Wednesday, February 16 2022
To make working on my 54th birthday that much more recreational, this morning I took 150 milligrams of pseudoephedrine after first first putting down a layer of birthday pizza. Then I made myself a french press of birthday coffee.
Every other week in my current workplace there are lots of meetings on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These are related to Agile sprints (Agile being the collaboration and project management strategy). Since before I joined the team, we've had a gentleman (let's call him Randy) from a corporate training shop teaching our team the fine points of Agile, and periodically he joins our meetings. Today there seemed to be an undercurrent of antagonism coming from Randy, particularly with respect to Joe, the lead developer of our web team. Randy had nonsensical expectations for what Joe should've done before the meeting, and when he then pointedly waited while Joe did them during the meeting, he needled him several times. It was all very passive-aggressive and seemingly professional, but I could see it clearly, and Joe could too. I could also see hostile microexpressions on Randy's face. Then there was the issue of the CTO springing a big project on me (and thus our team) requiring me to learn two different technologies, something that seemed to offend our lead developer Joe more than it did me. All of this was actually rather entertaining to me, particularly during a ten minute period before Randy joined our afternoon meeting and I could dish about my observations of his microexpressions. It's this sort of thing that really binds a team together, and it's helping me cement my place inside it.
This evening at after 6:00pm, Gretchen climbed into the still-seatless back of the Chevy Bolt, Powerful climbed into the passenger seat, and I drove us to the Bear Cantina in Bearsville. That's the nice Mexican restaurant that took the place of the old "the Bear" and which Gretchen and I have been to two or three times now. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (which, locally at least, seems to be completely back down from the scary heights of the omicron peak), I decided to, through Gretchen, invite some friends to attend a birthday dinner at the Bear Cantina.
Those in attendance tonight, in addition to the three from our household, were Ray & Nancy, Sarah the Vegan, my old boss Alex, and his wife Celia. We sat in the back dining room near a big fireplace, well isolated from the only other table in the room. Our waitress kept calling me "the birthday boy," which was really charming for some reason when said with her accent. A bunch of us ordered margaritas, though I was the only one to order a second one. As for food, we all ordered either tofu fajitas or tofu tacos, with the exception of Alex, who had to get himself a chicken burrito. I did my best to spread myself out and talk to as many people as possible, mostly starting with Alex, who wanted to know how things were going in my new worplace and also wanted to tell me about the big run-down mansion he and Celia just bought on Virginia's Eastern Shore. It turns out the house wasn't as run-down a feared and the neighbors aren't all hayseeds; one is an egg-tempera artist who used to work with Andrew Wyeth. But it's also in a food desert, so Alex thinks he'll be doing a lot more cooking there.
When time came for presents, there everyone had gotten me something. Ray gave me one of his small abstract paintings, Nancy gave me one of Bruce the Dog's old knitted jackets, Celia got me a bottle of wine, Sarah got me a little liquor flask, Alex got me a book entitled My LSD Family, and, earlier (though he didn't bring it to the restaurant), Powerful got me a large bottle of imperial stout and a six pack of Lagunitas IPA. After the meal, Gretchen put a bunch of cupcakes on a special cupcake tree, and when there were too many for us, she gave them to our waitresses and the folks back in the kitchen.
Gifts from my friends. Click to enlarge.
In the Bear Cantina this evening. From left: Powerful, Sarah the Vegan, the cupcake tree, and Nancy.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next