Crafting for the Workplace

There seems to be a phenomenon in the workplace – in all workplaces – when you’ve just finished Doing the Thing you’re supposed to do.  The moment you lean back for one second, sure enough, the Boss walks by and says, “Why aren’t you Doing the Thing?!?”  In honor of this widespread misfortune, my fellow store managers and I developed:

The Barrister Free Mulligan Token



You see, I work at a board game & toy store.  In the world of collectible card games, taking a mulligan essentially means putting back the hand you were dealt and drawing a new one.  We figured our staff could use a second chance if they were ever caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  With plenty of help from Shane, I was able to laser-cut a bunch of wooden tokens.

Standing up to your boss can be difficult.  But there are times when it’s appropriate, and now each employee is well-armed against fickle fortune.  Shane called our idea “very forward-thinking.”  My favorite part was at last week’s staff meeting, where everyone got do decorate their own personal token:



To expend a token, we simply drop it through the slot in the top of the pencil case, which is bolted to the backplate.  Once you take your Mulligan, the boss owes you a second chance, an apology, and (for good measure) a sandwich.  Expended tokens may be reclaimed by attending a staff meeting.  Who knows how much use they’ll see?  Even as just a symbol, it gave us a way to talk about the elephant in the room.

And play with the glitter glue.

Game Day / Miracle Berry Tasting Party

Last week we gathered for a day of gaming – the unplugged variety!  We started with classic Ticket to Ride and a new card game called Timeline: Inventions, eventually moving on to The Impossible Machine and Settlers of Catan.  Timeline: Inventions was a favorite because it tested our knowledge of different invention dates.  It was challenging without being competitive, and it was fun for everyone – regardless of who won.

The Impossible Machine was a bit of a flop, because each player only gets a couple of turns before the machine is built and scored.  Players largely depend on the luck of their cards to win, so there was almost no way to strategize or fight for the win, especially with so few turns in each game.  In the meantime, Shane collected suggestions for a Miracle Berry taste test….

First, the tasters sucked on Miracle Berry tablets (which we got from ThinkGeek).  These tablets, made from a rare berry, are supposed to alter your taste buds so that foods taste sweet.  We had to coat our tongue, not chew them, so it took several minutes to prepare.  The lineup of things to taste included: original Pringles, Salt and Vinegar Pringles, red wine, apple cider vinegar, grapefruit juice, sweet pickles, dill pickles, salsa, Guinness, blueberry yogurt, lemon yogurt, pepper jack cheese, sour cream dip, dark chocolate, strawberries, lemons, Sour Patch Kids, and Zours candy.  Oh yeah, and I think there was also some Tequila.

Results?  The dark chocolate tasted like sweet chocolate.  The strawberries tasted like they were dipped in sugar.  Some tasters thought the extra-sweet flavor seemed artificial – a different kind of sweet, one that we’re not used to.  The red wine was disappointing, but the Guinness reportedly tasted like a chocolate milkshake.  The lemons created a tart physical sensation in the mouth without registering a sour flavor on the tongue!  And finally, the whole crew followed Tom’s lead by putting yogurt on a pickle.  Everyone agreed that it was delicious!  I did a control taste test, and I proclaimed that it simply tasted like a yogurt-covered-pickle.  The yogurt was very delicious and sweet, so of course everyone would love the combination if they couldn’t taste the sour from the pickle!

The salsa and the pepper jack cheese were not very spicy to begin with, so they simply lost their tangy aspects after having the Miracle Berries.  The Zours candy seemed to be sour enough to actually taste sour, but this might have been because the Miracle Berries were wearing off by the time we tasted them.  We all agreed: we should have tasted several things before taking the Miracle Berry tablets.  That way, we would’ve had a before-and-after comparison.