Tag Archives: work

Office Goodies

I have mentioned in a few posts that I started a new job this week and I went from working at home to working in an office.  This has caused several pretty great changes in my life.  I am getting out of the house more, walking more, seeing people more.  I have had a great week.

I only worked from home for a year, but I quickly forgot how much food played an important part in office socializing and fun.  I found myself having to explain to a whole new crop of people why I cannot eat certain things.  The process of doing this was very interesting.  My first two days, I was taken out to lunch twice.  The first day, my team took me out.  That was a great way to meet the people I will be working with and learn a little bit about them.

The restaurant we went to is right next to the office.  The restaurant apparently has great sweet potato fries.  Everyone delighted in telling me how great the fries were at this place specifically and how great the fries are in general.  I certainly participated in the conversation agreeing that sweet potato fries are awesome.  I even told them that one place I go with some of my writer’s group friends, an Irish Pub in Clarendon called Ri Ra, changed their sweet potato fries to sweet potater-tots which are so good.  I even took a picture of them the first time they served them to me.

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This was obviously pre-surgery because even though I do love sweet potato fries, I cannot eat them right now because of the surgery and weight loss.

So, everyone at the table ordered some kind of sandwich with the beloved sweet potato fries except me.  I ordered a salad with chicken on it.  And because I cannot eat and drink at the same time, I did not order anything to drink.  Everyone was surprised.  “You’re not even going to try the fries here?”

I had to explain that I could not and then I told them why.  I was kind of sad not to be able to eat my favorite fries, but it was fine.  I had my salad, of which I ate maybe a third, and spent some time getting to know my new co-workers, which was the real point to the luncheon.

The next day, my new work “buddy” took me out to lunch.  My new company pairs all of the new employees with a buddy to help them assimilate.  I think that’s kind of nice.  Well, me and my buddy went to a Chinese restaurant.  I love Chinese food.  OK, really I just love food, but I am particularly fond of Chinese food.  Some of my favorite Chinese dishes however, are mostly meat.  If there is a vegetable, the meat is breaded and deep friend.  It’s crazy.  I must have protein and vegetables or fruit at every meal and I cannot have any starchy foods yet.  So, I end up getting Kung Pao chicken with no peanuts, no rice, and add string beans, please.  The people at the restaurant must think I’m nuts and of course my buddy finds my choice of food interesting.  There’s another person I have to explain things to.

Then one of the Vice President’s comes to one of our meetings and brings another one of my co-workers Godiva chocolates as a thank you for something.  So, now there are yummy chocolates sitting next to my desk all day.  Then another person brought in homemade chocolate truffles.  Later in the week, another person brought in homemade chocolate chip cookies.

All of this, and it’s only my first week!

Food is an easy way to give people a treat at work, whether you are making cookies for your co-worker, or a manager looking for a way to thank your employees for a good job. I have done it myself.  I make my special chicken wings and sauce, or my famous truffles.  Food makes people happy.  Taking your employees out to a nice restaurant, having a catered luncheon, buying special expensive chocolates are an easy and fun way to show our appreciation and make your employees feel valued.  And the employees and/or co-workers love it.  But when you have a serious dietary restriction of some kind, it can also be problematic.  So many people these days have an intolerance to gluten, allergy to peanut, milk, eggs, etc., vegetarians, vegans, kosher.  And now, gastric by-pass patients.  What a complicated world we live in.

I have to say, I managed to avoid eating all of the junky food very well.  I have no choice.  If I eat the candies and the cookies, I will get dumping syndrome and make myself sick.  I cannot be doing that.  I am glad that I worked from home for a year while I prepared for the surgery and the first few months since the surgery to kind of get used to my new way of eating.  It has been a big change and I think for the most part, I have managed quite well.  Now I need to learn a new way to navigate all of the goodies that are a huge part of working in an office.

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Feeling Good After A Rough Week

I had a very rough week.  I had a lot of problems, from stomach problems, feeling bloated, stress at work, headaches, feeling tired, and blood pressure spikes.  I had to take my blood pressure medicine a couple of times.  The stomach problems were mostly early in the week, but persisted in a small way through Friday.

I decided that it was all due to stress from work.  This week, work was quite stressful.  Fortunately, I do work from home.  If I worked in the office, I do not know if I could have handled the stress.  Part of the problem is that I am kind of a supervisor.  I have no actual power, mind you, but my co-workers do look to me for answers and support.  I also manage the phones, the time off schedules, and the vacation calendar in addition to my regular duties.  Therefore, my phone is always ringing and my instant messenger is forever blooping at me.

I also talk to our customers on top of all of this, so it can get quite crazy at work.  I went back to work a month after the surgery because we are moving into our slow season.  And since I work from home, it is easier for me to manage the stress and deal with my meals.

This week wasn’t so much busy as it was stressful.  Everything seemed to happen at once.  For example, I was on the phone with a client who was calling from overseas on Skype and he was upset about something.  My other line kept ringing the entire time I was on the phone.  My co-workers were calling me, either to ask me questions or to transfer calls to me.  Plus I had a bunch of instant messages.  I ignored all of these interruptions tried to deal with the customer on the phone.  Then I had one person who, because they could not get through to me any other way, starting calling my cell phone over and over again.

Seriously?

Granted, the person calling my cell phone had a relatively serious personal emergency earlier in the day and was calling to give me an update.  OK, that was kind of important.  And many of the other interruptions were things that I did have to take care of.  My co-workers were simply doing their jobs.  They are all good, hardworking people.  But the stress can sometimes be overwhelming.  It’s mostly my fault that people call me over and over.  I’m usually very responsive and answer people right away.  So, if they do not get a hold of me, they are not used to it.

I am supposed to be keeping my stress level low to help my stomach heal after such a huge surgery.  As I have discussed in previous posts, I do have a problem dealing with stress sometimes.  I have not done enough to retrain my coworkers to deal with my new reality.  I will have to fix that.

I did tell my boss, who is very understanding about everything I have been going through, that I need to slow down and reduce my stress.  I told him about my stomach problems and blood pressure spikes.  He was great.  He told me that I need to take care of myself and to only do what I can.

I’m currently out of vacation time until the first of the year.  I cannot afford to take anymore time off this year.  Any time I take off from here will be without pay.  I can go back on medical leave and get short-term disability, but I really do not want to do that.  I know that the week before Christmas through the second week of January will be painfully slow.  I cannot take Christmas off, but I’m thinking of taking the first two weeks of January off.  After the second week of January, our busy season begins.  I will need to be at work.  I feel if I rest up and do what I can to decompress, I will be ready.

I will still need to make sure I do what I can to manage my stress level, but I feel I will be better prepared if I take some more time off.

Now, that was the worst of it…onto the good news.

I lost two more pounds!  I’m down to 256.  That’s a total of 42 pounds.  I am feeling better.  My blood pressure is back down in normal ranges.  Yes, I’m still taking my medicine, but I do not want my pressure to spike again.

So, in the spirit of reducing stress…here is a kitten!

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This is Annabelle.  She is my step-niece’s kitten.  My step-niece found Annabelle on the side of the road and nursed her back to health.  Took her to a vet.  Made sure she had all of her shots.  Paid for a surgery, which is why Annabelle has a cone on her head.  The cone is gone now, but this is the most current picture I have of Annabelle.  She’s a pretty laid back kitten and will sit on you endlessly for petting and she loves treats!