Suh, my pallies (whoever is left – I stopped paying people to read this). Here are some recaps of the current work week, because things happened, as they often do in that game called life. Please also enjoy some photos of DOWNTOWN which I took on Friday. It was a gloomy day.
- Staff Appreciation Day
Wednesday was Staff Appreciation Day, which meant there was some breakfast thing in the partnership center which I gave no fucks about because I do not like jostling about with plates of food in front of strangers who also work here. However, we did get a nice gift card from the firm so I definitely appreciated that, and Boss Amber signed off on an email to our group by wishing us a happy Staff Appreciation Day. I smartly responded, “If you really appreciated us, you’d write each one of us a poem telling us so!” and then I went about my day because that’s what I do, reply-all with something dumb and then lose myself in some work duty. But Amber rolled out of her Poetry For Dummies class with this creative ode for me!
Rose are red
Violets are blue
Long live k-pop
And G-Dragon, too!
Of course this turned Glenn’s complexion pallid, Cheryl was like “I needed that laugh,” and one of our new team members based in our Chicago office emailed and asked, “Erin, what is G-Dragon?”
Oh Vicki, thank you for opening Pandora’s Box! I AM HAPPY TO PROVIDE ANSWERS! So I shot her off a reply with a quick summary of who GD is, a picture of his Adonis-esque face, and a link to his wiki. Vicki replied and said that her son also loves kpop and all things Korea and is determined to travel there and has a translation app on his phone, and and and…OMG! I was so excited to make this discovery! We don’t know our Chicago counterparts very well since our only form of communication with them is email and the occasional meeting where they call in, and Amber and I have been trying to find ways to bridge the gap, boost morale, etc. Now I finally have a connection with Vicki! I told her that I went to Korea last year and will be going back this summer, so she asked if I mind fielding some questions for her and her son and I was like “NOT AT ALL!” Trust me, at least once an hour I want to blurt out, “When I was in Korea…” but I sit on it because Hello, Annoying. But when someone actually WANTS to talk to me about it? I start salivating harder than I do when eating a pot of kimchi jjigae that’s just come to a rolling boil.
I shared this new discovery with Glenn and Amber and they were like, “OMG wow amazing cool.” They’re just jealous that I’m over here making strides with team building thanks to my copious interests!
(Seriously, when Chris was new in our department, we because work-bffs because we both like weird fruit. Copious and obscure interests can sometimes help in the workplace, you guys. Don’t be boring.)
2. Bring Your Kids to Little Korea Day
In addition to the Staff Appreciation fun, I had another opportunity to gush about my K-interests on Thursday when Missy briefly brought her two young kids and two nieces into the office. They were downtown with her husband for Bring Your Child To Work Day or whatever, which Chooch gets all up-in-arms over every year because we’re technically not supposed to bring kids to work in my department because of confidentiality or whatever and Henry has been driving again at his job so, like, there’s pretty clear liability issues there with stowing your uninsured minor in the passenger seat of a Big Delivery Truck. Missy only had the kids there briefly after lunch and when she was walking them by our desks on the way to her office, the girls shuffled closer to my desk and gaped at all of my childlike things scattered around. “Who’s that?” one of them asked, jabbing a finger at my standing Taemin vinyl. So I got really excited and gushed to them who he is and they looked at me, and then looked back at him, and then looked at me again like they were perhaps trying to assess my age. “But she doesn’t LOOK like a sixteen-year-old…” I imagine is what they were trying to work out in their minds. Missy was like LEAVE MISS ERIN ALONE and corralled them into her office, where her son and daughter promptly counted the pictures of them that Missy has on display and I couldn’t tell which one was upset but one of them definitely realized that there were more pictures of the other so Missy had to, excuse my WORK PUN, resolve a conflict.
A few minutes later, she ushered them out of her office and down the hall, but those girls walked REAL SLOW past my desk and tossed several lingering glances over their shoulders at Taemin. Yeah girls, I get it. I turn around and look at him many times throughout the day, as well.
