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Bagging groceries sucks

Friday is the day I’ve dedicated for grocery shopping. As soon as I leave work I scoot over to Food Basics. In order to get a cart I have to put a quarter in. Sometimes all goes smoothly. How hard can it be to put a quarter in and pull the cart out anyway? Well, sometimes this process is frustrating. I put the quarter in and it jams and won’t go in. So I try another cart. Or I put it in and it’s fine, but I can’t pull the chain out because it’s stuck. Or sometimes I put the quarter in, pull the chain out but the cart won’t budge. Argghhh. All I want is a cart damn it!

Some days I don’t mind grocery shopping at all. On those days, I enjoy taking my time looking at ingredients outside of my grocery list. I imagine that I’m an awesome cook who loves being in the kitchen. I get giddy at the possibilities of creating all these different, wonderful meals.

Ooh, what’s that? Lamb chops. I can make lamb chops. What about this kale thing? I can make some kind of dish with this. But aside from it being a vegetable, I’m not even sure what kind it is or what it tastes like. I keep seeing people’s posts and pictures of ‘kale this’, ‘kale that’. What the heck is it though? I mean, look at this thing. Okay forget it, there’s no way I can make kale. Hmm…maybe I’ll try this tempura batter. Hubby would love that!

Credit: domesticdiva.com

Credit: domesticdiva.com

I can go on and on, mouth salivating every time I think of a crazy meal I “think” I can make. That’s the thing about grocery shopping after work. I’m usually starving and thinking about food. Then I snap out of it and realize that I’m no domestic diva. So I end up looking at frozen food options instead because I’m still so damn hungry. Maybe I’ll get this huge bag of chicken fries. And sausage rolls. Ooh ooh and dim sum! I go around picking up food, planning when we’re going to eat all this. We can make sausage rolls for snacks tomorrow (Saturday) and I’ll leave the chicken fries for Sunday dinner. My mouth is salivating and my stomach is screaming at me to feed it.

Oh, but who am I kidding? I live in a 700 sq. ft. condo with a condo-size fridge and even smaller freezer. Where am I going to store all of these? Plus, we’re supposed to be eating healthy. So I go around and put every thing back, trying not to be too disappointed.

Finally, when the items in my cart look more realistic, I proceed to the check out counter. This is the part I hate the most. Checking out. No no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I have to pay for all of these items. That’s the least of my worries. What do I dread the most? Bagging groceries! What happened to the days when the cashier also did the bagging? Or the days when they had separate grocery baggers?

First, I put all my stuff on the conveyor belt (is that what it’s called?) as the person behind me in line is impatiently inching her way towards me, bumping my cart with her cart. I look back and give her a cut-eye. Then she backs away. When my cart is empty, I push my cart forward so I can now go behind my cart. Because there’s not enough room for me to go beside my cart, which I think would make more sense.

The cashier starts scanning my items and putting them on the other side of her, on another conveyor type belt. I push my cart further out so I can start bagging my stuff as she continues to scan. But I’m not fast enough. I’m not good at bagging groceries. I can type fast, I can write, I can create posters, I can use photoshop. But I can’t bag groceries.

The cashier finishes scanning before I can even get half of the items in my recycable bags. So I stop bagging, dig into my purse for my wallet and give her some cash. I start bagging again and the cashier has moved on to the lady in line behind me. She’s going fast and omygod talk about pressure. If I’m really unlucky, the lady behind me only has a few items so she’s done paying before I’m done bagging. This time, she pushes me with her cart. I look over apologetically (no cut-eye this time) and frantically start to stuff every thing in my bags. Who cares if I don’t do it right, if they’re not neatly placed in the bags to maximize the space? I have to get out of this lady’s way before she bruises me with her cart.

She’s not patient so she squeezes between me and the bar dividing our lane from the next. If she’s thin and can get through easily, no problem with me. But hey man, if you squeeze through and you end up squashing me against the belt, well now, I won’t be very happy and you’re damn right I’ll give you another cut-eye!

Do I hate bagging because I’m just lazy like what this picture depicts? No, not at all. It has nothing to do with being lazy (or being a teenager because I’m not one, I’m a grown adult) and has every thing to do with the entire anxiety-causing process. Who knew bagging groceries could be so stressful. Those grocery baggers back in the day deserved good compensation. Definitely not an easy job.

