Talking about my job at Primark

After my previous post explaining how I got to my current job, I thought I would follow it up by talking about my new job at Primark, including my roles and what I like/dislike about it.

Talking about my job at Primark

My official contracted job role in Primark is that I am a customer service representative. I was surprised that they put me there to be honest as I have never had any retail experience beforehand but after trying many different roles in the store during overtime, I definitely know that that’s where “I belong.”

My roles in customer service are quite vast actually. We have lots of small tasks to do, but we always have to do them simultaneously so when there’s a queue forming and we’re busy, it can end up being quite challenging. Our tasks are as follows:

Returning items

Exchanges with receipt

Exchanges without receipt

Hanging or folding all clothing we receive

Putting all other items in 25 different categories

Answering the phone and receiving instore and out-of-store calls

Making all the tannoy announcements

Going to the stock room and doing price enquiries

Arriving an hour early on Sunday’s at clearing the rails on the shop floor

In charge of lost property

In charge of staff purchases

In charge of donating things to charity or deciding whether they need to be disposed of

*Just realised that looks like a Christmas tree shape*

Talking about my job at Primark

As you can see, we really are kept on our toes. It can be stressful but there’s always something to be done and there’s never a dull moment. I also like it for the fact that I can talk to customers or more colleague as we go. Often in department work, you’re given a whole section by yourself and you spend the whole shift sorting or folding clothes with little interaction whereas, in customer service, we can hang clothes up and sort items while having a good little gossip or chat!

Don’t get me wrong though, there are some definite disadvantages. We can often get displeased customers, impatient customers, or some customers that aren’t considerate of the queue forming behind us and kick up an unneeded fuss. Oh, and we the departments certainly don’t hesitate when phoning us to do tannoys!

With that being said, I have done a lot of overtime this month, in all different areas of the store, but I’m sure that customer service is the place for me. I love interacting with customers and the challenge of multitasking combined with a good bit of socialising!

Do you enjoy your job? What does yours entail?

The Frugal Frenchie x

What does positive body image actually mean?

Society nowadays encourages us to embrace our bodies and to commit to activities that boost our self-esteem and encourage self-care. Nevertheless, we all have those days where we experience a negative body image and feel down about ourselves. What does positive body image actually mean? Despite what you may think, it’s not actually the opposite of negative body image. Let me explain….

What does positive body image actually mean?

In psychology, we would define positive body image as:

  • Appreciation for your body and the functions that it performs
  • Accept and admire the majority of their body, including parts not in line with society’s ideals
  • Feel beautiful/handsome, comfortable, confident and happy with their body
  • They can be viewed as having an “outer glow”
  • Emphasise body assets rather than dwell on imperfections
  • They can interpret incoming information in a body-protective manner
    • Ie. they will internalise positive information and reframe or reject negative information received
  • Favourable opinions of the body
  • Respecting your body by attending to its needs and engaging in healthy behaviours
    • E.g. if you’re hungry you’ll eat and not threat over “I’ve eaten too much today I might gain weight”
  • This links to protecting  the body by rejecting unrealistic ideal body images portrayed in the media

If it’s still not very clear, here’s what positive body image isn’t:

  • Being highly satisfied with all aspects of appearance, people can still hate a certain part of their body they’ve just learnt not to emphasise that area and have learnt to counteract it with what they find positive about their bodies
  • It is most certainly not expressed as narcissism or vanity
  • Positive body image isn’t foolproof against all body image-related threats. People might still feel a bit down after seeing a very thin model in a magazine, however, they can overcome it and focus on the positives
  • It’s not linked to disengagement from self-care, sometimes, people may have a positive body image because they engage so much in self-care
    • E.g. regularly moisturising etc.
  • Another important thing to note is that positive image isn’t aided by frequent appearance-related compliments from others, confident and appreciation for one’s body has to come from oneself.

What does positive body image actually mean?

It could be said that positive body image is more body acceptance than anything. It’s really the start to loving yourself and who you are. There are other benefits though, which can only encourage us to seek positive body image even more:

  • Less depression
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours
  • Lower drive for muscularity
  • Greater intentions to protect yourself from UV exposure and damage
    • This might seem like an odd one, but in many places, the ideal is also to look slightly more tanned than is our natural tone. Some people go as far as to say that people who are too pale naturally look ill, which definitely doesn’t help the situation!
    • As a result, those with a negative body image might spend time in sun beds, applying darker foundation or even spending unhealthy amounts of time in the sun, whereas those who have a positive body image won’t do such thing as they’ll want to protect their skin from damage over appealing to the ideal

It’s easier said than done to achieve a positive body image, so if you struggle severely with a negative body image, there’s help you can seek (links I’ll leave below), however, if it’s just a matter of feeling self-conscious and loving yourself a bit more, here are some tips you can try to help increase just that!

