Thursday, September 29, 2011

526. The High-End Kitchen Store Has Ruined My Life

I had only worked at the high-end kitchen store for about a month when The Boss said three words that struck lightning bolts of fear in my brain: “Paychecks were lost.” No, not really. She said, “Front and face.”

I had no idea what front and face meant, except that maybe I was supposed to face toward the front of the store (but then wouldn’t that be “face the front”?). I stood as close to the front entry door as possible, practically breathing on the glass. I made sure I was facing out toward the mall.

“What are you doing, MOV?” inquired The Boss impatiently. “I thought I told you to front and face.”

“I thought I was?” I replied.

“What are you talking about? You’re just standing there. I need you to pull all the food perimeter products to the front of the shelves and make sure all their labels are facing forward.”

Oh—front and face!

Queen Virgo was happy for the task, which was seemingly designed just for her. Front and face became my new favorite past-time. If the store was not busy and other salespeople were offering to re-stock the shopping bags or Windex the glass display cabinets, there I was jumping up and down: “And I can front and face! Let me front and face!

The Husband was not so pleased with my new little habit at home. “Sweetie,” I’d say encouragingly, “I really appreciate you doing all the grocery shopping this week, and, well, every week come to think of it. But you know what I would appreciate even more? If you could front and face the product out on the shelves, label side toward the viewer.”

Product?” he mocked. “Did you just say ‘product’? And ‘viewer’? Because last I checked, this is not a store. This is where we live.”

My newfound hyper-vigilance transcended kitchen borders and needed to be applied to the bathroom cabinets as well. “Honey,” I’d begin helpfully, “remember we had that little chat about front and face? We need to put the shaving cream and deodorant facing out on the shelf. It’s more consumer-friendly that way.” I’d give a smile, cementing the validity of my essential critique.

“Have you been drinking? I already own the deodorant. I’m not worried about it being consumer-friendly on the shelf. What is your deal?”

It went on like this throughout every shelf in the bathrooms, kitchen and refrigerator, as well as almost every room in the house (including the basement storage closets and the garage) for the next several months. The Husband even seemed annoyed when I kindly mentioned his sunglasses and pens in the glove compartment of his truck could stand to be arranged so the brand names faced out.

“Sweetie,” I’d purr, “front and face is designed for maximum visibility and organization. It really is the only way to go. I don’t get why you are so resistant to it.”

“MOV, enough! Geesh. If that is how your boss wants you to do stuff at work, fine. Last I checked, we don’t live in the high-end kitchen store.” He glared at me, his face a cocktail of pity and contempt. “If you wanna live at the high-end kitchen store, I’ll help you pack a suitcase.”

Ah, but he’d pack it wrong. All the labels would be facing down.

(“Mania Of Virgo”)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

525. Welcome to 4th Grade!

My younger son Short turned five in July. He goes to the local public school with other five-year-olds and is in what is traditionally referred to as “kindergarten.” This is, however, not what he announces to neighbors, friends, classmates, grandparents, complete strangers, and anyone else who will listen when we are out and about.

“I am in 4th grade!” he offers proudly and frequently. “Four! Four! Fourth grade! Grade four!”

After the hundredth or so time this happens, I decide to it is time to put an abrupt halt to his hallucinatory behavior.

“Short. You are in kindergarten. You are not in 4th grade.”

“I know! I know you are right! I already know that! That’s what I said! Listen, Mommy, what I said was, I’m in 4th grade!”

It feels like I am bickering with my accountant about whether my new black skirt from Nordstrom that I wear to work is really a tax write-off. Fine. I have no idea where this tenacious number four is coming from, but you win, Short. It isn’t even worth arguing about anymore.

My older son Tall gets infuriated when Short becomes possessed with The Power of Four, as we have started calling it around our house.