Credit: quickmeme.com

Credit: quickmeme.com

Finally I finish bagging and load them into the cart. By this point, I’m overly stressed out but relieved that I’m finally getting out of here. I put my groceries in the trunk and put away the cart because you know, I want my quarter back. For next time. But is putting the cart back as easy as it theoretically is? I mean, all I have to do is push the cart into the cart in front, stick the chain thing into the coin thing, and voila, my quarter comes out. But no, some days this is not the case. Either I try to push my cart in and it won’t go in, or I push it in but the chain thing refuses to go into the coin thing (I know I say “thing” alot but I really don’t know what they’re called). Or I push the cart in, the chain goes in but the quarter is stuck. Waaahhh. I just want my quarter back!

So there you have it. Now you know why I dread grocery-shopping-Fridays.

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Does common sense still exist?

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Credit: billmullins.wordpress.com

Today, I asked someone to help me ship a couple of fragile items out. She said she didn’t know how to do that, so I explained it to her.

“Put them them in a box and tape it up using packing tape. Make sure you wrap them with bubble wrap first because they’re glass and are breakable,” I explained.

She replied, “Okay, sure. But I put them in a box first and then bubble wrap them, right?”

“Huh?!” I didn’t quite understand her question. “What do you mean put them in a box first?”

“I mean, put them in the box, and then bubble wrap the box.”

You’re kidding, right? Who does that? I was speechless for a few seconds because I thought she was pulling my leg. “No,” I replied after determining that she was indeed serious. “You wrap them with bubble wrap first, and then you put them in the box.”

She was quite persistent. “No, I think I should pack them in the box and bubble wrap the box after. That’s what I did when I shipped out the mug last time.”

I was bewildered. I had hoped she was kidding, but she wasn’t. What a conversation to have on a Thursday afternoon. It was my amusement for the day.

Once upon a time when I worked in HR, we introduced online pay statement, where employees could choose to have both their pay stubs and T4 online, or just their pay stubs. At the end of that first year, an employee asked me where her T4 was. I checked the system and as it turned out, she had chosen to have it available online, which meant she wouldn’t get a printed copy. I explained this to her and off she went to print it off.

She came to me that same afternoon, freaking out. She explained that she had printed it, and because we didn’t have a secure printer at work at the time, her T4 came out, free for viewing by whoever was at the printer. Luckily she went to the printer immediately so I don’t think anyone got to her T4 before she did. But she was fuming. She asked why the T4 was printed just like that, and why it wasn’t in a sealed envelope.

This was another “huh” moment for me. I had to explain to her that the printer can’t possible pick up her printed T4, stuff it in an envelope and seal it.

Seriously guys? Did you leave your common sense behind somewhere?

Have you ever come across a similar situation? If so, please share it as I can never get enough laughter in a day :).

Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach

Trust me, you’ll end up buying the entire store if you ever go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Everything looks good and you can’t wait to get home so you can eat, eat and eat.

I’ve done that many times. And every time I do, I get home and I kick myself because there’s a huge cloud of regret looming over my me. And there’s the storage issue. When you have a condo sized fridge and a condo sized pantry, you’re kind of limited with space. Not to mention that we don’t need all that junk food!

So…what happened last Friday? I went grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Yup. I ended up with a BIG jar of cheese balls.

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Oh how I love cheesy stuff. But the truth is I actually bought it for work. For my coworkers. Really I did. I’m bribing them to like me. Sad. I know.

The thing though, this big jar of cheese balls is currently sitting on our dining table since it’s the weekend and so it will sit there until Monday morning. Now, if you’ve ever had a big jar of cheese balls sitting on your table or counter, you know how hard it is to pretend that it’s not there. So I cracked it open thinking I’m just going to have one. Just one. But that one turned into two and that two turned into four and well…now I’m in trouble.

So let’s hope there’ll be some left for me bring to work on Monday or I’ll have nothing to bribe my coworkers with. Trust me, they love junk food and well, happy coworkers make a happy team.

10 reasons I love cats

It’s no news that I love cats. After all, I let 3 of them run all over me on a regular basis. But how can anybody not love them?

Well, if the following reasons don’t make you love them, I don’t know what would.

