Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apologizing for "being good"

So, I was struck by the terrible irony Friday afternoon as I stepped into the check-out line & placed MY grocery bags on the conveyor belt & asked that the clerk use these instead of the store's plastic bags to pack my groceries in. Ok, it's all standard operating procedure, so far. Then the clerk gets a paniced look on his face, and frantically calls for "customer service to Aisle 3"!!!

And I found myself APOLOGIZING for making his work harder! *shaking head* Because HE freaked over the thought of using MY (rather hefty & generous) cotton net bags instead of the stores chintzy plastic bags. *shaking head* And it's not the first time I've found myself apologizing for the same thing. The past few weeks I've noticed that with one exception, EVERY FREAKING CLERK in that store seems to panic & radio frantically for bagging help when I step into the line, and I apologize. *shaking head* I'm APOLOGIZING for being eco-friendly & using reusable bags. How idiotic is that?!?!?! There is ONE clerk who doesn't panic, just fits my bags onto the metal bag-holders, and starts piling the goods in. I like her. The rest make me feel like a freak over something that should be much more common-place.

And even more ironic, I noticed when I went in on Friday that at each door, there was a rack of these dinky (size wise, I didn't inspect them for quality) canvas totes printed with the safeway logo that you can purchase for $.99 each. They are even LESS likely than my bags to be easily handled by the clerks. I have a hard time imagining the freaking that will go on when more people start bringing their own. At least for a while. Because these clerks (with the one exception) don't seem to be able to adjust to even a slight change in procedure.

Evidently there was only ONE bagger on duty (at 2:30 pm on a Friday), and he was out grabbing carts from the parking lot. So another clerk who was supposed to be manning her own check-out packed my groceries for me, while the clerk who was checking my items through simply piled them on the conveyor for somebody else to handle. *shaking head* Idiot. I'm glad the other clerk was willing to step up and do the job. But, I think the time has come to talk to the manager (who also happens to be the mom of one of my best friends from HS).

And, I too felt like an idiot apologizing for doing the right thing. Astonishing what a "good girl" will do to avoid glares. I just don't like being known as the bitch. On the other hand, sometimes you've gotta be a bitch to get things done. It appears that may be the case here.


In other news, I shut my pinky finger on my left hand in the trunk of my car on Friday morning. I didn't break it, thank the gods. It was only the tip. I thought I might lose the nail, and it was bleeding pretty heftily. But now it's simply a blotchy purple & hurts like the dickens. The nail bed was VERY nicely bruised. And I didn't realise until I started typing this post how much it'd hurt to use that finger for pressing computer keys. *wry smile* Oh well. It'll heal.

I spent most of the last 3 days crafting. Some sewing (though not as much as I should be) for an exchange, so I won't mention what I'm sewing. A lot of crochet, more than I should have been doing.

I've got a granny-square afghan in the works that I started last winter then temporarily abandoned. It's autumn colors: brown, gold, orange, burgundy, and ivory. I think I may add some nice deep green as well. Simply 12" plain granny squares in each color. I was hoping I could get away with just 3 squares of each of those first 5 colors, but it appears I'm going to need to add a 4th square in each color, and the green, just to get a decent enough sized afghan. 36" x 60" is just too oddly sized to be comfortable. So I'll make it 21 sqares in a 4 x 5 grid: 48" x 60". That'll be a better size. It's kinda retro, being in the autumnal colors, but they're not the pukey oranges & golds & avocado greens we remember from grandma's sofa. (Or, at least the afghan grandma made for my parent's sofa that WAS warm, but _UGLY_!)

I also decided to try making one of my grocery sacks in a lighter weight cotton thread. Not quite doily thread, but still lighter than the dishcloth cotton I've been using. I need to see if the craft store has a couple more balls of this stuff. I hope so, as I bought the thread a couple of years back.


