low battery

I am so glad that it is finally Sunday, and I finally have a day off. I’ve worked 8+ hours every day, Monday through to Saturday, and that is why I haven’t had a chance to write a post so far this week. Basically, I’ve just been too tired when I get home (and then shower, eat dinner, check emails, etc). Plus, I haven’t really been inspired to write by my work-sleep cycle.

Anyway, what I actually wanted to write about was something that happened at work yesterday.

There are certain things that some pharmacies sell that some people would question – that is, they don’t seem to be things that pharmacies should sell, or that normal people would go to a pharmacy to buy. These are things like detergent, pet food, toilet paper and stuff like that – the sort of things that people would usually get at a supermarket or convenience store or something. Some pharmacies also sell batteries, which I always thought was a bit odd, since you can get them at supermarkets, department stores and bargain shops.

I mean, I thought it was reasonable to sell those small ones for hearing aids, seeing as a lot of people with hearing aids visit pharmacies, but the ones for more general uses seemed a bit out of place. There are still people who buy them from us, and there are people who expect to be able to get batteries (and phone chargers, etc) at pharmacies, but I wouldn’t think that the turnover is that great.

Well, yesterday, I had a customer call up and ask if we had batteries that would fit her blood glucose meter. She was a bit distressed because she needed to take a reading, but didn’t have the right batteries to replace the ones in the machine that had gone flat. Fortunately, we had the right ones, and she was able to come in and get them.

After talking to this customer yesterday, my first thought was “and that’s why pharmacies sell batteries”. You see, it’s not just about having the right products, it’s about the service and assistance that you get with it. It’s also about fulfilling customer expectations and being accessible. Although supermarkets and convenience stores are open on weekends, I wouldn’t think that people would call these places and ask them if they have a battery that would fit a certain machine. (Do those sort of places even have direct phone numbers for customers to call?)

And so, with that and other interactions, I suppose my crazy-long week at work was worth it. Regardless, I’m still glad that I’ll be back to a normal sort of week next week. Well, I hope it’ll be normal…

can it

I was having dinner with friends at a Thai restaurant the other night, and one person had ordered a dish (I forget what – maybe Pad Thai or something) that had a bunch of beansprouts heaped on top of it. Another friend then made a comment about having to buy canned beansprouts, which made me do an auditory double-take. You can buy canned beansprouts?

Apparently, yes, you can. Not even anywhere special – just your ordinary supermarket.

Having only ever seen beansprouts in two different forms my whole life – fresh and cooked – it took me a while to grasp the concept of canned beansprouts. I actually sat there as the conversation continued, trying to visualise a can of beansprouts (or, more specifically, opening a can to find preserved beansprouts inside).

Ok, I know that people will practically preserve anything in a can/tin (the strangest one I’ve heard about is probably tinned hamburger – because you want to be able to satisfy your burger cravings when you’re hiding away from bomb raids and zombie apocolypses) but… canned beansprouts? Are you serious? What’s next – canned lettuce? (If that already exists, please don’t tell me. I need to wrap my head around this first.)

This also reminded me of another conversation at work. It was lunchtime, so we were naturally talking about food. Someone must have been eating, like, an Asian stir fry or something because we got onto the topic of baby corn, and someone mentioned that they only like fresh baby corn, not the canned stuff.

You can buy fresh baby corn? As in, buy it like you’d buy normal corn – in the fruit and veg section of a supermarket?

At this point, I was doing the same thing I did for the canned beansprouts, but was instead trying to picture a gondola of fresh baby corn not in cans, in the fresh produce section of a supermarket, beside baby carrots and snowpeas and stuff (because that seems logical…)

My friend assured me that it is, in fact, “a thing” but not very common, which is probably why I’ve never seen it before. I’d never really thought about the harvesting and storage of baby corn before, but I’m pretty sure that somewhere in my mind, I didn’t think it was possible to sell fresh baby corn. The canned stuff was all I’d ever known, so my brain must have formulated the idea that baby corn spoils really quickly unless it’s canned.

Thankfully, my brain didn’t create similar theories for other canned foods. At least, I don’t think it did…

fragments

I haven’t done a quick, short post in a while, so I’m going to allow it this time, since I’ve been just so unbelievably tired these last few nights that I don’t know if I’m going to be able to recover enough energy to be able to write a decent post by the end of the week.

I would say that there isn’t actually much to report, but it’s kind of the opposite, and that’s probably why I’m so tired…

Didn’t get any sleep-ins on the week-end, and no early nights either. A small sacrifice, I suppose, if it’d even be considered that.

Got flowers on Monday as a thank-you (delivered to my pharmacy). Completely unexpected, but surprisingly very pleasant surprise. Was not something that I did for gratitude. Was just something that friends do.

Work seems to be going steady. Still hoping things will improve. Still many things that could be improved.

Haven’t been reading as much on my commutes, preferring to stare into space and let my mind wander. Sometimes will make myself read anyway to avoid too much wandering. Missed my stop on Monday morning, and had to walk a bit further to a different train station. Good thing I was early anyway.

Going to sleep now because “short and sweet” was the brief, and am not sure >200 words still counts as short… Please note, however, that fragmented sentences are a product of tiredness and laziness, and not an attempt to minimise words.

Goodnight.

on the side

I was talking to a friend the other day about my blog, and I realised that, although I only got into blogging because some friends were also into it, very few of those (if any) still maintain a blog (that I know of). And here I still am, adamant that I’ll maintain this post-per-week thing for as long as I am able to type and have some sort of internet access.

I suppose this has sort of become a hobby. I’ve never really thought of blogging as a hobby before, though. If people ask me what I do in my spare time, or if I have any hobbies, I actually quite highly doubt that “blogging” would even cross my mind. And yet, it fulfills all the requirements of a hobby. Is that strange?