  • Engage a little more in a technique called “Protective filtering.” This is where the body is interpreted in a self-protective manner,  so you learn to filter out negative information that’s potentially harmful to your body image.
  • This mentality is slightly linked to the next technique which is called “Media Literacy,” where you critically evaluate the media’s depiction of appearance ideals and try not to internalise the ideal but instead to ignore or reject it. I’ve written out some actual examples that participants came up with in an experiment, just so you get the gist.

– “The advertisements have clearly been digitally altered.”

– “The women in the adverts had hair and make-up done by professionals.”

– “The women aren’t a true representation of women in society.”

– “The women look the way they do as it’s their job.”

– “The women might not necessarily be healthy or happy.”

  • Another thing you can do is to engage with people who have positive body image and who don’t engage in fat talk
    • By doing this, you can avoid making comparisons between peers and there’s no “reference point” established for your group-weight-norm.
  • Unconditional acceptance of any defects you might have or areas you don’t like

What does positive body image actually mean?

Remember, your size, shape, look, hairstyle… none of that defines you. Let your personality and behaviour be the things to stand out at people and let that be what you put the emphasis on when you go out. Avoid opening the makeup bag but instead, open the door to people discovering your true self.

The Frugal Frenchie x

 

Links for help (including interesting articles to read on different treatments):

 

References:

  • Tylka and Wood Barcalow, 2015 :

What is and what isn’t positive body image? Conceptual foundations and construct definition

  • Wood-Barcalow, Tylka and Augustus-Horvath, 2010 :

Positive body image characteristics and a holistic model for young-adult women

  • Gillen, 2015 :

Associations between positive body image and indicators of men’s and women’s mental and physical health

  • Andrew, Tiggemann, Clark, 2015:

The protective role of body appreciation against media-induced body dissatisfaction

  • Mirror exposure:

Delinksy et al. (2006) Mirror Exposure for Body Image                                                    Disturbance

  • Cognitive dissonance:

Stice et al. (2001) Randomised trial of cognitive                                                                    dissonance  programme

  • Acceptance and Commitment:

Pearson et al. (2012) ACT intervention for                                                                              body image and ED (eating behaviour)                                                                                      attitudes

Diary post: my first week of university

As it’s the first week of my university experience here in the UK, I thought I would make a little diary post about it. Hopefully, this will appeal not only to my old uni friends from abroad, who are wondering what it’s like but also for anyone who is just starting university this year.

Diary post: my first week of university

Monday 25th September

Today was my first day of uni. Surprisingly, my timetable seems quite empty with actually Mondays’ being one of the “longest” days of the week. Always bright and cheerful, I started the year with a statistics (or what they refer to as EMSA) workshop and a recap test.

Although I wasn’t happy with the surprise at the time, I’m kind of glad they did one as it made me realise just how much I’ve forgotten! It’s definitely time to get those stats notes out from last year! Compared to my last university, Maastricht, I found statistics much more understandable. Don’t get me wrong, they were fab over there and so intelligent, but here, they simplify everything, gave us a workbook with exercises and a step to step guide.

I really hope they don’t teach the whole degree like this as it may get slightly patronising, but for maths-related topics, which to say the least, were never my forte, this was definitely helpful!

In my introduction lecture, I met with another girl who had transferred from the University of Winchester, so it helped that we were in the same boat. During the summer, I manage to get in contact with a girl that’s already on the course so I hope to finally meet her at some point, despite not having the same schedules.

Tuesday 26th September

Not going to lie, although my lecture today was interesting, I think it’s very irritating being at uni for only an hour. An hour?! Plus, the lecturer ended 10 minutes early so it kind of feels a little pointless.

My motivation is definitely still high and it was about personality, a topic that greatly interests me, but I can imagine in 6 months time, coming in for just 50 minutes will seem a lot more of a chore.

Nevertheless, I finally put a name to my personal tutor too which was useful. I believe I have a meeting with him in a couple of days time so hopefully, he can answer my many questions about essays and the like.

Today he covered the humanistic approach to personality which talks a lot about free will, what our desires are (self-fulfilment, worth etc.) and different theories. Really very interesting! I found one theory in particular rather curious and this was the “hierarchy of needs” (Maslow, 1943), if you’d like more information or a post about it do let me know.

Oh also, I finally met that girl I’ve been chatting on facebook with! I met with her a little earlier before the lecture and she showed me around a little. From an outside glance, the library seems a little disappointing but the new building, called the fusion building, is absolutely gorgeous!

