Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cookies and Wine

I'd intended to have popcorn and wine, but never got around to making the popcorn (there's a little left I wanted to get rid of, and I haven't packed the popcorn maker yet--though I realized on the way home I didn't have anything sufficiently large into which to pop the corn). And I packed all the glasses, so I'm drinking the wine from a Pyrex measuring cup. Classy joint I got here, I know. I did call a moratorium on moving-related crap tonight; I'll finish up tomorrow and Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, I'm winning over my coworkers. For Artie (the Whistler), I put the little ends of the cinnamon-raisin croissants to be baked; they can't be sold because they're too small, and they can't be reused, because of the raisins and cinnamon, so I just have them baked anyway and either the store staff can use them as samples or someone scarfs them down. I discovered that Artie likes them, so I try to bake one each night for him and hope the night guys don't grab it. Phil helped me with the chocolate croissants again today--and when he went to put some sun-dried-tomato-garlic-rosemary-whatever rolls to cool, he came back with one for me, because usually when he takes them out of the oven he knows I snag a couple. Johnnie came into the main part of the bakery (from the cake room, where he mostly works these days) and yelled "Goooooaaaaaaalllll!" today, mostly to entertain me; when Brad's not around, he comes in and calls out for "the professor," which is what he calls Brad when he's not around, and he does it even more, now that he knows it cracks me up. I've also been asking Artie and Phil about the scores for the World Cup games to which they're listening, which means I'm learning the names of countries in Spanish.

And Brad made a corny joke first thing this morning, and when I didn't respond, he said, "Not today?" And I said, "Not today," and he left it at that. (A couple of weeks ago he made some dumb joke after I had a particular trying night with Dave, and I just said to Brad, "I'm really sorry, but I am just not in the mood for that today. It's nothing to do with you, but just don't." And he saw I was serious and let me be, which I completely appreciated.) Mostly I've tried to win them over by (a) getting my work done without keeping them from getting their work done, and (b) lending a hand if I'm standing around between tasks--helping Phil with some bread dough, putting parchment on sheet pans or sprinkles on cookies for Artie, helping Johnnie with something. And I nearly always ask Brad if he needs anything else before I leave--he usually doesn't, but sometimes he does, and it goes a long way toward keeping him happy. I figured out recently that he's actually in his early or mid-twenties, so I suspect he's still trying to figure out the authority thing, which is made more difficult by Jefe's lack of support.

None of this will advance me in any appreciable way, but it helps me figure out how to get along in a new environment, and it makes the working environment that much more pleasant. It's also interesting to try to do this across a language barrier--it means the usual conversations aren't an option. I still need to learn Spanish, though.


Anonymous Lisa Marie said...

Mmm...croissants. I really want to learn how to make them, so that I can fill them with chocolate filling.

And it's nice that you're learning your way around your coworkers, and that they're learning their way around you, too.

Be well.

8:57 AM  

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