I left the office yesterday about half an hour earlier than I expected to. The walk from here to Flatstick Pub on Westlake and Mercer is 1.4 miles, or an estimated 30-minute walk. The "Merchandising Team Celebration" was not scheduled officially to begin there until 1:30, so I assumed I would walk there, leaving at 1:00.
Given how much worse parking options are around there than by the office, Scott and Noah both opted to walk as well, and Scott was getting up and ready to go right around 12:30. I was kind of like . . . what? Scott said he wanted to walk "at a leisurely pace." Um, I guess so. So, I walked with them. It might have been close to 12:40 by the time we actually left the building. Even at his supposed "leisurely pace," it was not yet 1:15 by the time we arrived.
To be fair, several other people were already there when we got there. We could maybe debate how foolish it was for me to eat lunch first at the office and assume there really would be only drinks at this thing -- in Darrell's note on the calendar announcement sent out a few weeks ago, he literally wrote, "I have reserved a room, with beverages provided for our year end team celebration." That would suggest no food, would it not?
Well, a lot of food got ordered: fried truffle mushrooms, onion rings, tater tot nachos, chicken wings, vegetarian as well as meat pizzas, salad. I took one onion ring and thought I would have just a few of the fried truffle mushrooms. But there were two trays of those, they wound up both set right in front of me, and I could not keep my hands off of them.
Oh, and then the drinks themselves: we each got two tickets for free drinks. Nice! This place was clearly not a full bar, but I thought maybe I could get cider, perhaps. When I went up, the last thing on their tap menu was called a "Mulligan Mule" (#32 on their tap list): Moscow Mule hop (never heard of that, but okay), aloo vodka (that would be Hindi for "potato" vodka), and Rachel's Ginger Beer. I like to try Moscow Mules wherever I can because they are different each place, and never before had I seen one on tap.
I actually wound up drinking three of them, because Ellen gave me her second ticket.
Anyway, I had a good time and I feel like it was pretty well appreciated all around. I'd say everyone in Merchandising with three exceptions (Joe, Jeff and Kibby) were able to make it -- so our group numbered about 19. I wouldn't say I socialized a huge amount the majority of the time we were there, but I did a bit -- and, by the end, I wound up in this rather long and engaged conversation with Robin B, the new-ish Fresh Program Manager who spends most of her time in the stores and is only in the office something like once a week, so even though I'd seen her name here and there, this was the first time I even knew for certain what she looked like. (Also this means she works with the Delis, and I focus on Dry Grocery, so there's not a whole lot of crossover, besides my forwarding customer complaints on social media to the Deli team.)
I guess she was born and raised in New Orleans; has lived in France, Hawaii and twice now in Seattle; and what with Shobhit's and my visits to both New Orleans and Hawaii, and my love of Seattle, this gave us plenty to talk about. She's 41, only one year younger than me. I even initiated the conversation, because it was close to winding-down time and I just happened to tell her I didn't think we'd ever been specifically introduced, and I then asked her a bunch of questions about what she does for PCC.
So I'd say this "team celebration" unfolded in three acts, for me at least: sit-down lunch (where I focused mostly on drinks and mushrooms); the mini golf we pretty much all played, in teams of 5; and then the extended conversation with Robin. Eric B, who is technically my new supervisor although my day to day work life has thus far been pretty much unchanged as far as the majority of my workflow coming through Scott, Noah and Kevin, opted to be score keeper on my team. I actually got the lowest score! (33, one above par.) Robin and I both, as it happened, each got one hole in one -- that was why Eric took the photo of her and me that is at the top of this post. I asked him to email me the photo right before I left and he did practically immediately, which I appreciated. I would have gotten a lower score except for one hole where I fucked it up enough to have to hit the ball like five times.
I took six photos there, so they make up much of the start of my "2019 at PCC" photo album. Had I taken more, I might have given them a dedicated photo set, but six seems too few for that.
The event was scheduled 1:30 to 4:00, and there was no sense in walking back to the office just to get there right when I'd be leaving normally. Also, I had originally planned to see a movie whose only showtime that worked best for me was at 6:00 at the Oak Tree Cinemas on Aurora Avenue North, which I don't believe I've ever been to -- but, since I was there and leaving just after 4:00, I actually had just enough time to make it downtown to the 4:25 showing of Ben Is Back (a film very similar to, but better than, Beautiful Boy) at Pacific Place.
I did almost have an issue with my phone, though, which I absolutely needed functional to show my eticket to the movie via the AMC Stubbs app. I don't know what the fuck is going on with my iPhone, but in the past few weeks the battery life seems to drain twice as fast as before, especially with any apps open, and most frustratingly, it will power down as though out of juice when the battery percentage is around 20%. My quite happy coincidence, as I was walking down Seventh Avenue, there happened to be an open electric outlet on the outside wall of the building, and I had a charger in my bag. So, I plugged my phone into that, and within a minute I was able to turn it back on and check into the movie, with like three minutes until showtime. The battery life then showed something like 30%, which made no sense but whatever.
So, I got home from the movie much earlier than initially expected, and I helped Shobhit deep fry puris to have with the quite delicious blend of potatoes and cabbage he had made, and which we both took leftovers of for lunch today, complete with extra puris made later yesterday evening. I also write my review, of course, just after finishing the dinner, and then came out to the living room to watch three old episodes of Ellen (the sitcom, not the talk show) before making the extra puris and going to bed.
[posted 12:49 pm]