Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Frugality or Stinginess?

Much to our surprise, the coworker who leeches on us for lunch actually called to offer lunch - and we soon found out why: she's managed to scavenge what's left of the salad from the business lunches we had to set up (then relocated to the main building) yesterday. It's one thing to be frugal, and I absolutely hate seeing any food go to waste, but trying to disguise leftovers as a goodwill gesture is just plain tactless!

Update: We heard the story from some people outside of our department about what had happened that afternoon. Apparently she didn't just come upon the leftover salad - she's stalked the receptionist to the lunchroom and bagged it right after the receptionist announced that there were salad, sandwiches and cookies for everyone while the whole room watched and sneered. We were told because someone had complained to their manager and an e-mail is circulating about her less-than-gracious behaviour. Now that's embarrassing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Rush for Nothing

Apparently we were supposed to get visitors from the American company who bought us out today, and I had been asked to set up the boardrooms here in our building for them to enjoy their lunch. We were told to dress in "business attire" so we dressed up - I even woke up early to do my makeup - which I rarely do for work.

At 11:15 AM the delivery lady called me to the front doors to pick up the trays, I rushed over with my trolley and set to work. By 11:30 AM we had almost finished brewing the second pot of coffee, put the kettles on for tea, and set up the plates, salad, sandwiches and cookies on the table along with cream and milk and sugar for the tea/coffee. Then we got the call - the receptionist from the main building said there's been a change of plans and the lunch is going to happen over there instead. Great. We rushed to get the trays and coffee pots and all back onto the trolley just in time for her to hurry it into the main building. So much for all the briefings and rush to find tables fitting for the boardrooms and to clean and tidy up the place and the makeup - turns out they weren't necessary after all.

Friday, January 22, 2010

more office politics trouble...

... what about the coworker who ignores you in the hallways but come running when there's food - then leaves without a word of thanks? What to do with that one?

Mind you, it was the same coworker who didn't contribute fairly, which ultimately led to the end of our lunch co-op that we enjoyed so much.

It's not polite to not invite her, since she is in our department after all. And I would feel horrible if she feels left out, especially when she is the only one not in our office area right now. Yet I can't help but to feel a little unappreciated. Like being taken for granted. Makes me reconsider if we can somehow find an excuse to not invite her over next time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

blah blah blah

Maybe I'm still new to this whole office politics game - everyone I work with have had so much more experience since they have been there for years - but sometimes I just don't know what to do! For instance, how do you deal with an over-talkative coworker who means well but just couldn't help but go on and on and on... and on? And if I don't respond - which is usually the case when I'm busy - she would come and stand behind me before she continues. So usually I would have to drop whatever I am working on to turn around - because it wouldn't be polite otherwise. But it's so frustrating when I'd rather be finishing up my work rather than listening to irrelevant details of her on-going grumble and whine! What to do??

A Day in Oakville: Corbett's and Whole Foods Market

It's been more than 3 weeks and we still haven't managed to get to either Sherway Gardens or Yorkdale - but that's not to say we didn't have a good time spending a day in Oakville this past weekend. After Dim Sum, we took B's set of snowboarding gear to Corbett's to have it fixed up because he was having trouble with his new Flow bindings. Flow was supposed to make it easier and quicker, but B somehow ended up spending more time to get strapped in at the top of the hill, and he was having trouble coming down the slope too because the heels of his boots would come up and away from the base of the binding when he gets on his toe-side, making it difficult to carve. We knew we had to get it fixed but we didn't know how to do it ourselves, so we decided to bring it in to have the pros do it. We got a hold of Scott, who's helped us pick out B's boots and bindings last time we were there, and in one look he could tell it wasn't done right. He said it could be done in an hour, so we dropped it off and went over to Whole Foods.

I was intrigued by the store as we passed by on the way to Corbett's, and boy were we glad we made a stop there. The store was AMAZING. What a shopping experience! Everything was tidy and neatly arranged, and there were samples throughout the store. With the airy wood and stone interior and plasma TVs hanging from the high ceiling, it was like a fancier version of Longo's or Michael Angelo's.

Once we walked in we were greeted by neatly-arranged piles of apples and other fresh fruits - all natural/organic and most locally grown. Then we saw exotic fruits that we've never seen before - tamarillos and other funny looking ones - right next to the tropical fruits like purple mangosteens (yum!) and red bananas that are rarely found in this part of the world. We saw giant leeks and heaps of kale, fingerling potatoes and a yellow monstrous-looking citron that's called the "buddha's hand". We ventured into the seafood and meat section next where we saw really huge fillets of mahi mahi, nice cuts of beef, chicken fillet rolled up with feta and spinach, and fresh sausages in interesting flavors such as blueberries and liver.

We saw a slab of organic butter going for 10 bucks, and milk in glass bottles reminiscent of what we used to get in Hong Kong. We saw organic cleaners and skincare (a whooping 60 dollars for a small tube of rich and aromatic rose hand cream from Jurlique), and tried on some organic water-based nail polish that dried in seconds. Then we saw the wonderful cheese counter, filled with wheels of parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino romano, fancy floral goat cheese, smoked gouda, and it just went on and on all the way around the little work area where the wheels of cheese are cut. I picked up some nice cheeses that I haven't seen in regular grocery stores and had a hard time limiting myself to just a few kinds.