“Short!  Did you hear what Mom said?  You.  Are.  Not.  In.  4th.  Grade.  Get it through your kindergarten head!  I myself am in 2nd grade, and I'm older than you!  I'm seven!  Understand?!?  You can't even read, for goshsakes.  All you know is how to spell your name and how to count to ten.  Anyone can do that.  How is it possible that you are two years younger than me, but think you are in 4th grade?  Huh?  Can you explain that?”

Short shrugs.  “I only know what my teacher says.  She told me four.  Grade four.  Sorry if you're wrong, Tall, but I'm right.”  Another shrug.  Then, for emphasis, he holds up four chubby fingers on his right hand.  And, in case Tall still didn't comprehend reality, repeats loudly, “FOUR!  4th grade!”

Tall scowls.  Short smiles, then walks out of the room.  Winner. 

I had my mandatory parent/ teacher conference the other day (of course I was wearing the Nordstrom skirt), and the teacher was telling me all about what a great student Short is and what a delight he is to have in her class. I forgot all about the obsession with four.  Instead, I floated out of the classroom, high on myself and my obvious superior parenting skills. Once in the hall, I realized I had left my keys on the teacher’s conference table. I turned around to go back in and retrieve them. That’s when I saw it, the classroom number:


Saturday, September 24, 2011

521. My Coffee Maker Joined The Army

I make gourmet cappuccinos every morning with my fabulous automatic espresso machine purchased for full price way before I ever worked at the high-end kitchen store. For reasons unknown to me, The Husband makes coffee on the weekends with his coffee machine bought on double clearance and an expired coupon at Target. I never really stopped to notice, but apparently The Husband’s coffee machine has a built-in clock. In typical Virgo fashion, I wear a highly-accurate Swiss watch (okay, two if you must know), so I never really worry about getting my time from an appliance designed to heat water and pump it over coffee grounds.

So it came as somewhat of a surprise to me when I walked in the dark kitchen one night and noticed that the coffee maker clock glowed “20:18.”

Now, having worked for the airlines for a good chunk of my adult life, I am well-acquainted with what those in the know call “military time.” 20:18 means 8:18 PM. To avoid confusion, the crew schedulers always gave us our assignments in military time, as in, “MOV, you will be working ID #9633 which is a three-day trip, layovers in Miami and Chicago, and you need to be at the airport at oh-five-thirty for check in.” If it was a red-eye flight, the scheduler might say, “ID #277, a two-day, laying over in Boston, check in is twenty-one-oh-five.” A flight attendant could never miss a trip by saying, “Oh, I thought you meant PM! Oops, you meant AM! So sorry!”

Last I checked, the coffee machine is not going to Miami.

Why the military time, coffee maker? We don’t even make coffee at night because, well, it tends to keep us up. Tell you what, CM (can I call you CM? I feel like we might be on a friendly basis by now), you don’t even need to show the time after 11 AM! That’s right! You can have the rest of the day off. The only hours that matter in Caffeine Land are 4AM—11AM. So stop blinking 16:00 at me! You are confusing me, and I left that part of my brain (the military time translating section) back on the tarmac at LAX.

I mention this interesting tidbit to The Husband, that his bargain coffee maker has this newly discovered talent of announcing military time.

“Huh, that’s cool,” says The Husband, barely looking up from his ESPN.

When I ask him to convert it back to normal people time, he just gives me a blank stare. “I don’t really know how to do that,” he says finally, apparently channeling me and my Amishness.

I do the only thing I can: I ask Tall.

“Tall,” I say, my voice full of caramel gooeyness, “do you think you could help Mommy program the coffee maker? You know, since you are good at electronical things?”

“Huh, I guess,” says my seven-year-old, barely looking up from taking apart our old computer and rebuilding a new motherboard for fun. “What seems to be the problem?”

After I explain the situation and walk out of the room, I hear him furiously pressing random buttons on the coffee maker for the next 30 seconds or so.

“All set, Mom!” he calls out.

He walks past me and gives me a goofy grin and a wink. Since when does he wink?

