eating lunch … at my desk :(

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I remember this one article that said that although eating lunch away from your desk is incredibly important psychologically, employees’ satisfaction levels are also correlated to whether or not they had a choice in eating at or away from their desks. Makes sense, right? Mind breaks are important, but so too is the freedom to choose for yourself. And I totally get it. Being forced to eat at your desk is a double whammy of suckage.

I usually don’t mind eating at my desk. In past jobs (architecture firms) we always had the choice to eat at our desks or the meeting/kitchen table depending on if you were working or wanted to socialize, but since deadlines were constantly fast approaching, it was pretty common for us to order in food, eat at our desks, and chat while eating/working. Here, we always eat in the kitchen because we share a single (albeit partitioned) office table that is viewable to passersby. We have to eat in shifts and I find it incredibly mind-numbing to eat while staring at a white wall, but as long as I have my phone to watch Coursera lectures or read some emails, I’m fine.

But when everyone else goes for a meeting and I’m alone and am forced to eat lunch at my desk in order to keep an eye on the door? That bites. Especially when it’s a slow day. There’s only so much BuzzFeed, DailyMail, and BoredPanda one can read before one’s mind goes completely numb. The sandwich was good though. Wagas never fails.

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my annoyances of the week

It’s been a bad week. Here goes:

  1. Design Shanghai 2014 was running from February 27th through today, March 2nd, but I wasn’t allowed in because I didn’t have a ticket. Can I buy a ticket? No. You must already have a ticket. What?! It’s the last day of the event and the first day I’ve had off. Argh. I was really interested in seeing it, but now I’m just annoyed.
  2. Old Navy has come to Shanghai, but there was a crush of people and I couldn’t find normal spaghetti-strap tank tops. At Old Navy. Aren’t plain t-shirts and tank tops the core of their business?
  3. Wagas delivery goes off-line when it rains, because a bit of rain is simply insurmountable. Oh sure, they’ll still deliver – if you pay CAB FARE for the delivery guy. I’m sorry, but I’m already paying your extravagant prices for a sandwich … and it’s just rain.
  4. On the weekend I occasionally tutor a woman in oral English. Usually we meet for two hours, but today she only wanted to meet for one hour. As it is I’m tutoring her for peanuts (way below my normal hourly rate) and it takes me 40 minutes round-trip, which makes that ‘tutoring session’ a complete waste of time.
  5. My fridge is basically empty. The grocery store nearest to my apartment closes at 9 PM and I normally get home around 8 PM, but Wednesday I got home at 9 and Thursday at 11. This week I’ve had McDonald’s twice, KFC once, and ramen noodles twice. Ugh.

But you know what makes everything better? Flowers. Mental health flowers. In front of my apartment building there is a flower lady with a little cart of flowers that I’ve passed by many times before, but this afternoon I stopped and bought some. 25 kuai (about 4 USD) for two small bundles; I didn’t bother haggling. Ah, best investment ever. They make me smile.

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don’t even care that the photo is out of focus. Well, maybe just a little.

mmmm … wagas

Ugh. I’m exhausted. Sooooo much going on. And I’m behind on so many things! Uh oh. I have a whole host of partially-prepared posts, but I just don’t have the time to finish them up. So here’s a picture of food. Yum. Yay.

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This is a picture of a chicken panini … or rather a “chicken, bacon bits and sun-dried tomato salad with avocado leaves” on “Turkish panini” from Wagas. Mmmm … Wagas. For those not in the know, Wagas is a chain of restaurants in China that’s pretty popular with the Western crowd. Why? Because it’s Western food (sandwiches, salads, wraps), the food is good/clean/consistent, and their restaurant spaces are more appealing to a foreign crowd – casual/comfy decor, clean, higher-end locations, and free wi-fi. Prices are at a manageable expat level (about 50 RMB for a sandwich), so I only eat it every now and then ’cause I ain’t on an expat salary. But they do delivery! When I was waiting for the internet at my apartment to get set up, I spent a fair amount of time at Wagas for the wi-fi. Good food and good atmosphere but not so good on the wallet. I recommend their spinach wraps – the chicken curry is absolutely delish.

Now off to finish some of my overdue work (for Company A)! Or maybe some of that deadline-approaching freelance work (for Company B)! Or … maybe I should sleep? I have to go into the office early tomorrow morning (for Company C). Argh. Decisions, decisions. Ah, it’s cold. And now I’m hungry.