Category Archives: Food

#Shhhhh

Hello to all ‘my peeps’ out there! lol jokes, I’m just talking to myself… Again… Awkward!

Anyhow, new post, new topic! Let’s begin.

So, it is needless to say that we live in a, still fairly new, technological age, where we are all (in at least one form or another) dependent on technology. And one of the benefits and hindrances is the accessibility of information. As far as this post is concerned, I won’t get into the undeniable fact that this accessibility has invasive and frightening affects – I’ll leave that for another time; so, right now, I’m referring to the way we utilise technology in the form of computers, laptops, iPads etc. to access the internet in order to find out more and acquire more knowledge. In that sense, that’s fine – I mean, we all adapt and keep up with the pace of the world.

But with that being said, I am, to a certain extent, slightly traditional in that, I ‘enjoy’ going to the library. I like the fact that it doesn’t hurt my eyes to read what’s in front of me, and the touch and smell that emanate from the pages and ink; I enjoy the peace in which you’re able to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the corporate world, and just dive into your thoughts, or get that last bit of work done and dusted to achieve that sense of satisfaction – you know, that feeling when you know you no longer have those few things you need to complete before being able to completely immerse yourself into relaxation mode.

For those who aren’t really familiar with the library, I think they’re subject to negative preconceptions regarding libraries. Yes, we’re in the technological age, but that, by no means, prevents new books from being printed, and therefore, the books contained within the library are not all out of date. If anything, you’re probably more likely to find out of date works on the internet – at least with the books, they tell you who published it and when to qualify its reliability. Also, the library is not all strict, prissy little ladies who hush and reprimand you for every audible sound you utter; on the contrary, I find that the majority are sociable, and somewhat laid back.

But here’s the problem: the library actually isn’t strict enough.

As mentioned earlier, I like the peacefulness of the place. I can get things done – there’s a lack of distractions, and the atmosphere of the place is supposed to motivate you to study and work. This isn’t a social watering hole. On numerous occasions have I been at the library where there have been clusters of students who are supposedly ‘studying’ for their exams… With their friends. Just to let you know, I’m practically certain that what ‘controversial’ events that the other people in your year got up to last Friday night will not be in your upcoming Biology exam. Just call it instinct. And I’m also pretty sure that no one else in the library really cares to hear of it either. No offense, though. Anyhow, if you’re simply here for a social session, why not spend it outside? The sky is blue, the birds are singing – let the outside world enjoy your company, instead of having a hissy when the few people around you give you frustrated glares and exasperated sighs.

On the topic of the above, sure, you obviously have the right to use the computers for your study. But don’t claim to study and then log into Facebook, then go on to talk to each other about what you read. And on top of that, make sure you don’t post status updates on Facebook, whether it be serious or sarcastic, about how productive you are being, because I can assure you, beside the few people who are apparently daft enough to take that bait of yours, no one else really cares, and they are more or less complaining about you.

I’m subject to listening to my iPod more often than not while I study. It just helps me to disconnect from the rest of the library, that’s all – I know that it probably isn’t beneficial as far as studying effectively goes, but it’s just what I do. So with respect to that, I’m fine with other people listening to their iPods or whatever musical device they use; I can’t see why many people would be opposed to that, except for its probable effects on studying. But I’m pretty sure there is a problem when I can most definitely hear what your listening to over what I’m listening to and the general noises within the library. And of course, the frequent perpetrators of this are those who enjoy listening to the loudest and most aggressive of music. People, we’re not in your bedroom; nor did I ask if I could share one of your earphones as to listen to what your favourite song is. Also, I can’t imagine being deaf at the age of 20 is on anybody’s bucket list. So for the love of God, turn your music down!

Ok, even though the post is still an essay and a half like usual, my next point is going to be my last since I should be studying… Awkward, again.

