Friday, January 2, 2009

Being Humbled, Veggie Treats and Other Stuff

I knew when I took the second job at a department store that it would be an adjustment for me. I am smart to realize what a nice cushy job I have during the day. Even though our lunch time is set at 11:30, I can go earlier or later if I need or want to. If I am in a bad mood I can stay in my little cubicle and just avoid people. I do my job pretty much without anyone looking over my shoulder or telling me what to do all the time. If I have an appointment with a doctor, I am not docked. I get paid holidays and paid vacation. I am not required to work holidays. It is understood that I will TRY to get to work by 8 am, but sometimes that is not possible. When I am a few minutes late, it's no big deal.

That is not the world of a department store worker. Not.At.All. One of my first humbling moments was the day I was scheduled to "work the truck". Working the truck means that you help unload the merchandise that comes in. It means you take clothes out of boxes and plastic. When I was hungry I asked a manager if I could go on my lunch. I was told that when you work the truck, you go to lunch when you are told to go to lunch. What? Excuse me? You mean I have to have someone TELL me when I can eat? What travesty of justice is this I ask you? I am sure there is a perfectly good reason for this, I am still not sure what it is. Not to mention that if I am in a bad mood or just not feeling talkative, I still have to smile and be nice to the customers.

Even when I am not working the truck, my breaks must be carefully scheduled around my fellow coworkers. Everyone comes in at different times and someone else may be entitled to a break before me. This took a while for me to get used to. I think I have finally adjusted. As long as they don't start telling me when I can go to the bathroom.

Another issue is that managers seem to constantly tell me what I need to be doing. Or my personal favorite is when one manager tells me to do one thing and another manager tells me to do something else. WTF(udge)? I also really like it when customers tell me how to ring up their items or how to bag. I mean, I had NO IDEA it could be so complicated(Insert dripping sarcasm here).

I admit to not being the best choice to work with the public. Unfortunately for now, this is what I HAVE to do. I deferred my student loan payments until this month. I make my first payment in a couple of weeks. I NEED the extra income to loosen the noose around here a little bit. Until I started getting paychecks from this second job, I had no idea how tight things had become around here. With the addition of the extra income I have actually been able to make some need and not so needed purchases. All three of us got new winter coats at a really great deal. I got 30 percent off the sale price for all three coats.

Keri and Melissa both got new clothes which were really needed. I also bought a food processor. Oh the joy, the rapture. I can actually use onions in my cooking. I don't have to chop them myself. It also came in really handy when I made the "Veggie Treats". Remind me to post the recipe, it's really fabulous. I digress, I know.

Anyway, I am having to deal with some of the above mentioned injustices. There is no other choice right now. I hope I don't have to continue to do this on a long term basis. I was expecting to have my hours cut after Christmas was over. So far, no such luck. Apparently if you work hard and show up on time, you get more hours. I can't really complain because we really need the money. Especially since Melissa quit her part time job with my blessing. She had an issue with a manager and I advised her it was time to get out of there. Lord, I am so digressing again. This is what happens when you don't blog for two months, it all runs together.

I confess that it peeves me to have to deal with rude and inconsiderate customers. I don't know if you noticed, but I tend to be a little mouthy sometimes. I learning to control my tongue the hard way. It is difficult to leave one job where you sort of have SOME authority, and go to one where you are just another employee and there is always the possibility of someone treating you like you are a half wit. Do you know what I mean?

I'm bored as I sit here waiting to go to work tonight so I will give you the Veggie Treats recipe:
(2) 8 oz blocks of cream cheese
(2) 8oz cans of crescent rolls
(1) 1 oz envelope dry ranch dressing mix
(1) cup finely chopped veggies (brocoli, cauliflower, red pepper, mushrooms
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Soften cream cheese for a couple of hours-otherwise it won't spread nicely(trust me I learned the hard way)

Unroll crescent rolls and make a rectangle in a 15x10x1 pan (spray with Pam for best results)
Seal perforations
Bake according to directions, then let bread cool
Blend cream cheese and dry ranch mix. Spread on cool crust. Sprinkle cut up veggies on top and then added shredded cheese. Chill for 8 hours, then cut into 1 inch squares

I served these at our family Christmas and they were a big hit. I also made an extra batch for the girls and I to enjoy on Christmas day.

I also cooked a hot breakfast for us on Christmas morning. This was special for us because I NEVER cook breakfast. It was nothing fancy. I made pancakes, bacon and eggs served with orange juice. I didn't mess up the bacon or the pancakes. If you are a long time reader then you know that one other time I attempted to cook bacon, it was so hard it could break your teeth.
I think I am really starting to enjoy this whole cooking business. It's actually kind of fun. I am even considering investing in a griddle so that I don't have to spend an hour cooking breakfast next time. I only had one skillet big enough to make pancakes. Incidentally, I also had to use it cook the bacon for the same reason. I had to cook all the bacon, then cook the pancakes. Very time consuming and not at all efficient.

AAAAnnnnnddd I made a couple of pumpkin pies. All by myself. With no help. Yes it's really me. No there is not an imposter blogger pretending to be me. So, now that I am getting into this cooking thing, I really need some help. I can make the basics; meatloaf, spaghetti, chicken, hamburgers, but I NEED some new recipes. If anyone has any good recipes for a novice cooker, I would be eternally grateful. We can't live on meatloaf and spaghetti. I have a crock pot and would love to put it to use. Got any ideas?


Laura said...

YOU ARE BACK!!! I have missed you!!!

Christmas sounded good!!

Mental P Mama said...

Any time I want a new recipe, I google it. Like : Slow Cooker pot roast. Voila, many recipes. And lots of them have ratings and comments. Have fun. Cooking is a wonderful experience to share with your girls. Welcome back!

HW said...

I don't really use recipes a lot in my supper cooking but try these enchiladas.

Shred cooked chicken breast and mix with a little taco seasoning.

Roll into flour tortillas and place in a 9 x 13 pan.

Mix one can of enchilada sauce and one pint of heavy cream (or half and half) Pour sauce mixture over enchiladas and sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top. (I use the whipping cream to cut down the spiciness of the enchilada sauce.)

Bake until cheese melts and sauce is bubbly.

You can also make these with leftover roast. Beef enchiladas are yummy.

You can also add cream to your spaghetti sauce to make a creamy tomato sauce - serve your pasta with chicken instead of ground beef. It's a nice change.

Susiewearsthepants said...

Thanks HW-I will print this off and give it a try.

Astarte said...

I'm so glad you're back!!!!! I'm sorry things are so hard right now. People who are rude should be ashamed of themselves. I remember what it was like to work in a place where you have no authority, even over yourself, and to have people shit on you just because they could, and it's an awful feeling. Hang in there, and know that you're cared about.