  1. They’re independent and they do whatever they want. Oh they hear me alright. I can tell by the way their ears perk up or by they way they look at me through the corner of their eyes. They just don’t like being told what to do. I don’t blame them. I don’t like being told what to do either.
  2. They don’t play fetch with me not because they’re stupid. It’s the contrary actually. I mean, why should they fetch their own toys when I can do it for them? If that’s not considered smart then I don’t know what is.
  3. They’re clean animals. They’ll even bury their waste deep deep down, as deep as the litter box would allow. And they will never ever walk around the house with dirty paws.
  4. It doesn’t matter if I’m trying to sleep in on the weekends. When they want food, they want it now. It’s not about what I want. It’s about what they want. But they probably get that from me.
  5. They do really cute things like sit on the stove, chase their own tails and snuggle with us. And they do funny things to get our attention like jump on the T.V. and on my back.
  6. They’re determined. When they want in they want in. This means we can never sleep with the door closed.
  7. They know how to open my closet doors because they really really want to sleep on my clothes. They can sleep anywhere they want but they want my clothes. That makes me feel loved.
  8. They always greet us at the door and they know who we are.
  9. They keep me warm when I’m cold and they soothe me with their purr.
  10. They are never in a bad mood and can cheer me up instantly.

Oh, and they don’t talk back! Not that getting a scolding means anything to them. Okay, that’s more than 10 reasons but really, I can probably rhyme off 100 reasons. But for your sake I’ll just stop right now.

So…love them yet?

Maybe this picture will help.

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Super Bowl Sunday makes me fat

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Every year, Super Bowl Sunday calls for a party. Whether it’s a party with friends or a party of 2, one thing is for sure: there’s always drinking and lots of junk food involved.

This year is no different. Last week hubby already put in his request for hor d’oeuvres and other junk food. So on Friday I went to Food Basics and bought all kinds of food for this special day today: chicken wings, fries, popcorn chicken, jalapeño poppers, mushroom pastries, cranberry and goat cheese phyllo pastries, samosas, apple blossoms, Oreo ice cream, and Cheetos. Yup. All for today.

Welcome fat. Welcome.

It’s been like this for years. The difference is, I never had to worry about weight gain. I was always one of those girls other girls envied. No matter how much I ate, I never gained weight.

But now things are different. I guess being in my early thirties has sent my metabolism tumbling down. So late last year hubby and I decided, enough is enough. We’re going to start exercising and eating healthy. So I stopped shopping for our snack cabinet, started doing cardio every other day and started practicing Bikram yoga regularly, much to my body’s kicking and screaming.

You might remember from my new year’s resolutions that I have to lose 8 lbs. so I can fit into my beloved skirt. Well I’ve lost 2 so far. But guess what? All that hard work is going down to hell today. I’m probably going to gain that back and more all in one day. All because of our Super Bowl Sunday tradition.

I think maybe it’s time to change that, starting with next year’s Super Bowl. I’ll be buying a tray of veggies and fruits instead.

So…what’s in your Super Bowl?

My 90 year old grandma wants a kobo and a playbook

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Over the weekend, we were all hanging out at my parents’ house to celebrate my dad’s birthday. My grandma had just woken up from her nap so she was just sitting quietly at the dinner table, not really in tune with all the excitement.

Then my dad showed her his birthday gift: a kobo touch e-reader. When he told her that he’d be able to store thousands of ebooks on this little device, she suddenly became alert. That small information woke her up.

My grandma loves to read so she immediately wanted to check it out. My dad proceeded to show her some of the ebooks that he just loaded to his kobo, after which she announced that she wanted one. She told us (yes, told, not asked) to buy her one.

At first we thought that perhaps she was just pulling our legs, but after repeatedly telling us, we concluded that she was indeed serious.

Then my sister took out her blackberry playbook and said, “Look at this one. It has a kobo too but this is more like a little computer.”

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The look on my grandma’s face was priceless. Highly curious, she asked us to show her how this little computer works.

Then she announced that she wanted one. Oh boy. What have we started?

This made me realize though that sometimes we take technology for granted. It has evolved so much that we rely heavily on it and assume that everyone is up-to-date with it. The gen Ys grew up with it and probably started learning it at the wee age of 0. Not having a computer is a foreign concept to the gen Ys. We forget that there are people like my grandma, who’s “a little bit” older and is completely out of touch with technology.

My grandma received a phone call the other day from Bell, offering her some Internet service. She politely declined. But you know how these telemarketers are. They’re persistent. So this guy on the phone asked her why she declined the offer. She responded that she didn’t have a computer. He was flabbergasted. No computer? Really? Is that possible?