My final point is for those who seem to think bringing in hot or noisy food is all right. Now, don’t get me wrong, I admit that I have brought food into the library before – even, to be a hypocrite, some hot food, but that was when I was younger, and stupid. Oh, so stupid. Anyhow, nowadays, if I do choose to smuggle a few snacks here and there into the library for a much needed energy boost, I make sure that it is something that people cannot hear me eat, and also that they cannot smell my food. I think that’s fair, especially since I’m not touching any of the books in the library or the computers after eating – more often than not, I’d be reading my study notes or typing away on my laptop. But I guess not everyone can be as conscientious as me (lol). For instance, just a few days ago, I was studying away at a desk near the computers, all the other spaces having been taken. First off, there are these few people to my left who are adamant t chat away every so often. Second off, no one in the computer section seemed to have come accustomed with the invention called the earphones, or the mute button on the computers – I swear, each individual was guilty of playing something on YouTube or a site out loud before realising everybody could hear everything, at least once each. But then, one lady walks in. She sits down at a computer – all okay at the moment. But then, she unzips her backpack, then unleashes her paper bag of fast food which she had bought moments before from the shop across the road. For the next fifteen minutes, as I was trying to read my textbook, all I could hear was her crunching her paper bag and paper wrappings as loudly as her fists could manage, and smell the odorous wafts of her food. I don’t know whether she thought she was being cunning and sly as she sat at the computer behind a wall, hiding her from the front desk, but she was, by all means, not subtle at all! And once she had completed her meal, she continues to use the computer.

So, basically, I just find that despite the library having a reputation for being a place to accommodate learning and studying, much of its users are not being respectful for those who intend to use it just for that. It’s rude and inconsiderate, and if so many people are wanting a social hub, then the government should invest in that.

That’s it. Simply.

Thanks guys, got to go now!

#FirstWorldLife

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#ChequeCreditOrSavings

Hello to my rare, yet existent, readers, and sorry that I hadn’t been around as of late – university, work and life in general have been quite hectic. I won’t delay my rant; let’s get right into it, shall we?

So, for the few, whoever they may be, I’m going to reveal (out of obligation in order to understand the context of this rant) another fact about myself: like many of us First-World-students out there, I have a casual time job – I mean, we need to support our youthful lifestyles somehow, don’t we? I mean, it’d be ideal not to have a job but instead have a steady flow of income streaming into your bank account, leaving you to be more than comfortable. But no; of course that isn’t the case.

Anyhow, that wasn’t exactly the fact. The fact is that I work in retail. Do not get me wrong, although this being the topic, I’m grateful for the fact that the first ‘real’ (well, as real as it can get when you’re after a casual time job of decent wage while you’re a student) job I managed to obtain via an interview and retain it for however long it has been (I’d give it maybe 9, maybe even 10 months, so clearly, the term ‘retain’ is used quite loosely here). But that doesn’t stop me from feeling somewhat and somehow victimised.

So, I’m not sure whether you personally have endured the position of a retail assistant, or you know of someone who has, but for those who haven’t, sure, the pay is average (at least, it’s what my age group is supposed to earn, as opposed to the wage of those who work in food services who are paid a smaller amount), but words cannot express the mental and emotional endurance it requires. And this having been my first job, my God, it hit me like a brick wall. Coated in concrete. Then encased inside iron sheets.

Mind you, myself and various other individuals attained a position for the holiday period – at that point, I can’t say I had that much to complain about. I mean, there were the odd things here and there I didn’t understand or did wrong, but I was certainly not alone. And luckily for a few others and yours truly, the manager had decided to keep us on. Hurrah for me, right?

But since then, the holidays have finished – no more relaxing and socialising whenever I’m not earning my pay. Instead, I got to ‘delightfully’ replace those blissful days with university. As mentioned in a prior post, I’m not exactly the happiest of the bunch as far as my tertiary education is concerned; the commute and the contact hours are deadly by itself, let alone the assignments and the obligation to be always socially conscious. Anyhow, what I am trying to say is that, with the new job and university life joining forces, I began to feel that aforementioned brick wall. I didn’t come out of it unconscious, but I have felt delusional and depressed from the stress.