Dad came over for dinner last night & got to have some of my clam chowder. He liked it. I burnt the bacon, though, and used TOO much chicken broth (which made for a very broth-y chowder), but flavor wise it was good. That's what I get for never measuring. *grin*

The Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Beef Sauce were ok. DH & DD really liked them, but I thought it was kinda bland. Spicy, but bland.

Here's the recipe:

Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Beef Sauce

8 oz vermicelli (cooked & drained & rinsed with hot water)
1 lb ground beef
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 to 1-1/2 tsp dry crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 c beef broth
1/3 c hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 c sliced green onions

Brown ground beef in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles; drain & keep warm. Saute onion & next 3 ingredients in hot oil until tender. Combine cornstarch & beef broth, whisking until smooth. Stir broth mixture, hoisin, soy sauce & sesame oil into onion mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir in ground beef. Toss with hot cooked pasta & sprinkle with sliced green onions.

As I said, it was spicy but otherwise kinda bland for me. DH & DD liked it though.

This coming week's menu looks like:

Sunday: Chicken Club Ring (a Pampered Chef recipe, I'll post later)
Monday: Brats (or, whatever DH feels like cooking as I'm on the clock till 9:15)
Tuesday: Pork tenderloin fajitas
Wednesday: Pressure cooker Corned Beef & cabbag
Thursday: Tamale Pie (chili topped with corn-bread & baked)
Friday: hamburger helper (easy, quick, DH will be doing inventory & will probably be home very late & need to eat quickly so he can get to bed)
Saturday: Creamy White Chili (YUM! This is a family favorite, and I'll definitely post the recipe for this later. It's a taste-of-home recipe, which explains why it's so good. *grin*)


So, we got steady snow-fall all day Thursday & Friday, and It appears we probably got more in that 48 hours than we got at all last winter. *wry smile* Well, we wanted it!!!! Just not quite that much that fast. LOL Friday it was snowing so heavily that I swept off the back deck, and had to turn around & do it again. I could have continued in that line all evening, but decided to call it quits & let DH take the next time. I also worked up a sweat pushing the snow off DH's carport and decided to let the hubby do mine. LOL That's hard work!!!! I knew snow is heavy, but using a push-broom to push the snow off from the INSIDE of the carports so that it falls in the "alley" between the two...... NOT easy!

We do still want more snow, just not that much more in one go! We need more, though, to keep our pipes & such from freezing up this year like they did last year.

Ok. Gonna head around & visit all my blogger-buddies that I haven't seen in a couple of days. I hope y'all are doing well.

Have a Blessed Day!


barefoot gardener said...

Sorry to hear about your finger...Ouch!!!

I had to laugh at the bit about your grocery store freaking about you using your own bags. They do the same thing here. I have gotten into the habit of just waving the bagger away when I go shopping and bagging my own, because I just can't handle the "deer in headlights" looks I get anymore. I know I am not the only one who brings their own bags, so I just can't understand why they are so shocked every time.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

"On the other hand, sometimes you've gotta be a bitch to get things done."

Truer words have never been spoken.

Ouch! I hope the finger gets better soon.

barefoot gardener said...

I just realised that you made your own grocery bags.
I can crochet!
Would you be willing to let me know how you did yours? I am sure you put it in a post somewhere, but durned if I can find it.

TurtleHeart said...

Yep, I can relate to the bagging clerks. Believe it or not, sometimes the clerks BAG my cotton grocery bags! And I have to say, "Uh, NO-- those bags are what I want my groceries in." And they look confused.

And I wish I had a dime for every time my bags get set aside and they start bagging my stuff in plastic and I have to say, "I'd like you to use my bags; I don't want anymore plastic bags at home."

PS- I cringed reading about your finger-- hope it heals fast!

Connie Peterson said...

I had a young clerk last night and a young "bagger" - the clerk forgot to ask for my punch card and the bagger had this confused look on his face - and I had this lovely orange and brown bag to put everything in!!! Luckily Norm was there to assist the bagger - but I had to go find the manager because the clerk forgot to punch my card!! Go figure! Why do I feel weird and guilty for using those lovely bags?