, I ask for the surname, and it takes me mere moments for my mental file system to tell me exactly where that item is.

Over the past 5 weeks, I have had double to triple the amount of items with various names on them. I’ve also had 200 or so extra items with names each week to catalogue. I’m not the only person working there, either. I’ve had to create “maps” of where everything is, so the other folks can find things fast when they need to. That plan seems to have worked really well.

I did get my Christmas Glitter Nails, and promptly forgot to take any photos. Here they are two weeks in. You can’t see the rainbow holographic glitter on the thumbnail but believe me it is there. I’ve been loving these nails, even though they are “mismatched” and somewhat weird to some folks. My nail lady thought I was cuckoo, she is probably right. ;)

I wish you all the compliments of the season and hope you have a lovely Christmas day filled with whatever floats your boat. I’ll try to remember to take some photos to share with you this year. :)

Nail Art, work