Let’s have a real time chat about things we have learned at work. Now, over the years I have picked up many things in the various industries I have worked in – some of them valuable (don’t take over eight paracetamol containing tablets in a twenty-four hour period) – some of them not quite so valuable (lots of things happen in changing rooms that you don’t want to know about – ever!).
So, what have I learned over the past month in my new job, well surprisingly a lot besides how to talk to Excel spreadsheets nicely, and how brain-straining it is to attempt to memorise a sixty-four page glossary. Firstly: people, do not – do not! – put photos on your resume unless you: a) look like the grown-up progeny of Angelina and Brad, or, b) really, really want to give bored office types a laugh on a Wednesday afternoon when they see you dressed up as Batman. Going to get the job? Not so much.
Getting an early mark from your boss still carries the same excitement as when your schoolteacher used to let you out early on a sunny summer afternoon. And you should totally skip across the parking lot, send bragging text messages to everyone of your family still at work, and blast the radio as you pull out of your car space.
The fun factor of the office shredder cannot be underestimated. Especially on a Thursday afternoon. Can you shred these documents for me? Yes, yes I can.
The power of music in the workplace is a useful tool. Tense moment? Just wait until your obsessively-organised boss starts snapping to ‘Single Ladies’ – oh yes, it happens. And will never be forgotten…
Another thing I have learned – making pasta post-work post-gym is the best relaxation technique there is. After you’re done making dinner and doing the dishes put up your feet, watch some Ryan Gosling that your boyfriend has lovingly downloaded, and then eat a spoon of Nutella out of the jar – come on, you’re a tax-paying treadmill-pounding grown up and you deserve it!
Balsamic Onion, Feta, and Spinach Pasta Salad (gluten free)
Chris and I are both onion lovers, which is a good thing really. If you aren’t you can reduce the onion by half, but you are missing out on some seriously sweet balsamic-syruped slivers of heaven. Also, some black olives would work really well in this mix, but we were out! You can replace the gluten free pasta with normal wheat-based pasta if you are not catering for the intolerant.
- 250 gram box gluten free penne pasta (I’m a fan of San Remo)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, halved and sliced
- 2 teaspoons raw sugar
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 200 grams Greek feta, diced
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan over low heat. Add sliced onions and sugar and sweat slowly for 10 minutes. The onions should be nicely softened, but try to avoid high heat so that they don’t colour and become crispy. Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and cook for another 10 minutes or until the balsamic is absorbed and the onions nearly melt off your spoon.
- While the onions are cooking bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. You want enough water that your pasta can float freely – do not crowd the pasta. Add dried pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on how firm/mushy you like you pasta to be. Firmer is best with a pasta salad so 8 minutes is perfect. Drain pasta, add spinach leaves, replace lid and allow spinach to wilt.
- Add onions to pasta along with feta. Whisk together half tablespoon olive oil and remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and add to pasta.
- Salt and pepper to taste and toss whole salad very thoroughly until all the elements are well distributed and coated in balsamic vinegar.
- Serve and enjoy. This goes well with sausages, grilled chicken, or is substantial enough to eat on its own.
Tell me, dear reader, what have you learned at work?