Then he asked why she didn’t have a computer. She answered, “Do you know how old I am? I’m 90.” Well, that shut him up. He was literally speechless.

This made me wonder though. Should my grandma have a computer? Should she learn how to use one now? Is she missing anything important by not owning one? I honestly don’t know. On the one hand, she’s already 90. On the other hand, she’s younger than some 60 year olds I know.

For now, I think we’ll start her off with a kobo. See how that goes.

We’re very blessed to have a pretty cool grandma like her. Like people always say…you’re as young as you feel. And she’s definitely still young…in her heart and ours.

Other duties as assigned

Have you ever noticed a task listed under your job description called “other duties as assigned”? Have you ever questioned this during a job interview or your performance review? Probably not because when you’re interviewing for a job, you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your chances of getting hired. And during your performance review you wouldn’t want to say anything that could negatively affect your salary increase amount. Plus how bad could other duties be anyway?

So you nod your head and you smile and you say, “of course it won’t be an issue.”

So today I found myself stuck in a small meeting room with a whole bunch of flip chart paper and a couple of different coloured permanent markers. I had to do some prep work for a workshop that a third party is conducting for us. But I’m not the trainer and it’s not my session, so why did I have to do this again?

I spent a good hour in there doing kindergarten work. It required no part of my brain so I should have welcomed the break. But I had other things to do, other deadlines to meet. Not to mention that the fumes from the markers almost knocked me out. But don’t worry I’m alive! I neither got high nor passed out. Phew!

When I was in HR, I never cared. All it was to me was that we were covering our butts. By putting “other duties as assigned” as part of an employee’s job description, one the employee agreed to when he/she got hired, we made sure the employee could never come back and say, “it’s not part of my job description.”

I thought it was clever actually. If an employee ever complained, the answer would easily be, “Umm yeah, actually it is. It’s other duties as assigned.” I just love how HR is so clever that way. I’m smirking with amusement just thinking about it.

But wait. I’m on the other side now. I’m no longer in HR and I’m the one thinking, “What the heck? This isn’t what I signed up for.” Oh but it is. I’m constantly reminded by…well I won’t mention any names…but I’m reminded that anything and everything that is assigned to me is part of my job under other duties as assigned. Swell!

Don’t get me wrong. Playing with markers and pretending that I’m back in JK wasn’t bad at all. I’ve had worse. And I did welcome the break. I mean, our poor marketing admin had to stick 200 magnets at the back of 200 lapel pins the other day. Brutal. But someone had to do it right?

Yes, 4 years of post secondary education and we find ourselves performing other duties as assigned.

#1: Fit into my skirt

Try to fit into your high school jeans

is one of the 10 new year’s resolutions you should never make, according to Marie Claire magazine.

Well, how about trying to fit into a skirt? Because that’s one of my new year’s resolutions this year.

The magazine also advises against starting a blog. Well guess what? I’m doing that too. Except it’s not really a new year’s resolution if I actually started it in December is it?

I’m not one to make a new year’s resolution list. Ever. I’ve never sat down on Jan 1st to write down what I am or am not going to do for the year. Firstly, do people ever achieve what they’ve set out on their lists? Secondly, writing them out means actually formalizing them. What if you don’t achieve some or all of them? Wouldn’t that crush your spirit?

It doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals. My goals tend to take longer than a year to materialize so it never seems realistic to say that I would achieve them within a year.

But I suppose new year’s resolutions are about being ready to make the immediate changes that would make you a better you. Like quit smoking. You’re never going to quit unless you’re ready to quit. Unless you want to. I guess they should be things that are attainable within the year.

So here we go. Here’s my 2012 list:

  1. Fit into my skirt. One I’ve never worn because it was always a tad too big. One that I finally got taken in but never had a chance to wear. One that is now too small.
  2. Lose 8 lbs. so I can fit into that skirt.
  3. Stop shopping for our snack cabinet.
  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  5. Go to hot yoga regularly.
  6. Exercise regularly so I can lose 8 lbs and fit into that skirt.
  7. Write every day as random as my thoughts might be. And no, Facebook and twitter do not count as writing.
  8. Stop eating so I can fit into that skirt! Okay I’m just kidding about that one. Really I am.
  9. Fit into my skirt! Oops I already have that on my list.

So what do you think? Reasonable and achievable, right? I guess we’ll see. It’s all mind over matter.

Oh by the way, here’s my last real meal of 2011 and 2012.

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Wish me luck.

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