Diary post: my first week of university

Wednesday 27th September

Well, I’ll definitely remember Wednesday’s as “science day!” From 9am until 11am every week, I will be bombarded by two hours of neuroanatomy/biopsychology. This is essentially the scientific study of the biology of behaviour.

In this lecture, seeing as it was the first one of year 2, it covered mostly a recap of everything we should already know. From the basics of “there are 4 lobes,” to a slightly more in-depth look at the components of the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain.

It was a nice, slow start and easy to follow and understand (a relief)! I always find it difficult to take notes in a more biological lecture as there are always diagrams attached to the slides which obviously can’t be drawn out but always seem relevant and important! Still, I think it went well for a first shot.

Thursday 28th September

I spent the majority of last night doing some extra reading for today’s seminar. This will be my first ever seminar (as the concept wasn’t really used in Maastricht) and I have no idea what to expect!

It ended up being quite a short but sweet summary of Wednesday’s lecture. It did feel a little like being in primary school again, what with working in pairs etc. but I’m hoping that once the difficulty increases, I’ll appreciate that a lot more.

This afternoon, I have a long break and then have a personality seminar. It’s with the same lecturer as Tuesday and afterwards, I’ll have a meeting with my personal tutor. It’s a good time to get some focused studying done and socialise with my new friend!

The personality seminar didn’t add anything new, it mentioned a few assessment techniques with role play, but apart from that nothing of value was added. The meeting ended up being a generic one about how to behave and what not but it ended up being over an hour because of a “plagiarism checker” sheet we had to complete and a worksheet on how to practice shortening sentences. I personally hate things like that so so close to dinner, I wasn’t in the best of temperaments!

Diary post: my first week of university

Friday 29th September

Today’s another long day. To avoid walking an hour, I have to get a lift almost an hour early at the same time as the sibling’s school run. This meant a 7:15 am wake up call for a 9 am lecture. It’s difficult haha.

I had a 9-10 lecture on personality again (we have 2 hours a week per topic) and then later a lecture on statistics, from 2-3pm.

The statistics lecture was one I was dreading in all honesty. Back in Maastricht, they would go step by step but only showing us the formulas as they went. Trust me, once you reach an equation that has 5 or more steps before even reaching the point you want, it gets so confusing!

The guy who ran this lecture spoke with no microphone. He was confident, passionate and it actually put a smile on his face. Through his waffling, I could really take in what he was saying, as well as keeping on track with the slides of the presentation.

I left that lecture hall and my first week on a high!

Do you remember your first week of uni? What was it like? If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below.

The Frugal Frenchie x

Can you love others before loving yourself?

A tweet caught my attention the other day. At first, it seemed innocent, but upon further thought, I realised that this statement could actually be debated. As a result, here’s my response to this post and my answer to the question “Can you love others before loving yourself?”

Can you love others before loving yourself?

In my opinion, this statement, idea, principle… whatever you want to call it, could be taken one of two ways.

I think it’s possible to agree with this tweet if the “love yourself” part is expanded upon a little more. If “love yourself” means understanding what you deserve and understanding your worth, then I would agree with this 100%.

Can you love others before loving yourself?

I may be incorrect in saying so, as I’m just having the head of a psychology student on, but I think this is what many victims of domestic abuse struggle with. Whether you watch Dr. Phil or documentaries about the subject, you’ll often hear domestic victims becoming so manipulated that they thought it was normal, or that they deserved that treatment, or that their life was of no importance compared to their partners’. These victims had lost the love for themselves. They may have constantly been criticised about their appearance or beaten up for the slightest “mistake.” Do they really know how to love another when their idea of a healthy relationship and love is so skewed?

It takes an understanding of your self-worth to realise that that treatment isn’t what you deserve, you are better than that and how they are treating you. You deserve much much more. Is this maybe what the writer of the tweet had in mind initially?

After real consideration, however, I did see the negative implications of this tweet and that actually it may come across very offensive for many people.

“Love yourself” appeared very direct and with a literal meaning. I then thought that maybe it was talking about self-confidence, high self-esteem, loving your body and other things along those lines. Now I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t completely sure of what link this had with the capability of loving others? Surely loving yourself and loving others isn’t correlated or either mutually exclusive? It’s completely “person dependent.”

Can you love others before loving yourself?

Some people may have issues with their bodies or feel very uncomfortable in their own skin. That doesn’t mean that they can’t love their family? Or love their pets? Or love their partners? There’s no link! There are people with eating disorders that may be unable to be satisfied with their bodies, or unable to eat healthily, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel the warmth or comfort from being in others’ company or caring for other people?

