Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tom is Tea Warden

Every day at 10:30 am, Tom's whole office takes a break and has "Cuppa' Time", essentially a coffee break. I've heard it called a "Cig-o" here, but who smokes anymore? Or, as Tom would say, "What are you, an anachronism?"  I think it's a great culture-bonding technique (tea, not smoking...keep up), though I suspect that this group of about 10 scientists may be heavy on the introverted side and light on chitty chatty.  I even think that Tom can be more outgoing than most and we tried to come up with some social lubrication ideas. 

I wrote to one of my old Queen's professors, who sent me some worksheets on team building....#1) Describe an event or accomplishment in your life that made you feel particularly proud. This gave me some PTSD flashbacks of all the team building exercises we used to have to do in school.  Most of my India-born/engineer classmates wrote about getting strong college entrance scores. I wish they wouldn't have made me go first. Mine were a little more personal. Heavy on the self-disclosure. Like the time I did a triathlon and got sunstroke when I weighed almost 18 stone. (I'll save you the time...250#. Yikes.)

We decided that maybe people would like to play cards, break up the sound of crickets chirping when conversation starts to wane.  Apparently the whole idea freaked everyone out. "Cards? What's this now? This is unprecedented.  We've not had cards before." Cards only lasted a day. 

So this week is Tom's week to be the Kitchen Fairy, the Snack Czar, the Tea Warden. Apparently most people just bring in some biscuits (that's Aussie for dry, store bought butter cookies that you always have around because they really aren't very good).  Being the super achiever he is, we spent last night gathering recipes, marching around the grocery store and baking.  We're still learning to make nice with our oven, which seems to burn everything, in spite of the tag line on its manual, promising it to be Perfekt in Form and Funktion. Took us a week to turn it on. That sukt

Me happy, Tom sad, Edition #472. 

The only thing better than brownies, BLONDIES.  We are trying to figure out why butter cream frosting is called that, instead of butter sugar frosting. Weird.

Another consumer anomaly of the kangaroo nation...marshmallows only come in odd flavors.  Tom separated them into compatible fruit groups. Banana didn't make the cut, unfortunately.  Can you tell that I only accessorized the Rice Crispee Treats with white chocolate chips to justify tearing open the pack, which I will surely polish off in another day or two?  Such a thin veneer I rock. 

The secret to chocolate chip cookies...proper chef's attire...er....being really cute and watching closely to make sure they don't overcook. 

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