There was a stone/clay oven for fresh pizza, facing a salad bar with 2 aisles of interesting variety, right next to the bakery section smelling like something's just come out of the oven. I could hardly peel myself off the beautiful cake display when B suggested that we try a slice of the taffy apple cheesecake. We paid and found a spot to sit down and enjoy our afternoon treat. It was one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had! The crunchy taffy caramel covering soft cooked apple slices subtly spiced with cinnamon (B couldn't taste it), and the buttery crust that was hard to the fork but melted in our mouths, all enveloping the rich creamy centre that almost tasted like ice cream - it was heaven!! We devoured it and wanted to bring one home for dinner, but they only sold the cake in slices ($5) or as a whole ($30) - the slice would be too little but the whole cake would have been too much for the 5 of us at home.

So instead we brought home the equally tempting tiramisu cake, which we devoured before we remembered to take pictures of. Lined with ladyfinger cookies all the way around, the tiramisu cake was another piece of heaven - despite the cake collapsing and falling apart while cutting. The mascarpone cream was so light and just sweet enough, and the ladyfingers layer was just the right texture - not soggy, not soft, but almost chewy and melted on the palate and provided just the right base for the light and fluffy cream. Even Dad had seconds, which is rare for desserts. I can't wait until the next time we visit the store and pick up some more goodies!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Avatar was AWESOME!!

For the fourth time in this past two weeks, we went to the theatre hoping to see Avatar on the IMAX screen. The first time we went on my birthday and saw a huge lineup before we even saw the sold out sign. Over the last weekend we made 2 more attempts, and the theatre staff had smartened up to put the sold out signs on the doors so we didn't even have to step inside to find out while they didn't have to repeat the same answer. We decided to give it another try last night, thinking that we would probably get a better chance on a Monday as the theatre wouldn't be as busy. Wrong. B was just saying "if the IMAX show is sold out again..." and didn't even get to finish his sentence when we saw the sign highlighting the sold-out showtimes in red. We finally gave up and bought tickets to see the regular 3D version. Apparently, you have to purchase the tickets 3 days in advance to see the IMAX show, and then there's an hour and a bit of a line-up to get into the show. We couldn't wait to see it, so we just settled for the 3D. Which is still awesome. Not so much for the story, but it was a feast for the eyes with all the wonderful scenery of the alien planet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bobby's Hideaway in Streetsville

Boasting the best breakfast in Streetsville, Bobby's Hideway is the place we keep going back to for a good hearty meal. We go there from time to time for a nice weekend brunch, but today it was the perfect choice for a quick lunch because it's close enough to work. The place is cozy - fitting for a causal neighborhood diner, but the service was curt. Today B had an eggs benedict, while I had an eggs florentine (which is basically the same as the eggs benedict except for the addition of spinach). Each came with harshed potatoes that tasted great after ketchup and your choice of all-you-can-drink coffee or tea. For the bill ($25 for two including tax and tips) and taste, Bobby's definitely is a good alternative to the pricey Cora's Breakfast and Lunch, if you're not after Cora's dazzling array of options.

USP recalling its latest edition due to errors

It's a shame, but I liked the latest edition of the USP-NF, with its new monograph layouts that is is much more organized and very useful pronounciation guides. But all that went down the drain because USP is Recalling USP 33–NF 28 Due to Errors and it is not to be used. Which translates to less work for me!! (Until they announce how they will fix this boo-boo anyway, as USP has announced that it will be reissued with a delayed effective date.) Good thing I have only compiled the list of affected documents but haven't started reviewing/revising them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Holidays and New Year Resolutions

Since Christmas and New Year's Day both fell on a Friday and our company has given us the 28th and the 31st, my dear Boss had allowed me to take the 2 working days in between and make a 10-day holiday. That was the best birthday present she gave me! :)

I was really looking forward to going away somewhere - somewhere far and somewhere with a nicer weather - but it was that time of the year and everyone wanted to spend time together, so even though we only went up to Blue Mountain for 3 days, we were kept very busy.

I don't remember if I had mentioned this, but Mom's friend who bought the much-loved KitchenAid stand mixer had came back from Hong Kong. It was sad to have to pack it up andl et it go. I must have spent a good 10 minutes holding onto the box after it was all packed up. But then again, it was great to see Mom's friend, and I had specially baked again to make sure they would get their share of cranberry orange scones, which they love and often rave about.

We managed to squeeze in time to meet up with my dear friends Eva and Michelle, and even got time to shop around for snowboarding gear (which I remember posting about now that I mention it). I don't know if anyone's reading this, but here's a huge THANK YOU to them and everyone else for the birthday wishes!!

Since I turned yet another year older, I thought I would make a few resolutions and stick to them, but it's only been the third work day of 2010 and I've already broken a few. Like getting to work earlier. Or going to the gym as scheduled.

It's sad.