Monday, February 11, 2019

A little of this, a little of that and little more of both.

I think I have finally gotten to the point of not struggling against my weekends.  There have been too many Sunday evenings where I am sitting, stewing over lost opportunities, lack of 'fun', frustration at the snail's pace of checking off my to-do list.  While I don't exactly go with the flow - I will never totally be that type of person - I am trying to look at each unexpected turn in the road as an opportunity.  For instance, I took my car in for an oil change and - you guessed it - was there for two and a half hours.  I was prepared.  I had a book on Libby, my ear buds and my knitting.  I was lucky that the repair was covered under warranty, so I counted that as a bonus.  I was there long enough to finish the second sock in a pair; bonus #2.  The downside was that I had brought my freshly washed sheets to pop in the dryer at Mom's, but I ended up not having enough time there for a dryer cycle.  I did my few errands, got my car washed and visited with Marianne for a bit.  Then I went home and draped my sheets over the drying rack.

There is always a bonus when visiting with Marianne - in addition to spending time with her.  She is, what I would define as, fiercely intelligent, cloaked in a generous, modest persona.  I ended up coming home with some massive organic sweet potatoes and two dozen eggs.  Woot!

(Insert sound of dragging soapbox)
I want to veer off and talk about the sorry state of customer service.  It has become a rare commodity.  In my little town, there is a hydroponic lettuce grower who has a ginormous sign in front of their glowing greenhouses:  LETTUCE SOLD HERE.  Local lettuce, all year around?  What's not to love!  The problem is, it seems to be a secret to the employees.  I have made three trips to find the door locked.  It was hard enough finding the right door.  The last two times, there were lights on and the sound of people talking inside.  I was just able to see the lettuce table and it was fully stocked.  No answer to my loud knocking (okay, pounding) on the door.  Crickets.  On Saturday, I was giving it one more try before peppering their Facebook page with barbed comments.  I saw two employees, smoking outside of a different door.  I went to the unmarked lettuce door and it was locked.  I knocked.  I then sashayed around the corner and said, "Hi there.  Your GREAT BIG ASS SIGN by the road says you sell lettuce.  Is there a secret code?  Are your hours a GREAT MYSTERY?  Would one of you please open the door so I can BUY THE LETTUCE YOU ARE ADVERTISING IN YOUR BIG ASS SIGN?  Or words to that effect.  One of them slouched, bitterly, inside and reluctantly unlocked the door.  I bought my lettuce and then yelled, "HAVE A NICE DAY!" before going on my way.  I refrained from slamming the door, should it lock behind me.  Honest to Pete.

Same day, I had stopped at the Aldi's I always visit.  The shelves were a mess, stock was low and there was only one cashier.  And a very, very long line.  The cashier indicated some of us could move to the next register and, lo and behold, another cashier emerged from a door, fairly bristling with indignation, an attitude she maintained throughout all her transactions.  As I paid my bill, I casually suggested she look for a job she would enjoy, as this clearly was not the case.  Pfft.

End of oration.

Let's look at Marianne's sweet potato, shall we?  A much nicer subject:
For reference, it was the size of my forearm!
I did end up getting some things ticked off The List.  I cleaned up the dining room/deck entry area and discovered a treasure:
My dad's school lunch tin
Still in excellent condition
after almost 90 years!
Local lettuce - worth the aggravation!
I had taken one of the last two ducks out of the freezer (we're making progress, although I could use some ideas for frozen, sliced beets...) for my weekly dinner with my neighbor.  Unfortunately, he was down with the flu, so I will be dining in style all week.  I tried a new method - slow cooking - and it worked wonderfully.  I also found a maple bourbon gravy recipe that was mmmmm-good! 

I made up another batch of Greek yogurt (how have I been able to survive without my Instant Pot?),
3 hours and 32 minutes to yogurt!
took the dogs out multiple times, raked up the sheep yard, restacked hay, altered a hoodie for a friend's dog and watched multiple episodes of New Tricks.  It was a very satisfying weekend.  I also got a bit of good news -
The socks fit!


Susan said...

Oh to have been a fly on the wall at the greenhouse. Sometimes one just gets pushed to one's limit don't they?

Theresa said...

Don't forget to tune into Westminster if you can tonight and tomorrow night. I'm not going to get on my soapbox about customer service but I will say we have the nicest market in five counties.Everyone smiles, everyone is helpful and the cashiers and I are all on a first name basis.The bonus, over 50% of everything is organic and a lot of local stuff too.
You are obviously a knitting machine. I on the pother hand have been stiuck for almost a year looking for a cabled cardigan with raglan sleeves, no moss stitch please. Harder to find than it sounds.
Pets to all! Stay warm.

Mama Pea said...

Don't get me started on the lack of customer service. Papa Pea had a go-'round today that left him with steam coming out of his ears. Call me Negative Nell but with all the nimrods employed these days in customer service positions (they DON'T CARE!), I don't see the situation becoming better any time soon.

What a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when any kind of a knitted or home crafted item of clothing comes out as you planned and FITS!!

Ed said...