I look at the coffee maker’s clock. No more military time. It reads:

;) ;)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

519. Bad Dream

Tall came home from school with his daily bushel of Random Important Papers. His homework sheet said that he had to put a small paper bag together with five things that were important to him. He would be giving an informal presentation in front of the class about why each thing held significance. The sheet gave acceptable examples, such as “A ballet shoe if you like to dance” or “A favorite stuffed animal” or even “A drawing you made of yourself and your grandpa playing baseball.” Tall and I sat down and brainstormed ideas for his special “All About Me” bag. He had tons of great ideas, and I knew that whatever he ended up choosing would be perfect.

As usual, I went to bed around 11 PM.  The next thing I knew, the clock read 8:10 AM (the school bus comes at 8:15) and he had somehow not done the bag yet. We frantically ran all around the house, basement, laundry room, garage, patio, backyard, and even our neighbor’s backyard (?) desperately looking for appropriate things to put in the “Me, Procrastinator Version” bag.

“I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” Tall shouted in my direction. “Just chill, Mom, I have all five things!

A wave of relief washed over me (maybe it was more like a jolt of relief, as it was to be short-lived). As a quick precautionary measure (or reflexive parenting, not sure which), I double-checked what was in the bag. Five gruesome things stared up at me sardonically:
  1. The remote control to the TV (“I like to watch TV whenever I can, sometimes more”) and two back-up AAA batteries (“We go through a lot of batteries, what with all the violent cartoons and movies we watch and the excessive channel-surfing”)
  2. A half-eaten bag of M&M’s (“I thought my teacher and the School Nutritionist might like to know what we really eat for breakfast every day”)
  3. A handheld computer game called “Crazy Drivers With Big Guns and Lots of Noise, Level 8” that I had never seen before (“You let me buy this with my birthday money last year, remember, Mom?”)
  4. Three crumpled dollar bills (“This is to illustrate to my peers that money and what I can buy is the most important thing, and that my values are completely hollow”)
  5. A sheet of paper that at first glance looked like an innocent Christmas list. Thousands of things were written in minuscule writing on the multi-page list, with the heading: “Stuff I Want To Buy Or Other People Should Buy Me Immediately If Not Sooner.”
I woke up in a cold sweat. Ohmygod-ohmygod-ohmygod. The Husband walked into the room.

“MOV, it’s 7:05, I let you sleep an extra five minutes, but you’d better get up now. The kids are already dressed and I fed them breakfast. Tall wants to show you his school project, and he wants to know if it’s okay for him to take his soccer medal and that turtle he painted at the ceramic place. I told him to ask you, because the turtle might break. What do you think?”

I bolted out of bed to look at his bag. No remote control or batteries. No junk food/ candy. No horrible mystery video game that did not exist in real life. No dollar bills.

There was the soccer medal. The orange and yellow turtle. A LEGO airplane he had designed himself and built from spare LEGO pieces. Surprisingly, a Sacajawea coin cozied up to the turtle.

“Tall? Sweetie? Money is not the most important thing and our values are not hollow, so why are you taking this coin to school?” I could feel my voice rising.

“Well, I thought it would be cool to show everyone ‘cause the Tooth Fairy brought it to me.”

“Oh, oh, yeah. All right. That’s nice.” I smiled weakly. I reached in the bag and pulled out a rolled up piece of paper. I warily unrolled it, bracing for the materialistic Christmas list. Instead, I saw a detailed drawing of four smiling people and a large misshapen black and white horse, all holding hands (or hooves).

“This is not what I was expecting,” I mumbled to myself. “What’s this?”

Tall beamed at me, proud of his art. “That’s our family including the cat ... do you like it?”

I did.  A lot. 


Sunday, September 18, 2011

516. Master's Thesis In Architecture

I love architecture. I love anything relating to floor plans or houses or design. If what you’re holding in your hands has the words “blue” and “print” on it, I want to see.  Even though my college degree is in English Literature, I initially majored in Architecture (Architectural Engineering, to be precise). I drop this fascinating little tidbit into conversation whenever the opportunity allows:

Random co-worker: So, MOV, my cousin, she’s an architect in Boston, is helping us design our new house.
Me: That’s so exciting! You know, I majored in Architecture.