Well, I figure it’s because I just consider it to be a thing that I do – not necessarily a past-time, but an essential part of my week. It’s like how I wouldn’t consider ironing my work uniform to be a hobby, even though it’s something that gets done on a roughly weekly basis. And, no, I also don’t exactly consider it a chore, since I generally don’t have a problem with ironing (unless it’s ridiculously hot or something, in which case I’d just wait until later in the day when it’s cooler, or put the air conditioner on).

On a side note, the more I talk to people about ironing (and, no, don’t worry, it doesn’t pop up in conversation that often), the more I find that a lot of other people don’t mind ironing either. Granted, a lot of other people hate it, but that’s kind of the norm, I guess.

On another side topic that’s kind of unrelated but I’m going to write about anyway because I just thought of it and this is my blog, so I’ll write about what I want – I can’t remember who or where, but someone was talking about how they’ve only ever seen certain words written down and thus don’t know how to pronounce them properly because they’ve never heard those words spoken. And now I kind of wonder if there are certain words, which I’ve learnt from reading and deducing the meaning from the context, that actually mean something (slightly) different.

I like learning new words and expanding my vocabulary and such, but a lot of the time, when I’m reading a book, I don’t want to interrupt the story by looking up words to find the proper definition. Sometimes I’ll make a note of the word (mental or written) to remind myself to look it up later …but that doesn’t always happen. So now I have this very mild and probably insignificant paranoia that there may be certain words that I’ve read/heard a hundred times and thus think I know the meaning of, which actually mean something a bit different.

For example, I managed to slip the word “enthralled” into conversation today, and afterwards had some misgivings about its usage in that particular context, so I actually looked it up just before, and happily found out that my usage of the word was fine. On a side note to this extended side note, I quite like the word “enthralled”, so I’m glad it means what I thought it meant.

summer withdrawal

So it’s the first week of autumn, and the song that’s been relentlessly playing over and over again in my head is Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness“. Does that mean something? (other than the obvious that the song is catchy)

It still kind of feels like summer, although it is getting cooler at night. But it seems to have stayed quite hot during the day, except for all the recent rain cooling things down (I’m kind of just guessing here, since I’m indoors all day at work, where the air-con is just set to cold).

But there’s more to summer than just heat and humidity. For one, students are all on holidays, which means less traffic and less people on buses and no overcrowded bus stops. It might be just a small part of the day, but it makes me just a bit less irritable on my morning commute if I’m not surrounded by high school and uni students the whole way. Nothing against any of them, really – it’s just that there are so many of them.

Summer is actually probably my least favourite season – mostly because I don’t like the humidity and mosquitos and stuff like that – but, when I think about it, summer is actually pretty good. I mean, when I say that it’s the least favourite, that doesn’t mean that it is not liked at all. This summer was alright: I’ve had very little trouble with mozzies, and weather-wise it’s been ok (didn’t seem to be as many crazy storms and such compared to previous years).

And still there is more. Living in the southern hemisphere, Christmas and New Year’s are both summer holidays. Plus, there’s also Australia Day. I reckon this lovely collection of public holidays makes summer feel like the relaxed season. Summer is the chilled-out one that says “take it easy; enjoy life”.

But, you know what, it’s all ok because it’ll be summer again before the end of the year. Speaking of which, I can’t believe we’re already over two months into 2014!

The days come to us from dreams and hopes, linger for but a moment and opportunity, and then leave again to memories and reminiscences.

early mornings and late nights

Wellity, wellity, wellity… It seems that I’ve left my post for this week quite late… But still within the week! (I’m going by a Mon-Sun week, since that’s how the calendar is displayed…)

It’s not that I’ve been putting it off or procrastinating or lacking things to write about. It’s more that I haven’t had the time, have been too tired, or just outright forgot. I wouldn’t intentionally take such a big risk, putting my track record for weekly posts on the line when all manner of things could conspire against my getting something published.

A couple of days ago, I was actually going to post this tribute to 6am:

6am is a beautiful time of the day.

I know, many people would disagree, arguing that it is much too early for anything to appear beautiful unless it is appearing in a dream that you’re dreaming because you’re still peacefully asleep – and there are (many) days that I would agree with this – but today I felt like 6am was perfect.

I had another 7am start at work today, so 6am was actually the time that I left the house. It’s a good time to be out because the only other people who are out at that time are people also going to work, people excercising and people walking their dogs.

But before I could finish this post, I suddenly got incredibly sleepy and decided that I couldn’t possibly still post that. Of course, it’s not entirely the fault of early mornings. Late nights should probably also share the blame. There seems to be a trade-off between late nights and early mornings – you just can’t enjoy both (not consecutively, anyway).

Well, I had also wanted to write about Anh Do’s autobiography ‘The Happiest Refugee’, which I’d actually finished reading last Sunday. As someone who has next to no interest in reading about the lives of real people, the only other biography I’ve ever read was for an English assignment back in high school (and I’m not even sure if I read the whole thing or just read enough to allow me to do the assignment). But this particular one had been recommended by a number of people, and I also like his stand-up comedy, so I thought I’d give it a go (plus, it was only $1 or something from Lifeline).

But if I knew more biographies were like this, I’d probably read more of them. ‘The Happiest Refugee’ was funny, inspiring, entertaining and moving. Reading his book, I just kept thinking “Anh’s such a top bloke – just his attitude and outlook on life and everything”. The world would benefit from having more guys like him, or from more people reading his book (subtle hint right there). But having said that, he doesn’t talk himself up a lot. He still seems like a really humble guy.

Anyway, hopefully this week goes more smoothly and I’ll have the time and energy to post during the week rather than at the end of it. (No guarantees, though.)