Had a similar thing with a chain store that I pulled up to an hour and twenty minutes after their sign said they opened. There were five other people patiently waiting for the door to be unlocked. As I stood there, I noticed the back parking lot had half a dozen cars. So I walked around back and could hear uproarious laughter coming from a door on the back side of the building. I tried the knob and it wasn't locked so I opened it up to find a manager and five employees sitting at a table in the middle of some joke all looking at me. Manager asked what I was doing and I told him I was looking for someone to open up the door so I could conduct some business. He said he was in the midst of a meeting and shut the door.

I called the corporate office to report the conversation I just had and while I was still on the line, they tried unsuccessfully to reach him on the phone which I could hear ringing on the other side of the door. Corporate apologized and said this would never happen again.

Five minutes later, manager opened up the front door but had an attitude the entire time I was there. A week later when I had to make a followup to the initial visit, I was happy to be told that he no longer worked there when I inquired.

Leigh said...

The degraded state of customer service is just another symptom of the general lack of courtesy our culture seems to be entrenched in. Everyone demands respect, but no one is willing to give it. The thing is, respect can only be given, it can't be taken. So look what we end up with.

Okay, so there I am getting on the soap box with you! I do say good for you for being prepared to take things more in stride. That's a tough one to learn, but as you point out, it pays off in many ways!

Anonymous said...

I too have given up on accomplishing much on the weekends. I had plans for this weekend, big ones, but hubby got admitted to the hospital and screwed those up. He's home today, feeling better, of course, after the weekend. And I agree about customer service. I do blame most of the problem on the employers. They either need to explain to their staff why it is important, hire more staff so the job gets done right and fire those that won't change.

Michelle said...

Either we don't have as much trouble with poor customer service out west (see Theresa's comment) or I don't shop enough to notice; ha! And three cheers to Ed; you go, mister!!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

All in all, I'd say you came out ahead! And wow, what a sweet potato! I've made sweet potato fries three times in the last 10 days. Delicious!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh, I do enjoy your posts. And yes, how dare you disturb these employees and ask them to go way above and beyond the call of duty!! Have you told us yet how you make your yogurt? I have an instantpot, but have never tried. -Jenn

Kristina said...

I would love a hydroponic room to grow and sell lettuce in. Man, I haven't had lettuce for months. Crazy business for sure. That sweet potato looks delicious.

ellen abbott said...

I have local grown lettuce right in my backyard and no pesky employees to deal with. I only have it in the winter though. I'm refusing to write down my to-do list as that alone is a monumental task. and what cool lunch kit!

Retired Knitter said...

I am with you on the customer service void! I used to manage a huge multi specialty medical department. A LARGE part of the work of the support staff was customer service - and that can sometimes be a challenge when the customer is also ill. Caring and service was a high priority - a major part of their performance appraisal ... much to the frustration of some staff who eventually I "freed up for other employment opportunities" ... if you get my meaning.

Michelle said...

Oh, that is a GREAT line: "freed up for other employment opprotunities"!!!

Helen said...

Different topic..."New Tricks" watched many episodes on one of the PBS stations a few years ago and loved them. lol We are talking about the British series of 'retired' policemen called back to look at cold cases, right?

Susan said...

I am sure my photo is on a wall in there, with darts placed strategically...

Theresa and Michelle, Oregon is looking better and better...

Leigh, it goes against my very nature to 'flow' - I am more the choppy sea type.

Ruth, I hope your husband is okay - why does this always happen on weekends?

Mama Pea, it must have been very bad to get Papa Pea steamed!

Good on ya, Ed! That manager is a company's nightmare. Who knows how much harm he's done.

Debra - Sweet potato fries!!! They will be on tonight's menu!

Jenn - I learned how to do it on YouTube. It's incredibly easy and takes 8 hours to 'cook'. Of course, you have to love yogurt, as it makes a half gallon!

Ellen, I miss my own very local lettuce, but it's months away. Isn't it a treasure? Talk about design and built to last.

RK - I LOVE that - I will have to remember it for my next encounter with bad CS.

Helen, that's the one. I just love the chemistry that developed between characters/actors. Of course, I'm on Season 9, so it's starting to unravel as all wonderful, long-running series do. Once they start replacing characters, it is never quite the same.

Lynne said...

I'd say you got a lot done! I bet it felt good too, to get so much done. That's one big sweet potato, lordy ! Someone has the midas touch for growing vegetables! Love the socks, nice color! Your dinner sounds yummy. Some week-end are good!!

Karren said...

I'm loving the Instant Pot yogurt too, and can't believe how easy it is. I usually hang mine in a cloth to drip and thicken for a few hours after it's done so it's amazingly thick and delish. Makes the best breakfast smoothies with banana and blueberries. Love that Instant Pot!

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Wow, what a arduos lettuce fiasco! Crazy! Love the lunch pail, cool find. I have an old tool box of my Grandfather's I need to do something with, scratching head. Glad you have some duck, sounds yummy!

tpals said...

Gorgeous sweet potato! Local lettuce in the winter...I wish; worth the bother.