New neighbor: Do you happen to know a good designer, MOV? Because we might be adding on to the back of our house.
Me: That’s so funny you ask, because I went to school for Architecture.


Person I just met at a party: It’s so nice to meet you, MOP! Susie mentioned that you work at the high-end children's store?
MeI actually studied Architecture.


Complete stranger in line ahead of me at Starbucks: Excuse me, ma’am, I think you knocked over that coffee bean display with your purse.
Me: I’m an architect!

So, as you can see, there are different times when I may or may not have mentioned it to loved ones and just really super-close friends.

The only reason I bring this up is because I am completely dismayed by homes being built today.

(*ALERT: blog takes serious tone, for once)

I frequently tour new construction houses in the process of being built. Some might call this “trespassing,” I prefer to call it “Continuing Education and Independent Studies in Architecture.” I’ve noticed an alarming trend out there: Bad houses.

We are going to fix this, right here, right now. How, you say? Well, I’m going to tell you what makes a good house, and you are going to forward this blog to everyone on your email list. I mean, EVERYONE. I will keep up my end of the bargain (keep reading), and then you need to hit the forward key.  Done.

Homes today are outdated. (I'm not talking about some historical, Gone With The Wind-type property here, so don't get all upset.)  You most likely do not wear the same style of clothing that your parents or grandparents wore at your same age. (Poodle skirt, anyone?) This begs the question: Why are we living in houses that are from another era, completely outmoded, that have ceased to work for the way families live today? Small, choppy rooms. A formal living room that never gets used and pretty much serves as a furniture museum and a separate family room where everyone really does hang out. A kitchen that is a far away from all the other rooms. No formal entry/ foyer to set your purse and keys and hang up your coat. A floor plan with two or three separate floors where the family is wasting time and energy going up and down all day. Not enough windows/ connection to the outside. These features (lack of features) may have worked for our grandparents 50 years ago, but they are a dismal match for our current needs.

Number One Important Thing: The house should take advantage of the view. The End. I mean, come on. Why do I even need to type this? This should be common sense. The house I toured this morning is adjacent to a spectacular park. The grass is green, the trees are mature, there is a creek involved. Guess which room takes advantage of this view? The upstairs hall bathroom! And the closet (with no window). Are you kidding me? The entire living room should have floor to ceiling windows of the gorgeous park! It was as if the owner of the lot looked through a book of floor plans and said, This one might be okay. It is not okay!  EACH HOUSE SHOULD BE SITE SPECIFIC. What a tragic lost opportunity.

I could go on and on and on and on (and on) about that one issue all day long, but you get the gist.

Moving forward.  I have designed a basic home that works in most situations where there is not really a view one way or another. I affectionately call this house “The H,” due to its H-shape. The kitchen and entry are the center of the H. The main public (daytime) rooms are on one side of the H, and the other part of the H is all the bedrooms. It is a simple design, really.

Wanna see?


My plan works for several reasons. One is that it gives the family an entry, a respite from outside, a spot to set down their things and regroup before continuing into the home. THIS TRANSITION IS IMPORTANT. If you are building a home, put an entry in it. If your current existing home does not have it, consider adding it somehow, or at least trying to make some sort of area that can serve this function.

My H plan also acknowledges that the kitchen is the center of our lives, the gathering spot. I put the kitchen right smack dab in the middle, with a nice patio off the back.

The patio is also accessible from the master bedroom and the living room (notice there is NO family room, which means that the living room really is the place to enjoy and LIVE).

The living room is in the back of the house, looking at the backyard and patio. The dining room is the room where the family is intended to eat and be together, it is not a drop-all zone for junk from the front door. THAT IS WHY I PUT IN AN ENTRY FOYER AREA!