So, the cause of my downfall: the job. Like I had said, I’m grateful, truly. And there are great discount perks as well, and I personally think that having such a person-to-person contact job has helped me to be at least slightly more sociable and outgoing – or as far as my socially inept character has enabled me to grow. But still… At the end of my shift, every time I am amazed at the sloppiness and inconsideration of people. I understand that being the customer, you have the right to, I suppose, utilise the assistance to its fullest – I mean, they’re working in order to come into our store and purchase whatever products, and essentially, that’s what us assistants are doing. Yet, I think everyone has taken this too far. For instance, we have certain clothes folded on tables out the front of the store – obviously, they’re often popular items so that customers are lured inside. I can accept a few of these items being unfolded and tossed around to see what it’s like, et cetera, but I find that, despite each pile having the same item but in different sizes, there are always those people who don’t seem to understand that. By this I mean that even though a whole pile may be of the same style, there is an individual who, for some unknown reason, will go through half the pile and unfold everything to their fullest extent, just to check that they are actually the same. Then leave them there, because she only realised at the end of her expedition that she was no longer interested in it.

Then there are the coat hangers. I personally didn’t realise how difficult people found hanging clothes up to be mind-blowingly excruciating. If I had received even 5 cents for every time someone had put the item back in (obviously) the wrong spot (which causes problems when they carelessly place them on racks labelled for items of reduced prices, when the item is full price), the item was hung up inside out or backwards, the hanger itself was backwards, or they hadn’t even bothered to hang them (instead just left them on the floor), then, no joke, I probably would not need a job to fund the rest of my life.

We also get these customers who ask whether we have anything in the storeroom. People, if we had them, and there was space for them or there was a lack of that item, do you not think that us workers have got the common sense to put them out? I understand that retail may not be deemed as the most ‘academic’ job, but we are not stupid. And many of us are actually trying to do what we can in order to make things easier for you, and ultimately to get you to purchase items, despite being treated like the lowest of servants. Then there was this one time when a lady (with a guy, who was clearly her son) comes in and asks whether we had the jacket that was displayed on the mannequin. I reply with something along the lines of ‘we’ve sold out’ (but phrased much more politely and amicably). To this, in order to satisfy her precious son, who does not seem as into the jacket as she makes it seem, the lady asks if the jacket on the mannequin is for sale, to which I respond that it is not – we’re not allowed by the manager to sell them, as 1) it requires the dismantling of the mannequin 2) there would be nothing to replace the removed jacket with since we’ve sold out, and 3) we’re prohibited from selling those, as the styles on the mannequins are set by the company. To this, she questions as to why we’re advertising clothing which we don’t sell. Now, she didn’t query this in so much as an aggressive manner, but she clearly had an intention to be a smart-arse, as she adds that annoying, ‘cheeky’ smile at the end. To that lady: do you not understand what the term “sold-out” means? I am trying to tell you that we sell them, but we have run out because you were too late. We’re probably going to get more, and when we do, we’re not going to put them all on different mannequins and not sell them. You’re not being smart, so stop trying belittle me, because this is not my fault, and I am not being daft. Go home. Please.

And the change rooms. The state of these change rooms have been on the verge of pushing me into a metal breakdown. I get that you might leave clothes you try on on the floor for you to clean up later on when your heart desires – I mean, I do it too – but this isn’t your home; not even remotely close. And if it was, next time you’re around, feel free to vacuum the place as well. You don’t understand how time consuming it is to grab the twenty-or-so items you have so kindly left behind, turn them back inside-out, hang them up or fold them, then return them to their original location in a store which rearranges itself monthly, while having to focus on customer service, shoplifters, and the cashier. Especially when your selfishness results in us assistants being told off by our bosses, regardless of how hard we have been working.

I know I have been going for ages, but there is still plenty more to come, so if you have not yet figured out that this is an extensive essay and a half on why I am despising my retail job at the top because it is merely adding unwarranted stress on top of my other concerns, I am telling you now that by no means are you obligated to read on (assuming that you have made it this far!)

