August 5, 2002. My very first day working at PCC, Janice Parker took my photo, at my desk. With a Polaroid camera, no less! She was the one who took these photos of all the new hires at the office at the time. I still wore all-black a lot more frequently back then – when I was still 26 years old. I also wore nicer pants than jeans the first week, until I realized after observing everyone else that it wasn’t necessary at all. I’ve seen other new hires go through that same process through all of my years here. Every day is Casual Friday at PCC!
April 16, 2003. The first of two major historic, health-related markers in my life that year: Elin took this photo of me with her cell phone, on the day I got my braces – which I’d had on for two and a half years – removed. My teeth had been seriously crooked before this, and I paid out of pocket at the time because I had no insurance in 2000: it cost me $5000, and I always regarded it as the best five grand investment I ever made. It’s my Five Thousand Dollar Smile! Also my hair was a lot longer then.
This was taken in the office Elin shared for many years with Jeff – if I remember correctly, that was a really old photo of him taped to the door. I was sitting in a chair next to Elin at her desk when she took this photo.
The second major historic health-related marker in my life that year? When a passed out at work, hitting my head on a filing cabinet as I fell, and Jennifer insisted on taking me to the emergency room. I passed out again at the office in 2016. Good times!
The vast majority of the people I worked with when I started in 2002 are no longer here, including Shauna (to the right in this photo), and Stephanie, for whom the above image was made. (Kibby, by contrast, also had her 15th work anniversary this year.) The photo itself was taken just after noon on the 4th of July, 2005, with the help of George Guy from Graphics, in the parking lot behind our two-story office building. I still have all 61 photos from that photo session, but the above shot is the only one that sufficiently served the purpose I was going for: a very “Charlie’s Angels” pose, wielding produce-like weapons.
“Steiny’s Angels” was what Stephanie Steiner used to call the three of us when we sat in three cubicles in a row just outside her office. I mocked up this design as a framed 8 x 10 poster and gave it to her as a gift for her birthday that year, which means she did not see it until the following November. I made a copy for myself, though, and have had that one hanging on my bedroom wall at home ever since. In fact, Shobhit knocked it off the wall and busted it so I had to buy a new frame for it just a couple of months ago.
Fun fact! I hated how far my belly was sticking out in this photo, and I edited it back to make myself look thinner.
December 10, 2005. Office Holiday Party, Seattle Aquarium. I used to have long hair – Marianne used to have short hair! I felt compelled to include her in this collection because she was my very first point of contact at PCC – I never would have even known about the open position if not for her. We used to sing together in the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus; that’s where I met her. And when I lost my job at the Seattle Gay Standard due to it folding in late 2001, I emailed the chorus list to ask that anyone let me know of any job opportunities. Networking, people! Marianne later emailed me a link to the PCC web page about the job. I came in for a pre-interview with Rita; had a regular interview with Jennifer and Stephanie together; the rest is history. All three of those who interviewed me no longer work here, by the way – Rita and Stephanie have long since gotten other jobs and Jennifer retired in 2013.
When it was still 2002, incidentally, I took Marianne up on her offer to give me a tour of all the PCC stores, of which there were seven at the time. Even after 15 years, of those seven, I think the Kirkland store is the only one I’ve still only been to that one time. I’ve been to the View Ridge store at least twice. That tour would have even included the old Fremont store, which moved to its current location a block away in 2003. That old Fremont store was the only familiarity I had of PCC at all at the time. I used to go in there to buy veggie jerky – a brand called Vegi-Deli that I still miss but disappeared years ago.
December 13, 2006. It’s too bad the late, much loved and dearly departed Gary, Director of IT, is not in this photo, because it harkens back to my fondest memory of him. The Merchandising and IT departments had a pizza lunch together (you can see Jennifer, then-Director of Merchandising, in the background), part of which was to celebrate our finally being able to use a new sign printing program and move on from that much-maligned, constantly malfunctioning Zebra printer, from which we used to print our herb and spice jar labels. I long said I wanted to smash the thing, the way the guy in Office Space smashes his printer. Gary promised me he would bring his sledgehammer from home so I could do that – and then on the day, forgot about it. So what did he do? He went to Hardwick’s Hardware Store across the street from our office and bought a new one, just so I could smash this printer!
The above photo was totally posed, but we then went to the parking lot outside and I did use that sledgehammer to smash the printer to pieces. To this day I have its front panel on my desk as a trophy.
As for Gary, he can be seen, all smiles, in the mid-distance behind me and to my right in this photo.
September 29, 2008. Setting a precedent: a grateful broker sends me eight boxes of one of my all-time favorite products: Late July Organic Cheddar Cheese Sandwich Crackers. This kind of thing has now happened many times over the years by several different brokers, including but not limited to regular bags of chocolate bars, and even large boxes of frozen meals by the likes of Amy’s Kitchen or naan pizzas by Tandoor Chef. I even once got an Indian food-themed gift bag because the broker knew my husband is from India.
