I really do like “older” people. And what happened really made me laugh more than anything. Let me preface this by saying, I cannot remember ever getting “fired” from a job. I was “let go” from a couple of jobs because the company was going under or the job was temporary to begin with but fired…well I was once fired from volunteering but that’s a whole bad story.
Y’all may not know but in addition to all my other interest (Instructional Design, writing, fostering, selling Pampered Chef) I dabble in some catering. I was the “Catering Manager” (and chef) for almost a year. I’ve been doing catering jobs here and there, maybe one or two a month. Most of those jobs are for friends so I give them a “deal”. And I’ve been known to barter for some auto-repair work with Johnny and Son’s out in Lockhart. (If you need your vehicle fixed or even some automotive work done…they are good and even better, they are honest.) My dad works out there. Tommy, the manager, is a great guy who “buys lunch” for his guys now and then. They have had my homemade lasagna, King ranch chicken and my gumbo (tomato based, sausage and chicken gumbo). They love the lasagna…and it’s a recipe I made up.
They had an elderly customer who had his vehicle fixed at the shop. He mentioned to Tommy that he and his wife were looking for someone to cook for them. Tommy told him that he should talk to “Laddie’s daughter”…she’s a great cook. My dad called me and then gave the gentleman my number.
After playing phone tag with the gentleman, we arranged a time to go out and visit. The trip is 46 miles round trip. I drive a Ford Expedition that get about 13 miles to the gallon (and that may be on the highway). It cost me approximately $12 to drive out to the homestead which is in the country. Meals-on-Wheels won’t even venture out there. For me to do this job, it is going to have to be worth my while.
I drove all the way out and they weren’t there. Good grief.
So we had a little phone interview. That in itself was interesting. The man, age 87 was on one phone and his wife, age 90 was on the other phone. They told me they want “country food”. They do not like Mexican food (darn…I make a lot of Mexican food). I mentioned that I make a lot of Chinese food for my family. That peaked their interest…they told me they love Chinese food. They also said, “nothing spicy”. I do spicy. There is rarely a meal we eat that isn’t spicy. This is going to be challenging. I asked then for specifics on what they like but they couldn’t tell me anything specific other than “country food” and they said they don’t like sticky pasta. When I told them I make lasagna they assured me they would like that. We agreed I would come out twice a week. I will bring a total of 6 meals a week. Each visit I will bring two sets of boxed lunches and one set of frozen food that can be heated up on day 3. I know the portions I prepare and I know that elderly people usually eat a lot less so I figure they will eat a meal for dinner and likely have enough for lunch the next day.
For my first set of meals I made Orange chicken with snow peas over rice with Chicken Spring Rolls, Meatloaf with butter potatoes, green beans and dinner roll and for the frozen portion my well-loved poppy-seed chicken (which I usually put over pasta but they said they didn’t like pasta) over rice, steamed brocoli and angel food cake with fresh strawberries.
I went out to meet them taking the boy with me. They loved the boy. He jumped around while we visited a little. They told me that Meals-on-wheels had decided they would deliver to them for a fee. They pay me, I take off.
Within an hour, the gentleman calls me and tells me they aren’t going to need my services. He said the orange chicken was very good but they don’t like rice and the spring rolls were too spicy (WHAT??? It’s WHITE RICE!! Who doesn’t like white rice? And who eats Chinese food without rice? Chinese people eat rice.) I was a little relieved because it was a lot of cooking and driving. But I was also sad because I do not get fired…especially from cooking!! I texted the Hubs and he called me and we laughed. He LOVES my cooking (I think it may be one of the reasons he married me).
About two hours later, they called me back. I was done with it so I didn’t answer. And I had taken the boy to the park so I was busy (visiting with my friend Candace).
I check my messages later and they had left a message but it sounded like the reception was breaking up. I decided to wait a day. That was on Friday.
On Saturday, I called back and the gentleman was out. I left a message. He called me back and left me this message, “We may have jumped the gun a little. You can keep bringing the meals.”
On Sunday morning, before 9 a.m. while I am rushing to get myself and the boy ready for church he calls me. (Of course). He tells me, “We ate the meatloaf and it was good”. Apparently, meatloaf (which I rarely make because I’m not that into it) sealed the deal (it’s a modified recipe of my mom’s and it was 1/2 ground turkey…don’t tell).
I was fired but I was re-hired. I might have to ask for a raise. And really, I do like old people.