What I Learned This Week: #161

Monday, September 7 – Sunday, September 13

The Week in Eating Alone: I try to get carry out at least once a week even though my inner green-hippie blanches at single use containers, and my outgoing personality blanches at taking food from a place where people are back to my apartment to eat alone. Sigh! Anyway, this week I got carry out from Crown Republic, a restaurant that has functioned as well as can be expected in the Covid Era, in part because the place is run by nice people who serve good food. The Cubano I got was delicious (if slightly underseasoned), but the simple side salad was what made the meal. There is nothing about that salad I couldn’t make myself, but when someone else makes me a salad, it is suddenly the best salad in the world. And the container was eco friendly so I did not have to wallow in climate change angst.

The Week in Rating People: This week at TJ Maxx I got my yearly review, which, unlike many places I’ve worked, they always do on time, and I’m just a part time employee. On this year’s review for the first time in years I got a 5 (out of 5) for customer service. I got fours for everything else so the extra love recognizing my customer service was a nice pat on the back. I really like working with people and that’s why no matter what full-time job I have, I always stay part-time at TJ’s. It balances out my office work where I see just of a few people, and the same ones, every day.

I should note, getting a 5 on any of the criteria on the review is a rarity. Corporate reviews are less about the employee and more about protecting THE MAN’s accounting/HR/legal needs. I’m not better at customer service this year than last year but I feel like I cornered the manager’s into having to give me that score. Very satisfying.

The Week in Sporks: I bought a set of sporks…yes I did. My review: too much ork and not enough sp. I could not get a brothy mouthful of the fish stew I made. I’m considering this the starter set and the quest for the ultimate spork is on!

The Week in Puzzles: Spending so much time at home during the Covid Era, I’ve turned to jigsaw puzzles to help me fill time so I”m always looking at screen. The internet always knows when you have a new interest and for months various platforms have been showing me ads for high-end puzzles. I resisted for a long time.

I can get a 1000 piece cardboard puzzle for under 20 bucks, so when I saw the price for a 187 piece wooden puzzle at $69.95, I was like, hell no. It wasn’t just the price that made me turn away, sometimes I have trust issues with ordering random things off the internet which often don’t look as good or work as well in real life as they do on the screen.

But this one DID look good and I finally decided to give it a try. I picked “Charming Owl” and, thankfully, it was a great purchase. The pieces feel substantial and they smell nice. The art is very pretty on the front, and very intriguing on the backside. Several of the pieces are shaped like animals which is enchanting. Once my eyes got used to the shapes, the puzzle wasn’t difficult, but because it is not interlocking I did have to use some finesse to get the pieces to stay together. (This means, I took a deep breath, slowed down, and sung some Barry White music to the pieces I was fitting together. Worked like a charm.) I think I’m going to lend out to my friends who want to give it a try. Turns out, I really got a lot for my money.

The Week in “I Guess I’m Doing This”: When I got home from the grocery, coming up from the garage Sherpa-ing what should have been two loads of goods, I went straight to the fridge to empty one hand by putting my six-pack of beer inside. As I scooched it in, still laden with bags hanging off my appendages, I pushed over the pitcher of iced tea. My first reflex was to save the package of bacon from the oncoming wave. Second, was to cuss, dramatically. Third, I got right into domestic mode, or, as a friend of mine likes to say, “I guess I’m doing this now.” Nothing like an unexpected chore! Bonus: The fridge is clean!

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