For RJ and I, the first working week of 2014 was quite unlike what our weeks usually are. We were off to a rather relaxed start on Tuesday, the 7th (the 6th is a holiday in my part of Germany). We were both working from my place; I have three desks here, all of them with internet access, and so it is no problem to have an efficient day at the home office. Most of what we did on that first day was preparing everything for this year.
On Wednesday, we had a visitor. I hesitate to simply call him a customer, because he is more than that; we also cooperate with him in more than one way, and he has been an acquaintance of RJ's long before the idea of working together came up.
We had several meetings with him in December, but this was the first time we had the occasion to talk in detail about what we were going to do, terms and conditions and so on. Well, it was a session that lasted 12 hours, including lunch, coffee and cake, and a (delivered) pizza late in the evening. For the rest of the week, RJ and I were both knackered and were glad for being able to take things a bit slower at our biggest customer's office on Thursday and Friday.
We still had lots to think and talk about, since several new opportunities have opened up for us, so we used some of the weekend for business as well, not neglecting the fun and relaxing bits; there was my sister's birthday to celebrate Friday night, and we went dancing on Saturday night.
This week, I am on my own again and will do most of my work at the customer's office. But because of last week's many extra hours, I am only going to take the train a bit after lunch, and work just a few hours this afternoon.
Half an hour ago, I have returned from doing my groceries shopping for the week. I have probably mentioned before that I do nearly all my food shopping at Aldi's, which is the most convenient place for me; it covers all my householdy needs, has great prices and good products, and is close enough for someone like me who does not drive but carries all their purchases on foot.
For a few weeks already, Aldi has been offering a new range of (vegetarian) bread spreads. I am not a vegetarian, but I do not "need" fish and meat; usually, I only eat it when I am invited somewhere, or when RJ cooks here and we eat together. The bread spreads come in many different kinds: there are mushroom-shiitake; cashew and red pepper; onion and cream; olive and herbs, and many more. What really caught my eye, though, was the word "Hummus" on the large cardboard box holding the small tins.
[Picture nicked from Aldi's website.]
If you don't know what hummus is, you can read about it here on wikipedia. I love hummus, but am too lazy to make it myself. So getting it ready-made in a small tin was certainly worth a try.
But... each time since I first noticed the assortment of new bread spreads, I have been looking through the big cardboard box (containing 36 tins) and not once found a hummus one. I've lifted the box on top of the pile and searched the box below, something that obviously other customers before me have been doing as well.
So far, not a single hummus tin in sight!
Of course, I have not stopped at the supermarket long enough to search through ALL the boxes - that would have probably taken me about half an hour. But isn't it odd that, out of all the many kinds of spread, that one is the most hunted for? Who, I wonder, are the other Aldi-customers who manage to grab the coveted tins before me? Is it only one person, filtering out all their hummus stock? Or is it a clever marketing trick to add just one single tin to each palette for the lucky winner, similar to the Golden Ticket in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"?
Will I ever get one of those precious little tins?