29 March 2010
Today was a good day. Long, but good. First off, I took the day off work, which makes it a pretty damn good day right there. It’s spring break, you see, and just like my last spring break (in 2002), I took off Monday from work. Back then, my wife stayed around the house and created two filmlets, including this gem that went on to win Century College’s Student FIlm Award two months later.
Today we most definitely did not stay around the house. After Jennifer came home from the chiropractor, the three of us took off for Stillwater. Jennifer’s favorite children’s store there was closed, but we checked out the winery (scored $2.50 off for bringing in some old bottles), bought some high-brow mustard, added to our viewmaster collection (ever heard of Tom Corbett? Me either.) and went out to eat at Brine’s. In fact, I feel like we eat at Brine’s everytime we visit Stillwater. Maybe that’s because it’s the only place that’s not either A) crappy or B) expensive.
We tried switching up our mealtime foray today by first going to Nacho Mama’s. We were taken to a table in between two other groups (I really hate how restaurants try to shoehorn guests in between other groups, when the other half of the room is totally empty). I opened the menu, and…WAY OVERPRICED! Still, I thought “Well, we’re here now, maybe the food’s really awesome.” We next ordered waters, and the waitress brought us a stack of plastic Pizza Hut glasses and a foggy plastic carafe for us to pour it ourselves. Then Jennifer noted that there was not a single food item (except side items) that was meat-free. So we got up and left. I saw the waitress as we were getting up, and she said: “Well we can make anything without meat.” To which I wanted to say: “Yeah, so then it would be even more overpriced,” but instead, I just said: “That’s okay, I think we’ll just go somewhere else.” She waved dismissively at us, and Owen helped himself to a complimentary mint as we exited the establishment.
Jennifer says leaving a restaurant like that is embarrassing, but I say: If the service sucks, why stay? I mean, especially when I haven’t purchased anything yet. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a lousy experience at a restaurant but been trapped there because we were with a larger group of people. So, when the group is just my wife and son, I ain’t staying if the place is crappy.
Anyway, we later purchased a bed, dresser and nightstand for Owen via Craig’s List. This required renting a truck from Menards, which was a big to-do, but, overall, nothing I can complain about. One of the downsides to not having any redneck-good-ol’-boy friends, is that none of our friends owns a vehicle large enough to carry anything but themselves and one reusable bag of organic groceries. Oh well.
The only bad part of the day: our cat puked like eight times. And I had to clean the litter box. Why is she puking? I don’t know, but I think she’s been munching on the large plant in our bedroom.
30 March 2010
So, today, for the third time in my life, I escaped a round of lay-offs.
The first time was in 2003. I had been working at my job for about 6 months and an email arrived saying three technicians had just been terminated. I was stunned, and, if the email hadn’t told me that those affected were already notified, I would’ve thought I was one of the people to be let go. There were only ten technicians in the company, and I had less seniority than any of them.
The second time was in 2007. By that time, I was working at my current job and – get this – I was actually hoping to get laid off. My severance pay would’ve allowed me to coast through to early 2008, by which time I knew we’d be living in St. Paul, and I’d be near several other pharmaceutical companies that were hiring. But it was not to be.
The third time was today. In fact, no one from my department was laid off, though a few people I know from other departments were dismissed. Major bummer today. I almost had to force myself to get some stuff done in the lab this morning. And when one co-worker emailed me asking me to work on a certain task, I replied saying something like: “Yeah, I’m gonna put that on my things-to-do-if-I’m-still-here-at-2:00 list.” Which, despite the humorous tone, was totally true.
Anyway, back to the old grind tomorrow. HalleluCEO! Passover came one day early in this house.