Between a ridiculously rapid transition from in-office and screen-bound to on-site and ultraviolet radiation-prone, I had little time to complete the remaining task at hand, and even less opportunity to process the happenings to come.
Daily habits weren't amended, for I could construct whatever my heart desired, whenever my heart desired. Orange juice, Perrier, and strawberry lychee jam was an interesting combination, as was M Cha's Peach Oolong Milk Tea turned milk tea granita.
Without cocoa powder readily available, I undertook a similar substitution as my marbled loaf in Vancouver (link later): Tim Horton's Hot Chocolate Mix. A small amount of black cocoa was added as well.
Next would come an introduction to construction inspection: It was a small-scale task with few contract items, but with countless provincial specifications and municipal specifications/guidelines for reference. My disembark on site grounds would also mark the start of no immediate access to indoor plumbing - a nightmare to say in the least.
The area seemed to have undergone recent development, seeing the particularly vivid infrastructure in place for mobile orders and delivery pickups.
A large part of me had been overjoyed that my assignment was outside of downtown Hamilton, for crazies lurk about every corner at any given time of day. Stoney Creek was a civilized area with a variety of retailers nearby. The presence of a Cineplex theatre had also prompted inauguration of up-and-coming restaurant chains in the plaza directly across.
- Paper straws still condone me.
- Starbucks' "coconut beverage" is more water than creaminess, and more bland than fragrant.
- There was an abundance of waterfalls in the vicinity, yet no one and no remaining energy to explore them with.
As the first three days of sitework settled in, I found myself feeling haggard, but happy. For the first time, I felt happiness since joining the company. For once, I was not being micromanaged by those seeking profits, and instead left to work independently as the sole representative. This feedback, as I later learned, were not perpetual - that unfavourable events were bound to befall on even the smallest of project scopes.
There, interest was piqued with a limited time sake collection at Hattendo. Despite not being particularly fond of their cream buns, I was eager to try a version encasing umeshu jelly.
Eventually, I opted to hover above the garbage bin. Any unintentional dribbles would be directed downwards with the help of gravity, rather than on the shop's off-white tiles. For the most part, the cone was decent. That said, my opinion was drastically altered upon reaching the bottom the cone. A glossy, obnoxiously tacky pool of chocolate flooded out from within, contributing nausea and removing enjoyment.
By mid-week, tensions had only increased. Being pulled from all directions, it was frustrating to hear of one method, then be informed of its inaccuracy by another member of the team. They seemed unconcerned about the ultimate objective, yet placed tremendous emphasis on the process by which the objective is attained. Once again, I found myself a victim of micromanagement.
"You shouldn't wear form fitting clothes because it is too sexual and you won't get any respect."
I had dismissed the derogatory remark in the moment, replied with little to no reaction, then retreated to my vehicle following her long-awaited departure. Paperwork was completed while a tad teary, though I couldn't quite figure out why. Shock and outrage had filled my mind; her presence and piercing, unbacked comments had contributed discouragement in place of mentorship.
I departed that afternoon livid, wondering why such contempt could have been formulated to start. Let it be known on this space that I am a believer of skill, hard work, and results. For one to label another human as one undeserving of respect on the bases of their clothing choice or appearance is utterly repulsive. In a workplace environment, respect ought be earned by demonstrating capabilities, not by dressing in certain pieces of clothing. Furthermore, I had intentionally secured new clothes with the intention of performing my duties better: Loose clothing and machinery never go hand in hand.
1) Ube Krispies
Inspiration derived from the good ol' Explore page, I adapted SK's salted butter edition by adding in vanilla and ube extracts to the melted butter-marshmallow mixture before folding in the crispy rice cereal and dusting with toasted sesame seeds.
With a sudden fondness for unglazed lemon loaf, I set out to fulfill this desire come Saturday morning. Ciao Kitchen's Lemon Curd Pound Cake was adapted to exclude the lemon curd filling and include the zest of one lime. The cake was baked in a standard loaf pan instead of three minis, and the juices of half a lemon and half a lime were added to the batter, unmeasured.
Poke Poke had been nowhere as creamy and satiating as Poke Guys, however it appears to me that their processes are still lacking in the hygiene department.
At 6 PM, the sleep polar bear had admitted defeat and added our party to Takumi's waitlist. With an anticipated availability at 7:30 PM, we continued for a few more rounds while stealthily shifting the table to avoid the sun.
Admittedly, it was challenging to split the orders across the table. I observed anxiously as shallow platters were passed from one end to the other, bloody juices sloshing between its edges.