Poor Missy kept trying to leave but somehow they ended up at my desk again and her son was like WHAT IS THAT and I was like A FIJI MERMAID and one of the nieces was rummaging through my spiderweb bowl of Asian tea and coffee packets and asked WHAT IS THIS and I was like TEA THAT TASTES LIKE FLOWERS because I can’t say the word chrysanthemum and then the daughter was like WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE and I was like THAT IS GREEN TEA LATTE so in the end, the girls each took a packet of instant green tea latte which became a thorn in Missy’s side because they wanted to make it RIGHT NOW and she was like NO WE HAVE TO GO and it was just the most entertaining afternoon I’ve had at work in some time, that’s all.
Hopefully they went home and looked up Taemin.
3. Co-Workers Try the Inkigayo Sandwich!
After telling some of my work buds about the Inkigayo, nay—EASTERgayo, sandwich we had on Easter, Lauren and Margie expressed interest in trying it. Margie especially was like, “No, it doesn’t make sense and I don’t think it could taste good!” so when Henry was making Chooch one for his school lunch (Chooch’s request!), I asked him to make an extra one for me to take to work. He added crab meat to that one, as the supposedly official recipe for it calls for.
(There are TONS of variations out there! One even adds ketchup to it. I have no idea. I’ve never eaten in the Inkigayo cafeteria and likely never will, unless I get a job there, wearing a hair net and making the actual sandwiches. That’s one way to find out!)
Lauren wasn’t in yet, so I took the sandwich over to Glenn and Todd and explained to them what it was. “No thanks,” Glenn said drolly, but Todd, whom I’m sure wasn’t even listening to my explanation, said, “Yeah, I’ll try it.”
Margie cut a piece for a Glenn anyway and told him not to be a baby, so all three of them ate a piece and UNANIMOUSLY said, “Wait…that’s actually good. But, how?!”
I made sure to point out to Glenn that he was eating a sandwich that G-Dragon likes. He seemed thrilled.
Meanwhile, Cheryl was leaning back in her chair and watching us from her open office door.
“Cheryl, come try this!” I called out and I swear to god she was popping a piece in her mouth before I even had a chance to explain what it was, so I just stopped mid-sentence and surmised it with, “It’s a sandwich that kpop idols eat.” Even she liked it!
Todd said he was going to write about it on his blog which would be awesome if he had a blog. And Margie said it’s what her kids would call a “Do-Over” which is what they say when she makes them something new and they like it, they give her their approval and permission to make it again. So I joked that I would send Cheryl the recipe to put on the department Wiki BUT MAYBE I WILL. I mean, Memorial Day is coming up and this sandwich is basically a picnic between bread.
Then Lauren arrived and I watched her eat the piece Margie had pre-cut for her. She said it was it good but then immediately started asking me work questions and I was like, “This is not why I came over here, Lauren.”
Later, Glenn said that Lauren has a seafood allergy and I started panicking but Lauren was like, “Oh my god, I think you would know if I had a food allergy. I mean, I sit next to this thing, after all!” gesturing toward the Pumpkin of International Food Horrors.
“That’s true,” I laughed. “And I mean, some of the things in that pumpkin might actually create allergies.”
She did not disagree.
The last taste-tester was Carrie, but unlike everyone else, she said when she saw the ingredients, she felt it was something she would like. So now I felt extra-pressure watching her chew, because I especially needed her to like it now! Thank god, she did! We agreed that a godo word to describe it is “refreshing” and I’m not trying to be bossy here or anything but I think she should take this recipe to the new restaurant she works at and see if they’ll add it to the menu.
YOU NEVER KNOW. It could be a sandwich sensation with their collegiate clientele.