The kitchen is not fleshed out in exact detail, but let me tell you right now, there is not room for a table. There would be an island with bar stools, but the family is meant to eat (I repeat) in the dining room. That is the room with a nice table and chairs and NO TELEVISION. Use it.

The bedrooms are separate from the main rooms, which means that if the kids are asleep, the parents can have some friends over for a cocktail and conversation in the living room and not have to worry about waking anyone up.

There is a nice study/ library tucked away to type on the computer or pay bills. It is in a private area not encumbered with distractions.

This plan also includes a mudroom. The mudroom is essentially a space that connects the outside garage area to the home. So, if the owner happens to be bringing in groceries or muddy kids from soccer or hockey games, there is an appropriate spot to enter.

The beauty of this H floor plan is that most of the rooms can have windows on two sides. This is great for light and also for cross-ventilation.

I love this floor plan. I am so proud of it. Obviously, it needs all the details mapped out, like closet placement and exact cabinets arrangement in the kitchen, etc. But for the most part, the design is nice and solid.

Just like the letter H.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

511. Opposite-ing

Do you know what opposite-ing is? Of course you do. If you have a husband or a small child, then you are well acquainted with opposite-ing. It is the phenomenon where you do something, something good like, say, set the old heavy wool blanket by the front door so you will remember to put it back in your car later where it belongs, and then your beloved husband comes along and does something bad (hence, the term opposite-ing) to “help” you and he takes the blanket (that he knows resides permanently in your car) all the way down to the linen closet in the basement and puts it on the shelf where it most certainly does not belong. You, however, in your naiveté (even though you have been married over 10 years and should surely know your husband and all his quirks by this point), think that he might have been proactive and put it back in the car for you. Well, actually, you don’t even think about it, because: out of sight, out of mind.

Until you are looking for some kitchen dish towels in the closet a week later, and there is the blanket, saluting you. Hi, you! calls out blanket, and you think, Huh? I distinctly remember putting the blanket by the front door, how in the world did the blanket get all the way down here where it does not belong?

Then you have your answer: opposite-ing.

Children are great opposite-ers. You make your bed, they come along and pull every sheet, pillow, blanket, dust ruffle off to make a “fort.” (Be assured that opposite-ing is not just reserved for things like blankets, these are only two small examples in less than a 24-hour time period.) You vacuum the living room, and one of your children immediately remembers his live plant the teacher gave him and he must show you this instant and—whoops!—just like that, he spills all the dirt in the small pot all over your (formerly) freshly-vacuumed carpet. Opposite-ing at its finest.

You put all the children’s shoes away in the closet where they belong. Ten seconds later, your home resembles a shoe factory that has vomited all over your living room. Seems the kids got all the shoes back out because they “couldn’t find them” when they are stored in the closet. Opposite-ing in pairs.

You bring the stack of clean but wrinkled laundry upstairs to fold and you set it on the bed and when you take a quick phone call, the pile is gone. Where did it go? Your husband took it downstairs and put it in the hamper. So it can be washed. Pure, clean, opposite-ing.

You set a stick of butter on the counter first thing in the morning because you are going to make cookies later and you need the butter to soften up for your special recipe. Your husband comes along and, unbeknownst to you, puts the butter back in the fridge to be “helpful.” You find this out when you have preheated the oven and gotten out your mixer and laid out the rest of your ingredients and are now ready to mix, and the butter has somehow disappeared.  Raw opposite-ing.

You set the library books that are due today right next to the front door as a visual reminder so you will take them back to the library before a three-figure sum is owed (again), and your husband comes along and—POOF!—the books have vanished! You assume (because you are not just naïve, but stupid) that your husband took the books back to the library himself. That is, until that very night when you go to read a bed-time story to your children and you reach on the shelf for a book and you see (to your horror) several library books nestled in among the books you do, in fact, own. You recognize the books, the library books, because they clearly stand out as “different,” namely because they have Dewey Decimal call numbers on them and are covered in special library-plastic that you have no idea where to buy or if it is even sold to consumers. You are well aware that you do not own any books covered in this special heavy-duty-millions-of-people-can-touch-this-book-and-it-won’t-be-ruined plastic. You call out to your husband and say something along the lines of Why are these books that were by the front door on OUR bookshelf now? To which he responds (helpfully), I put them away for you! I was being helpful!

