As most of my readers know, I started a new temporary job last week…I am the Acting Production Manager for the Saint John City Market for the next seven weeks. The job is going to allow me to use my skills in administration, communications, public relations and marketing. The past few days have been one big learning curve! I thought it would be fun to put some of the things I’ve been doing into the context of what they’ve taught me…hope you enjoy it!
1. Sometimes “be-backers” actually come back. We have people we call “be-backers” come into the bookstore all the time: the ones who take a long time to look at everything, and then leave without buying anything. They always say as they’re going out the door, “I’ll be back!” (none of them look the least bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger!). We never see them again…usually. Last Tuesday, the first cruise ship of the season was in port. We had two couples come in from the ship. While they were there, we learned that one of the couples lived in Wooster, Ohio, which is near where my dad went to Theological School in Defiance. The men were in the U.S. military, and one was quite interested in a Canadian Army training manual we had. He didn’t buy it, but said that they would go to lunch and think about it. Two hours later, they all came back with their parents in tow! He bought the book…
2. If one is going to attend a two-hour concert at a church, bring a cushion. My dad sings bass with the Saint John Men’s Chorus, which had its annual spring concert at Portland United Church on Tuesday evening. Jim, his mom and I went to the show (Jim’s dad wasn’t feeling well). We all enjoyed it, but were reminded once again of how hard church pews can be! On a sidenote, there was group of women singers called Still Waters which also performed at the concert. They sang a Carpenters song which I quite enjoyed, but never knew that it was called “Superstar” (my mom loved The Carpenters, and we often had their albums playing in the 70s).
3. I have very few suitable work clothes that still fit me (or they all shrunk). It’s been a long time since I’ve had to wear anything more than jeans to work (I usually wear a top, too…cuts down on the staring and pointing!). I find myself having to buy new clothes, which is rather frustrating when:
a) one is fatter than she wants to be
b) one has very little money to spend
c) one hates shopping for anything besides books and earrings
4. One should start to peel a banana from the bottom. This handy tip comes from a friend – apparently, that’s how monkeys peel bananas!
5. I have too many blog subscriptions, and I’m way behind on reading. I don’t subscribe to anyone who doesn’t write well, but trying to keep up with everyone’s posts is challenging my sanity! I feel a bit like I’m trying to choose my favourite children when I open up my e-mail at night! If I haven’t been around to visit you lately, it’s not because I don’t love you any more…”It’s not you, it’s me!” I hope to get caught up eventually.
6. The food at Cora’s restaurant is outstanding, and the service goes above and beyond. On Friday, Jim took me to lunch at Cora’s in Parkway Mall to celebrate the new job. I ordered Chicken and Swiss Panini-Crepe, with no peppers. The waitress asked if I wanted the Soup of the Day or tomato juice…since I hate tomato juice (it’s a texture thing), I asked what the soup was. “Squash and Honey,” was the reply. I ignored Jim’s stricken look (he’s not a squash fan!) and ordered the soup. It was delicious! When the waitress came back, I mentioned that I should learn how to make it because I grew squash in my garden. A couple of minutes later, she came back with a piece of paper and handed it to me. Imagine my surprise when I found the soup recipe printed on the back of a Cora’s colouring page! The recipe was for 48 portions, so I may have to play with it a little…
Soon, the waitress came back with our lunch. Jim had ordered the “Construction Plate” which is essentially a “He-Man’s Breakfast”: bacon, toast, home fries, eggs, and a tiny bit of fruit. I was putting the dressing on my salad when the girl told me she’d just been informed that there were peppers on my sandwich: “Just to be clear, is it an allergy?” she asked, as she picked it up to took it away.
“No,” I answered. “I just don’t really like green peppers.”
A “pepper-free” Panini soon appeared, and was excellent: like Philly Cheese Steak, only with chicken and Swiss…the Spanish onions were cooked to sweet perfection! Instead of bread, the sandwich was actually wrapped in a crepe.
As Jim paid for our lunch, we helped ourselves to the complimentary brown sugar fudge at the desk…a perfect ending to our meal!
7. I’m not the type of person people remember. Several times this week, I’ve been (re-)introduced to people I’ve met, and they don’t remember me at first. I try not to take that personally…I’ve been one of those “beige” people ever since I was a kid…not very exciting! I’m doing my darnedest to remember all the new people I’ve met so far.
8. The vendors at the Saint John City Market are some of the friendliest folks on the planet. They interact with many different customers every day: locals, tourists, young people, seniors, and eccentrics…they take it all in stride, and still have smiles on their faces at the end of the day! Although some of them are distressed (even tearful!) that the woman I’m replacing is leaving, they’ve been nice to me so far!
9. June 11th is too late to buy vegetable plants for the garden. Remember those seedlings I put in a couple weeks ago while they were ripping up my back yard? Most of them aren’t doing very well, especially the cruciferous veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. I managed to pick up some tomato and pepper plants at Co-Op yesterday, but a trip to Brunswick Nurseries to find others was fruitless. Jim came back with 16 cauliflower seedlings from Superstore last night, which I will plant later today. I’m hoping that the rest of my plants will rally. The seeds I planted are coming along nicely, except for the lima beans (only three plants came up) and the sugar snap peas (none of which came up). Our back yard is still a big hole…
10. A pressure washer is very handy when one lives in an old house. Jim bought a new toy while I was at work on Friday: he’s been using it to clean all the bird seed debris off the back deck. We were surprised yesterday after an afternoon of spraying to learn that our house is actually white! We can see through the windows too! Years of dirt and other crap has been blasted off my white plastic lawn furniture. Jim also picked up a new porch glider yesterday…we’ll set it up once the deck is clean.
I’ll be running more pieces from the archives this week, and hope to have another brand-new post next Sunday…have a great week!