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I'm working on a new journal entry - but it's taking time. This job eats my brain, today was a series of people asking where there stuff was, in varying degrees of hopeful through ranting insanely. There are few things less fun than saying to someone, "It's in the mail, I honestly can't tell you anything more than that."
Especially when the thing that's in the mail was the Perfect Christmas Gift that they were relying on to make a Norman Rockwell picture happen in their own lives.

Customer, with bitter sarcasm: "So you're telling me it won't be here by Christmas."
CusSvc next to me: "We expect it'll be there by the 23rd, 24th at the latest."
Customer, with more shrill voice: "Which means it won't be there by Christmas."
CusSvc, patiently: "No, it means it will be there by the 23rd or 24th."
Customer, with triumphant snarl: "And that means it won't be there by Christmas."

Some people have yet to learn that Christmas falls on the 25th, apparently.

Oh well. It's better than the one yesterday who told her, when she explained that his items had been sent by parcel post because he didn't have a street address, just a PO Box, and he decided amid increasing vulgarity and ranting, that it was somehow her fault that the expected delivery might not make it for his early Christmas party on Sunday, that he didn't tell our sales associate about:
"Now I know how Bin Laden feels..."

She hung up on him at that point. I would have asked him if he really intended to threaten me, and if not, he'd best apologize quickly because we have his name, address, and phone number which can and will be provided to the FBI.

Fortunately none of my customers have been that nutty, though one woman did wryly tell me that we'd wrecked her Christmas by not having a particular vendor-provided item on time, though we'd been assured it would be.

Some other time I'll tell you about the Delicious Polenta Casserole, a parable about why fried corn-meal-mush, sun-dried tomatoes and preserved basil, and the world's stinkiest parmesan and mozzarella should NOT be shipped across the country frozen.
Or at least, they should use a less watery, stinky cheese.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2002 12:17 am (UTC)
Stinky Polenta?
Please -- share with us. We want to know!
Dec. 21st, 2002 03:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Stinky Polenta?
Polenta casserole is a lovely idea for a somewhat ethnic food. Well made, polenta has a nice roasted corn flavor, a pleasant crisp crust and a nice mouth feel. It can be enhanced by adding a nice basil and olive oil pesta, and possibly even a sun dried tomato paste. (Note that while I love tomatoes fresh, sun-dried tomatoes are a bane and a taste of ashes and gall in my mouth.)
A little buffalo cheese can also improve the protein balance of this starchy food, and give some nice flavor.

What this actually was: the polenta was prepared in sheets and cut in half. A big heaping spoon of a rather old-and-moldy tasting sun dried tomato glop (somehow managing to be wet and dry at the same time in the worst way) was placed between the halves, along with a cursory sprinklet of a nice sharply flavored basil pesto. The cheese used... smelled strongly. Let me reiterate. When they made this up to demonstrate - we get to taste foods sold through our catalog - the smell was like all the old unwashed jockstraps and tennis shoes of all the 14 year old boys in all the highschools in the entire nation, distilled down to one scent note.
The cheese itself was not entirely responsible for this. The cheese was not a traditional mozzarella. It seemed more like a goat cheese and it was amazingly watery - perhaps because the whole concoction was assembled then frozen, to be baked again by the customer - but there were many of these which have had a lot of liquid swimming around in the shipping bag, which then leaked all over the box.

As I said, the cheese was a bit goaty smelling. That, plus the basil pesto, plus the antediluvian sundried tomato goop, plus the baked cornmeal mush layers, somehow conspired together to make a smell that made to gag, two of the recent mothers on the call floor, women who had children in diapers and whom one would believe immune to incredibly vile stinky smells ... the sample I took home was not so stenchy. It was, however, wet and rather a mishmosh of flavors.

Having tasted it, I can imagine deliberately eating durian. I didn't bother finishing it though - it wasn't very good, and I think taking four bites was giving it more than enough leeway to get better.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Steve Hutchison

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