December 22, 2008. Exterior of the office building I worked in for almost fourteen years exactly – our last day in this godforsaken building (which had such poorly circulated air that I caught seven colds in my first 15 months) was Friday, July 29, 2016. The above shot was taken during the longest and most intense succession of snowstorms Seattle experienced in all the years I’ve lived here – something like four systems in the space of a week and a half, snow on the ground continuously for some ten days. For Seattle, that’s unheard of. But I went to work every day! I could walk, 3.4 miles there from home, so why not?
We’ve had one snow day since moving to the new office building, incidentally, and a much prettier photo of that can be seen here.
August 21, 2010. Healthy Living Fair at the Edmonds store, which I went to just because I’d never gone to one before. Ricardo took this picture of me while I was there, and I’ve always loved this shot. PCC celebrates all families! *Cue fruitcake.*
April 20, 2011. A gift from Jenny, who also happens to be Elin’s daughter, at the Kirkland store: bulk peanut Sundrops – the natural foods equivalent to peanut m&m’s – which I had complained to Elin were not carried at the Fremont store, which was my shopping store until Greenlake Village opened in 2014. Jenny then sent me this coffee bag filled with them in the courier from her store.
There’s a bit of backstory to the “flavor” and “bin number” she wrote on the bag. Jenny used to say “Sexy Hot Pants!” first thing every time she called me at the office. I cannot for the life of me recall how that started. And then, when I asked to get my extension changed from 142 because people in the office kept accidentally paging me due to forgetting to press “outgoing” before dialing 1+425 for 425 area code phone numbers, IT changed my extension to 187. Jenny told me that was the police code for murder, so from then on every time she called me she would start by saying, “Murrrrderrr!” (Now that we use Internet-based phones at the new office location, we no longer have extensions at all but dedicated full phone numbers. No more 187s for me.)
August 7, 2012. Ten years later: another photo taken by Janice! Here in between Elin and Scott, for my 10th anniversary celebration. (August 5 fell on a Sunday, and I didn’t work Monday the 6th because my niece was visiting.) They brought me a cake, Congratulations Matthew, 10 Years at PCC was written on it; I got the requisite anniversary pin and anniversary mug; and was even gifted a case of a new flavor of Zevia Soda I was very excited about (strawberry, which in the long run actually proved not to be one of their best).
June 11, 2013. PCC wedding party for Shobhit and me, three days before we finally got for-real, legally married – on the 9th anniversary of our first date. Sara Walsh took this shot of us from the opposite end of the table. Jennifer had asked me what we’d like PCC to get us as a gift, and I was like, “We don’t need any gifts. But a new set of pots and pans would be nice!” So that’s what we got! And we still use them regularly, for the record.
August 2, 2014. The Edmonds store is one I’ve been to several times just due to its proximity to the Edmonds-Kingston ferry, which I take every so often. Here I stopped with Shauna, who worked with me at PCC between 2002 and 2008 (when she was replaced by Jared) and then drove me to go grocery shopping every two weeks between 2011 and 2016 while Shobhit lived in Los Angeles, to get lunch before heading for a day trip to Port Townsend. In my hands, what was once my favorite item in all PCC Delis: Smoked Mozzarella Pasta. Not anymore! Someone decided the cheese should be shredded and not cubed anymore and it just isn’t the same. That’s it, I’m shopping at Whole Foods! Someone tell the PCC Deli to get their shit together.
May 11, 2015. My fourth and final desk at the old office, which I was moved to in March 2013 and worked at until we moved offices 16 months later: what literally was once a supply closet full of filing cabinets, now cram packed with three desks. I loved telling people I had to work in a closet, but it had its benefits: it was much quieter back in that corner of the building -- which I took to calling Narnia -- and the Accounting department was just outside the door to the room, where they often had goodies set out. (Not that it’s hard to get goodies from all corners of this place.) Also, my desk now has a line of sight to the water of Puget Sound, and it was totally worth the wait.
August 4, 2016. Fourth day at the new office, on the waterfront. Gathering on the patio, then not yet furnished, to observe the practicing Blue Angels. This spot quickly proved to yield many great photo opportunities.
January 1, 2017. Cause for celebration! This is the view of the Space Needle from our new office location, which means it’s where I intend to be every New Year’s Eve until . . . indefinitely. I was amazed no one else from the office came for this, although to be fair few other people live as close as I do (now two miles from the office). My parents came up from Olympia, and my friend Danielle joined Shobhit and me to view the fireworks show from here, for the first time observable from a dry and warm indoor location. Something tells me some more PCC employees might come for this in years to come.
. . . I went through the office staff list a couple of weeks ago, and only about a third of the people currently working in the office were here when I started! Who wants to place bets on whether I outlast the lot of you?
[Archive of older entries tagged "pcc" on LiveJournal]