Similarly, this can apply to any other mental illness. Those with PTSD or depression or bipolar disorder… doesn’t mean there’s nobody they can love? If we go by the statistic that 1 in 4 (or some people say 1 in 3) people will have a mental health illness at some point in their lives, then that’s a lot of single people out there! It’s actually quite an absurd thought! If anything, those who don’t love themselves may love others more simply because of the joy they bring them and how good they make them feel!

What is your interpretation of this tweet? What would your answer to this question be? Let me know in the comments below, it’s an interesting topic!

The Frugal Frenchie x

 

How I got my current job

I am so excited to announce that I have a new job! For most of you, this won’t be news to your ears, but I thought I’d talk a little bit about the journey and how I got to my current job!

How I got my current job

For those who haven’t known me long enough, I used to work in a company called Explore Learning, which was a tuition service offering English, Maths and other help to children from 4-14 years old. Although I never disliked it, I felt that it wasn’t possible to continue to teach once I left the UK to study abroad in the Netherlands. They did offer me a holiday contract, which I accepted, but there was actually never enough time to go back. This meant that in June 2017, we mutually decided that it would be a good idea to end my contract.

My plans by that time had started to change, however. I had applied for UCAS and I was in the process of writing my personal statement for a year 2 transfer back to the UK. A month and a bit later, I found out that I got accepted into year 2 of my hometown university, Bournemouth. I was very excited and took it as a sign of fate as other universities either hadn’t got back to me in time or didn’t accept me. Coming back to my hometown means that a lot more opportunities were open up to me; one of them being a new job.

My first point of call was Primark. I’m not sure why maybe I just had a good feeling about it from the start? Maybe I fancied starting something new without realising? I’m not sure, but I went straight to their vacancy website before attempting anything else. I have experience with Primark in the past actually, but not a good one. In 2015, I applied in October for a retail assistant position in the hopes they’d employ me as a Christmas temp (I thought I’d give them time to consider aha). Anyway, they came back to me in January saying that they didn’t need me- which was no surprise by then!

As a result, I had no real expectations when I applied this year, but boy they’ve upped their game! They replied to me in less than 24 hours and I had an interview three days later. From there, I had my induction the next day and by a week after my initial interview, I had already done two shifts! It was so impressive and it all moved so quickly, I think they were extremely professional and I’m thrilled to be there! (And yes, I still stand by this two months later)!

How did you get to your current job? Or are you thinking of changing jobs? Let me know as it’s always an interesting topic!

The Frugal Frenchie x

15 new hobby ideas

The importance of self-care is really being emphasised in today’s society. I absolutely love it and couldn’t encourage it more. We are so often occupied by tasks or social media, that we often don’t take enough time out to just relax and breathe a little. For this reason, I thought I’d put together 15 new hobby ideas for you to try and to give a break from everyday life!

  1. Embroidery

Take a look at this gorgeous piece by Lauren for example. How stunning is this?! You can also see what else she’s embroidered on her Etsy (as well as some other cute art pieces).

15 new hobby ideas

  1. Sew
  2. Knit
  3. Crochet
  4. Write some poetry

With the increased awareness of mental health issues and an increasing number of people speaking out about their experiences, I couldn’t forget to mention Charlene‘s new poetry book: Melancholy Mind. It’s filled with her original poems all about her experiences as well as sections about coping and recovery too.

15 new hobby ideas

(Photo credit goes to Adam)

Poetry can help express your emotions and help you cope with the struggles of life in general, so why not give poetry a go as your new hobby?

  1. Write a story
  2. Start a blog
  3. Gardening
  4. Start a side hustle
  5. Start a collage/scrapbook

An artist that I’m currently loving at the moment is Jemma over at dorkfaceblog. She has an incredible Etsy store filled with prints, paintings and collages as well as sharing her more private artwork on her Instagram. This has to be one of my favourite pieces!15 new hobby ideas

Scrapbooking or collaging is also a great way of reminiscing or preserving memories which can also be a good boost for mental health. Try and forget the negatives and focus on the good times.

  1. Start a diary
  2. DIY project
  3. Redecorate
  4. Start a new sport
  5. Paint

Another artist I am loving (and have actually bought two prints from for later Christmas presents), is Tarnya. She has a really unique style turning our beloved Disney characters (and others) into beautiful, watercolour prints. I personally bought the Marie print and the Monster’s Inc ones and can’t wait to frame them!

15 new hobby ideas

Painting can be so therapeutic, even if it’s just playing with colours and mixing shades. Turn off social media, light a candle, and get those paint brushes out!

What were your favourite hobby ideas? Do you do any of these already? Let me know! xx

The Frugal Frenchie x