Friday at work the call floor manager---not my boss, my boss's boss---came over "just to say hi". Uh huh.
After a while of small talk he finally said, "So I heard something from A---- at the Tampa location..."
Of course with that said I knew right away what this was about.
Several months ago I was asked to interview for an HR Assistant position in Tampa. This was well before I had been asked to go on tour, so I said sure, I'll apply if you think it's a good fit. I applied, and a few weeks later got the tour offer. Then a few days after that they set up an interview date.
At the time of the interview I had a temporary, incomplete tour contract, and that was it. So I went ahead with the interview because I didn't know how things would turn out. Probably a week after the interview I had the final tour contract, and the week after that came the I-9 and other paperwork. At that point I knew I would not be taking the job in Tampa.
I forget the exact date, but a few weeks ago the Tampa interviewer called to offer me the job. And of course I declined it. But they weren't expecting that at all. Up until this point they had assumed that if it was offered, I would take it. So they had called the Orlando offices to let them know they'd be poaching me down to Tampa.
So when I declined, it was (I assume) surprising, although the interviewer hid it well. They did ask if there were any reason, and I felt that they deserved an explanation after I had applied and interviewed quite seriously. So I told them. I'm not a good liar, and this employer has treated me well, I do not want to lie to them. She understood, we thanked each other, and hung up. And I knew that this would get around, one way or another. It was only a matter of when.
I guess the two locations don't talk to each other all that much...there's really no need, they have separate payroll systems and HR processing. If I wanted to work in Tampa I'd have to fill out all-new employment paperwork, that's how separate the locations are. So it's not really surprising that they're finally talking about this just now. Maybe they have a conference call once a month, and it finally came up: "Hey, whatever happened with you guys taking Megan down to Tampa for that HR position?"
However it went down I'll never know, but today my boss's boss said, "So I heard something from A---- at the Tampa location. She says you're thinking of leaving us?"
I sighed and said, "Well, yes. It's not quite finalized yet." (white lie, but I AM kind of waiting for a travel itinerary)
He said, "Ok. Sorry, I know you probably didn't want me to know that yet."
"Oh, I don't mind," I said. "I was going to let you know in the next two weeks."
"Oh!" He seemed surprised at that. "Well, yeah, it doesn't change anything. Please know that this won't change how you're treated, or anything like that. We just really want to know--"
"You'll get a month's notice," I said. "Nothing is happening until October."
This seemed to be a huge relief for him. People ghost out of that place all the time, so maybe he thought I was planning to just not show up one day or something. But I'm not that kind of person. And hey, now they've technically got an extra two weeks of notice! Lucky them.
So yeah, there it is.
I'll still wait the two weeks for an official anouncement on my social and stuff.
After work I went to the Toyota dealership because my car was screaming "MAINTENANCE REQUIRED", but it turned out it needed nothing at all. Next time I'm just going to call and ask them to check their system to see if it needs something. But it was a good thing because now rather than sitting at the dealership all day I could get some stuff done.
Jameson was at a gig so I had dinner on my own, and visited Sprouts because they sell flour in bulk and I only needed a small amount of wheat. Then fought traffic home where I vacuumed, and practiced both steno and trombone. I wanted to take a steno test, but felt my focus was not good enough.
When Jameson got home he was upset and frustrated. Something happened at the gig, I'm not totally sure what. But in general, gigging like this is just not enjoyable to him any more. Especially these one-off night gigs. Maybe when he was younger it was fun to be out rocking it with his friends on stage, getting free drinks if it was a bar, coming home at 2am. But now, maybe he's past the age where that's fun. Or maybe his passion for performing in general has died down (I can relate to that). It's upsetting, because he doesn't seem to know what he wants to do next. Or he feels like he "should" still love performing.
I never know what to say in these moments. A lot of times I think he wants to be left alone, or just wants me to be there. He certainly didn't want to talk about it last night. But I know he didn't sleep well, he was tossing and turning all night.
My hope currently is that music directing will become a new passion for him. I hope that MD-ing RENT will reignite the joy that he had previously gotten from performing. And if not, I hope he becomes more willing to branch out, do some research on things he might like to do, and try some of them. Because it hurts both him and me for him to be miserable. I just want him to find something that makes him truly happy, and we don't know what that is right now.
Saturday was just weird. Work was whatever, a lot of random stuff kept coming up to deal with, but we all got through it ok.