Customers. Ugh. There are the few that are the sweetest, or the funniest; just those handful of people who don’t have a life goal to ruin your shift. Thank you. Genuinely, bless you. But for the rest of you… Like many other retail stores, we’re required to promote other items while we’re serving customers. I’m not sure if you don’t know this, but we HAVE to ask you whether you wanted to buy this item for this reduced price, or sign up to our mailing list. So with that amazing revelation, do not give us the dirtiest look you can muster because we are doing our jobs, and also do not cut us off rudely or comment condescendingly – we don’t come into your office job, shuffle and tear forms and documents, and shout obscene comments at you about what you’re doing wrong. Also, many of us who work here are not that inept or deceitful: we do not go out of our way to lie to you about our refund and exchange policy, so do not come back a few weeks later being adamant that you were told otherwise regarding your unwanted items; and no, when we ask you whether you want to make a charity donation, we are not pocketing these funds for ourselves. That would be stealing. That is illegal. We are not thieves. Do you get it now? Or would you like a picture? And there is one manager. The rest of us are simply casual workers. So when I imply that I’m just a casual, doing as I am asked, and the manager is not here today, do not persist your concerns. I have clearly addressed them to the best of my ability – I had a customer who, throughout a discussion, repeatedly said “Oh, I couldn’t give a shit etc. etc. it doesn’t affect me etc. etc. But is your manager here?”. If you don’t care, I can’t do anything about your problem, and I have said the manager is not here… Why are you still here? I have found that, even though I have been in retail for under a year, many of the people need to understand that a lot of the problems are not our fault – if they are, they were not done intentionally, and we sincerely apologise, and will do what we can to rectify this. Yes, you might be slightly annoyed, but many people take far too an aggressive and abusive stance – don’t yell at us, because we already feel guilty, and it probably makes us more nervous and panicked, and more likely to make another mistake. Just because you have clearly had a bad day does not, in the slightest way, give you the permission nor the justification to ruin another individual’s day, especially when they’re doing what they can to help you out. Ugh!

I’m fine with you guys bringing food into the store – it’s fair enough: in the shopping complex, buy some food, look and buy some merchandise. Seems reasonable. But do not be a slob. Don’t just leave your empty coffee cups and drink bottles and food wrappers wherever your heart desires. This is not a tip. And even more, don’t leave unfinished food and drink lying about. But on top of this, if you spill something, don’t just walk away and leave it for us to discover, because I’m not sure if you knew this, but we don’t consider that half a cup of juice and unfinished burger that you spilled and left on the ground to be anywhere near the likes of treasure. It’s disgusting. Next time I you’re at your office job, I might accidentally spill 2-minute noodles, a cup of coffee, and a mystery meal over your desk. And do you know what I’ll do? I will deliberately make eye contact with you, before running away. Cheers.

Lastly (I think I’m slowly running out of steam – lucky you!), the inequality within the workplace. I understand that depending on how long people have been working at the store, the manager’s clearly going to place more trust in, or is going to have a better relationship with some than others. But at the same time, if we are all (besides the manger, obviously) placed under the same category of casual time, and we get the same menial tasks to do, a sense of equality needs to be accomplished. But that is not the case, of course. The manager always has the one or few favourites – yes, they might get a talking to if they do something wrong, but clearly no where near the extent to us non-favourites. Lucky me. The one example that has recently frustrated me is this: a few of us worked one day; it was the manager’s day off. The store got shredded apart by customers, and this being our jobs, we naturally do what we can to tidy up the store while still accommodating to our customer’s needs. Come closing, we get half an hour to tidy up and vacuum. Did what we could, in all honesty, by with 30 minutes, there’s only so much you can do regardless of effort input. I’m sure we would have stayed a bit longer tidying up, but we’re actually not allowed without prior permission, since we can’t extend our shift and expect additional pay for that extension. So we leave, thinking that the store was in a better, if not manageable condition for the next day (which none of us were working, but others and the manager were). And we get a lovely text from the manager the next day reprimanding us for the atrocious state of the store and how this was not acceptable. We understand that the store wasn’t great, but in all honestly, we thought he was exaggerating, and is it really fair to base what he is seeing without having an understanding of what the store was like before our tidying? Being the emotional vulnerable wuss that I am, I take this on board but with a heavy heart, which had actually ruined several of my subsequent days, with the words of the text running through my head at a not-so-healthy frequency. But here’s something else: the week before, the manager had closed the store – and naturally, when we leave, he is supposed to check everything is fine, and that the doors are locked for the obvious reasons. Next day when I worked, the person who had opened mentions how half the doors were not locked. But who is going to call the manager out on this? Are we going to tell the head office for him to receive a text message stating his poor behaviour and unsatisfactory actions? Of course not. It does not matter the extent of wrongdoing the top-dog does, because even if we were to notify some high, mighty and superior boss, this will probably backfire onto us. On top of this, last shift, the same group and I (the ‘naughty’ people who left the store messy) are working together again. Get there in the morning, what do we see? The store is horrible, and the workers of the day before had not even vacuumed. Guess who was there working as well, though. Yup, the manager. Because he was there, he can excuse it, since he knows that everyone tried their best. Did he get a text castigating his standards? I guess not. And this just sucks.