4. Altrolleyism (see also: Altruism on the Trolley, duh) Begets Soy Karma
When I got on the trolley Thursday morning, it was pretty packed because of the aforementioned Bring Your Kid…blah blah, so instead of walking as far to the back as possible before plopping my ass down like usual, I took an empty seat near the front. Unfortunately, That Annoying Family I Hate slipped onto the same train as me at the last minute and they always sit at the front (which is why I go to the back). There was one empty seat in front of me, so they sat the daughter down there and then both parents were standing in the aisle, smothering me with their HAPPY VALLEY PTA vibes. Just as the dad started to pull out a Berenstein Bears book to read out loud for the whole front of the trolley, I started to get really anxious and wanted to get out of my seat immediately. I didn’t want to look like an asshole though, you know, so I masked my asshole motives by tapping the mom on the arm and saying, “WOULD YOU LIKE TO SIT HERE?” She exclaimed, “Oh my, thank you!” so I mumbled “no problem” and practically barrel-rolled out of the seat and ran to the back where I was rewarded with ONE EMPTY SPOT next to a very quiet, unassuming passenger, and it was far enough back that I couldn’t hear Dad jawwing off about fictional bear families. Meanwhile, I was acutely aware of people smiling at me for my valiant act of altruism and I was like mentally curtsying in my head over this. I LOVE WHEN I LOOK LIKE AN ANGEL.
Meanwhile, the DAD took the seat and the MOM stood the whole time. That family fucking kills me. (For instance, on Friday, the daughter threw a huge tantrum and started shrieking at near dog-whistle levels about how the dad HURT HER FEELINGS and it was such a blatant display of crocodile tears, it made me sick.)
Later that day, I went to Prestogeorge in the Strip because I was in the mood for a cinnamon latte and their lattes are just really comforting to me. (Not their chai lattes though! They make theirs the same way as Starbucks, by using that refrigerated chai concentrate shit and I hate that because it always tastes like spiced water to me – I prefer when places use the chai power. Perhaps I will write a dissertation about this another day because I have feelings.)
Anyway, none of my faves were working that day, so a guy I’ve never seen before named Josh took my order. He was very jovial and I felt confident that this would still be another great Presto experience. (Seriously, this is the kind of the place that pulls you right into ongoing banter between employees–you’ll walk out of there feeling like you’re a regular even if it’s your first time!) I ordered my cinnamon soy latte and I don’t know why I did this because there was no one standing behind me waiting to order, but instead of leaning against the counter like I normally do, I took a step over the side and stood there instead.
Maybe 15 seconds after I moved, Josh extracted the carton of soy milk from the cooler and gave it a hearty side-to-side shake, except that the cap wasn’t on all the way and ribbons of high-speed soy milk arched through the air, hitting the exact spot I was originally standing in. Josh stopped mid-shake and we looked at each other, our mouths and eyes widening in slo-mo, and he sputtered, “OH MY GOD DID THAT HIT YOU?!” I laughed, like REALLY LAUGHED, and said, “No, but I had literally JUST stepped away from that spot!” and then we were both cracking up and he was like, “WOW, SOY MILK REALLY TRAVELS” as one of the other employees came over with a rag, sighing and wiping up the lactose-free lake.
Then the espresso machine was jammed and the same lady who cleaned up the milkfree mess had to come to his aid again.
“This process has just been a failure every step of the way,” Josh sighed, and I started cracking up all over again. I mean, I felt bad for him but he was really taking it in stride and was quick to bandage the situation with humor. That’s my kind of person—I will small-talk my face off with people like that!
Finally, he crossed the latte finish line and as he handed the cup to me, he said, “This latte is cursed. Drink it quickly and dispose of it immediately!”
The latte, cursed or not, was perfectly crafted, in case you were wondering.
As I sipped it on my walk back to the office, I wondered…if I hadn’t given up my seat on the trolley that morning, would the soy milk’s trajectory have been different? Would I have ended up taking it to the face? I think so. I faked my Good Samaritan act well enough that I scored some good karma for Thursday!