On the way home I bought ingredients for lasagna and also maple mustard chicken salad. Since my work schedule is all screwed up it's going to be a long week, and this is the only chance I'll have to stock us up on home-cooked food so we don't end up eating out all the time.
I'm also planning to make a loaf of wheat again, because I'm still trying to get a good base recipe for that.
Back home I was thrilled to find that my updated passport has arrived! YES! Glad I won't have to worry about that any more.
Jameson was in a slightly better mood. He left shortly after I got home, to do callback auditions for RENT. He's got a lot of talent to choose from, and hopefully he'll enjoy the process and come home in a better frame of mind.
Meanwhile I did a little prep for my bread. This time, I'm using what's called the "tangzhong method". It's a flour roux that you make and then add to your dough. You are pretty much breaking down some of the starches in your flour to become a sort of gelatin. Adding this to bread improves the texture (fluffier/chewier) and also has a preservative function, meaning your homemade bread will last longer when you've used this method. It's a very simple step, and as far as I know you can do it for any type of bread. I'm very interested in having my loaf breads turn out less crumb-y, and having them last longer on the counter, and I think learning this technique will improve my bread game overall.
So I made the roux. It was very easy, just water and flour on the stove until it got thick like pudding. Then into the fridge because we're not using it until tomorrow. After that I cooked up the chicken breasts so that all I'll have to do tomorrow for chicken salad is add the other ingredients and stir it up. Then I practiced some steno and tried to take a test, but did not do well, so will try to take another tomorrow.
Sunday, I didn't sleep well because my body thought it was time for work and kept trying to wake me up. NOOOOO stupid body!
But I finally got up and had breakfast, and got started on the tangzhong wheat.
Here's the flour roux:
I put together the dough the same as always, the only difference being adding the roux. 50/50 AP flour and wheat flour, whole milk, buckwheat honey, salt, yeast, walnut oil. Made a nice dough ball and let it rise for 1.5 hours, during which time I make a maple mustard chicken salad for us to eat during the week (all the same ingredients as regular chicken salad but with a little maple syrup added). By the time I was done cleaning that up, the bread was ready for shaping.
Japanese milk bread, for whatever reason, is traditionally shaped by sticking several lumps of dough into a bread pan. Maybe so that you can pull the sections apart and use one mini-loaf at a time? Idk. But that's how I shaped it: I weighed the whole ball of dough, divided that in 3, and rolled three little spheres of dough which I crammed into the loaf pan together. I let them rise with a cup of hot water for about an hour.
When they were done I gave it an egg wash (someday I'll get tired of shiny bread but today is not that day) and popped it in the oven.
Twenty-five minutes later:
Couldn't have asked for a better result.
It's definitely more moist and fluffy than other wheat loaves I've made.
I made a video of me trying to pull a segment apart one-handed, it's the second image in THIS series.
It doesn't "peel" like a pull-apart biscuit, but that may be due to the whole wheat.
Anyway, it doesn't matter, that's just a visual appeal. I noticed right away that the bread had a nice uniform crumb, was not dense, and sliced much more easily than other wheat loaves I've made. And it has a chewier texture, more like store-bought sliced bread for sure. Yum!
I am definitely going to keep this recipe and work with it. The only think that I'd change right now is to reduce the fat content. The original recipe used skim milk, and since we usually only have whole milk I used that instead. But to compensate, I should have reduced the oil by a tablespoon. It did no harm, just something I want to consider next time. At some point it would also be nice to get a real Pullman loaf pan, so my loaves can have straight sides as they are intended to have. That can wait until Christmas.
As the bread was cooling I did my meal prep for the week, then did prep for tonight's lasagna dinner.
It was just a classic lasagna, nothing complicated. I used whole wheat noodles and lean turkey + lean-ish sausage. I had meant to add spinach as well but forgot. Put some fresh basil on top to make it look nice.
Sadly for Jameson the lasagna wasn't done before he had to go to rehearsal. I felt pretty bad eating it by myself! But it was delicious, and now we have that plus the chicken salad that we can eat for lunches during our busy week.
I'm typing this up after I've finally finished cleaning up the kitchen. My whole "day off" was spent in the kitchen, but I don't mind, especially where the bread is concerned. After this I'm doing some steno, then practicing trombone, then finally spending a little time relaxing. I had wanted to do so much more today, but there are only so many hours to spend.
Here's a picture of my sister Kate's baby, now two months old :)
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