Opposite-ing in its pulp-fiction form, my friends.

I could think of myriad more examples, I know I could, but I have to zip out right now. To the library. Before they close.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

505. The Kitchen Store Doctor Is IN

People love me. They love me sober, they love me drunk, they love me at work, they love me at parties, they love me at the super-market … the point is: They just love me. So it should come as no surprise that random customers at the high-end kitchen store love to confess to me their entire life history, complete with embarrassing moments and crazy, unbelievable stories. This happens a lot. Daily.

Yesterday, I was at work and the phone rang. “Thank you for calling the fabulous high-end kitchen store, this is MOVee, how may I help you?” I sang into the receiver.

The woman on the phone wanted information on the French porcelain dinnerware we carry, specifically if it was microwave safe (it was) or dishwasher safe (it was). She continued to barrage me with questions, and I continued to answer helpfully. The next thing you know, she proceeds to tell me how her sister just died, and the sister happened to give her all these fancy dishes mere weeks before her impending death (from Leukemia). Yikes! We are new BFF because she has confided this important secret to me.

Whoops—we accidentally get disconnected. Bye-bye random person whose name I do not even know!

Same day. A customer comes in and is looking at some expensive pans from Italy. She goes on and on about how beautiful they are, but the cost is prohibitive. Next thing you know, she confuses my nod-nod-nodding as a sign to tell me things that she should probably tell a therapist. Here goes: She was diagnosed with a rare brain disease and given six months to live. This was four years ago. She wants to celebrate her alive-ness by buying all the special pans.

This happens to me every day. EVERY DAY.

People are compelled to tell me things, private things, because I must have that demeanor that says, “I can keep a secret! I don’t write a blog or anything, ha ha, why do you ask?”

When I was a flight attendant, passengers would corner me in the galley and tell me how they just quit their job/ were planning to get divorced/ hate their mother-in-law/ can’t get pregnant (choose one). Additionally, other flight attendants confessed their fondest hopes and their darkest secrets to me on the jumpseat (this particular phenomenon, in airline parlance, is known as “jumpseat therapy”). I must have one of those faces with a giant “T.M.” printed on my forehead (“Tell Me”).

The other day, I was going through some junk mail, when I spotted an ad for grad school. Masters in Psychology. Hmmm. Maybe I should get paid for what I do.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

503. Why Absolut Sent Me The Cease and Desist Letter

So after my successful blog ad (blad) experience with Starbucks, I was not really surprised at all to receive a phone call from Pierre Pringuet, the CEO of the French company (Pernod Ricard) which owns the Absolut vodka brand.

“Is this Mademoiselle MOV?” asked a dreamy French voice into the phone.


I was gleefully expecting an offer to write a lovely blad and work it into my posts in as unobtrusive a way as possible, with a subtle title like “50 Reasons I Love Absolut.” Fresh from my lucrative new contract with Starbucks, I had been waiting for this phone call.

“Mademoiselle, this is Monsieur Pringuet, and my legal department here at Absolut has asked me to contact you. We need you to cease writing about Absolut immediately, if not sooner.”

“Sure, when do you need my blog by?” I offered chirpily. I started to fantasize about how I would spend my new million dollars and how the tellers at the bank would be so impressed when my bank account suddenly jumped from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000. I might even take the employees at the bank a nice case of Absolut to celebrate my hard-earned success.

I wondered if the Absolut people knew exactly what a one-month supply of vodka was for a writer like myself, and I also wondered if that could include gifts. I’m sure it could, why not?