So yeah, I think I’m vented out – whether or not there were more points, I’m too knackered to continue on.

This massive post should hopefully make up for the lack of posts lately, enjoy!

#FirstWorldLife

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#FreshAs

Look, guys and girls, like I’d mentioned, on the occasion, I’m going to be talking about the pro’s of the First World, just to even things out, you know? So, as fun as it is to have a cry together, let’s just remember that there are things that make us, at least, somewhat happy (surprise!). But because I feel like the positives are much easier to cover in a short amount of words, unless it’s some “amaze-balls” (yes, I regrettably just wrote that…) thought or thing, I’ll be covering two or even three happiness-inducers (this is going to get overwhelming).

Let’s start.

Froyo. That word probably sums it up for many of you; but in case it doesn’t, come on, people, what are you doing with your lives? So, for all you inexperienced ones out there, “Froyo” is a “hip” abbreviation for frozen yoghurt. For the few that depressingly are unaware of what frozen yoghurt is… Well, the name says it all, doesn’t it? It has the consistency of somewhere between yoghurt and ice cream – I somehow doubt it’s not as easy as chucking your favourite tub of yoghurt in the freezer overnight to produce though… Damn… It also has a slightly different taste, which I can’t describe. But basically, it’s de-freakin’-licious; the ‘yoghurt’ itself can come in various flavours, from vanilla to green tea, and on top of that (it just keeps getting better), you get to choose toppings. And who doesn’t love toppings?! Who?! My personal favourites are fruit or Oreos; just saying. Anyhow, despite the whether, despite my mood, Froyo’s just make my day with its delightful, healthy freshness, unlike a pre-chewed Macca’s burger which make your arteries cry, and your heart sweat with fear.

Now, my second pro for the day: winter sleep-ins. As suggested, this is not just any sleep-in of the year, but specifically winter. Don’t get me wrong, when people ask me ‘what’s your favourite season’ (not a daily occurrence, but it has occurred), I’d immediately opt for summer – I mean, I live in Australia, what kind of question is that, right? But that being said, I don’t hate any seasons. I’m not afraid to say that I also love winter. Predominantly because of its freshness; the air just feels that much lighter, and breathable, you know? Anyhow, back to the sleep-ins. What I was saying was that the freshness of winter just make those Saturday and Sunday morning sleep-ins infinitesimally better: you’re just cosily cocooned in the depths of your blanket and pillows, not too hot and not too cold, and on top of that, you know you have nothing on for the rest of the day to worry about. Then by the time you wake up, the sun is high up above, without a cloud in the sky: the perfect time to just lounge with your back absorbing the sun’s rays like some semi-hibernated reptile. Pure joy, that’s what it is. And you can even sweeten the deal with a cup of your favourite hot chocolate (or for many of you, coffee), and waste the day away, like the weekend was never-ending.

So, everyone, if that didn’t make you slightly joyous… It at least made me happier. So, thanks for that! Like last time, comment, discuss etc. etc. and I shall get back to you soon.

#FirstWorld

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