“We do NOT want you to write about us, we want you to STOP writing about us,” clarified the still-dreamy but now-somewhat-insistent-and-a-tad-bit-mean French telephone voice.



His French accent, truth be told, was a little thick. It sounded to me like he mumbled something about him not wanting me to write this particular essay after all. That’s okay, I thought, the Pernod Richard company owned several alcohol labels, maybe they wanted me to help launch a new one?

“Which product would you prefer-Y-vous that I write about then, sir?”


“I’m sorry, I think we have a bad connection?”

“Mademoiselle, alors, here is the situation. You wrote a blog about Pinktinis, giving the recipe and mentioning us, and we, how do I put this delicately, we received beaucoup d’ hate mail after that. Your blog is not enhancing our image. It is harming us.”


“You heard me. The probleme,” (here he drew out the word, prah—blehhhmmmm, like I couldn’t understand French) “is that your writing is killing our sales. Our stocks are down. My legal department has asked me to advise you to stop any and all reference to our product immediately. Also, we will be sending you a confirmation of this phone call with a letter in the mail so you are 100% clear on what I have said. No more writing about Absolut.”

“Not even for a recipe?”


“What about, uh, am I allowed to maybe say how clever your print ads are, the whole thing about the vodka bottle shape and the creative art campaign, and …”



“Non. Good day.” He hung up with an abrupt click.

I wonder when I’ll receive my check?

(“Mistress Of Vodka”)

Monday, September 5, 2011

502. Starbucks Is The Best

I never set out to write ads or turn my blog into a money-making venture, so it came as somewhat of a surprise when Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, contacted me yesterday and asked me to write a blog-ad (“blad”) about Starbucks coffee.

“Is this MOV?” he asked into the phone.


“This is Mr. Schultz, and I hear you like Starbucks, and that you write a blog.  How would you like to do both at the same time?”

I had tried many, many times to drink Starbucks and write simultaneously, and it mostly just resulted in me knocking over my coffee and my keyboard shorting out.

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Schultz, but I think you have the wrong person. I never do ads. It is against my religion, against my aesthetic, and against my readers’ positive perception of me as ad-free.”

“I will pay you one million dollars, plus a month’s worth of free coffee.”

“I was just thinking how I should revise my aesthetic. When do you need the blog posted by?”

(Lucky for me that Mr. Schultz doesn’t know I would’ve done it just for the free coffee.)


Thursday, September 1, 2011

499. Two Weeks Notice

So last night I told The Boss that I got another job. Predictably, she was not happy. “That’s so great! I am really, really happy for you!” she said quite cheerfully, without a trace of sarcasm in her voice. “When do you start?”

I told her that I start next week, but I do not want to leave the high-end kitchen store going into the busiest time of the year:  holiday.

“Boss, my new job is during the day shift, so it doesn’t impact me still working here for the time being. I plan to keep working my normal one night per week plus Sundays through Christmas. So I am giving you four months notice.”

“Oh, wow. You don’t have to do that. Two weeks is standard!”

“I know, but I don’t want to leave you high and dry …”

She smiled that kind of smile when you offer someone the last cookie, not to be polite but because the cookies are gingersnap and you are allergic.  

“MOV, honestly, it’s really hard to work two jobs. I totally get it if you need to quit now. You can go tonight if you need to!”

I truly had not expected this type of positive support, encouragement, and understanding from my current boss about leaving and going to work somewhere else. I was touched.

“Boss, thank you! But I am the type of person to honor my commitments. I will stay through December 24th.” I grinned back at her.

“You don’t have to!” She clutched a stack of blue and white oven mitts and aprons she had been arranging in a basket.

“I insist!” I insisted.



Her smile turned to a frown. “We don’t want anyone working here who doesn’t want to be here!”

“I want to be here!”

“Uh, okay …” she said, pausing to choose her next words very, very carefully. “Uh, great.”

I never meant to upset her by giving my four months notice. Maybe I should have made it six months instead?