Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's a beautiful day in the neighb...whatever.

You mean, Hollywood spun a couple of stories and exploited the actual fact of situations in order to profit from them monetarily? Really? Naw...I don't believe it! Not Hollywood!! (Didn't these movies come out, like, 3 years ago, or something? 3rd world countries really need to step it up on their protests of current events, I think...)

I'm not feeling completely lovely today, unfortunately. I woke up from a dream about a coworker having food poisoning to realize that I wasn't feeling all that great myself. I wasn't feeling crappy enough (heh) to skip work, though, so I have decided to ignore whatever is happening to me today, and I'm here plugging away at nothing much so far. Thank goodness for quiet days like this.

It can't be the dinner I made last night...the boyfriend didn't have any problems today, and he ate it too. Could it have been the Tecate I drank along with dinner? Hmm...

I had a terrible time yesterday with regards to a function I arranged for a coworker at one of the buildings he represents. We've been planning it for a couple of weeks, and while the table set-up and room clean-up happened without incident (thank goodness!), the food was not so easy to deal with. I decided on ordering a catered lunch from Panera Bread, as they were reasonable with their pricing, and I've been to functions that had been catered by them before and I enjoyed them a lot. So I called them last Friday to make arrangements for the lunch yesterday, and set up the food drop off time as between 10:30 and 11 a.m. I arrived at the site at 10:30, and then waited. And waited. And waited. And then my coworkers arrived. And so we all waited together. And then Panera called me at 11, said that they had received a LOT of catering orders just the day before, and were running a bit behind consequently. I reminded them that I called in MY order over 4 days prior, and told them that we needed the food to be there no later than 11:15, so that we could get things set up before any of the guests arrived - didn't want any overlap, really. They said that was great...they really only needed another 10 minutes, so they'd see us before 11:15. Cool.

Yeah, 11:20 comes and goes, and my coworker/boss-type-thing wants to speak to the catering people himself. I let him go off. It was 11:30, and we had no food for a lunch that we were providing to folks as part of the open house we were having. The open house started at 11:30, and while I was hoping that most people wouldn't arrive until closer to noon, we needed to be prepared, just in case. So they FINALLY arrive at 11:35. I shit you not. I was pretty angry, but we got things set up, we discussed the bill, which I wasn't prepared to sign without a discount being noted, and so the chick that was delivering the food called her manager. She came back to me a couple of minutes later and told me it was all free. $380 worth of food for free? That'll work. I thanked her, and went back to the open house, which was starting to fill up with folks arriving. At one point, I wandered over by the salad area to check and see how many plates we had - the stack they'd brought to us looked low for the crowd of 50 we were expecting - and a gentleman approached me. "Do you know where the napkins are?" I looked around...I couldn't believe it. They hadn't brought any napkins, and I completely missed that in my happiness over the food finally being delivered. He continued, "Am I supposed to just use my sleeve?" He was laughing as he said it...I felt terrible about that because that was just about all he COULD do, really. I said, "Yep! For the moment anyway...I'll be right back."

I went and called the restaurant. A girl answered the phone, and she didn't even know what to say as a greeting. "Hello, uh...um...Pan...uh...Panera Bread, how can I help you?" I asked for a manager or one of the two catering chicks I was working with. The girl asked me to hold on, and then hung up on me.

I called back, and just then, I saw my other coworker pulling into the parking lot. I didn't even have my purse on me, I just ran out to her and told her to keep the car running. I hopped in and told her quickly what was up. I got a new sales person from Panera on the phone this time, and he told me that the people I was asking for were too busy, but he wanted to know if this had "something to do with the Via Panera order". I think he recognized my voice from all the phone calls I'd made earlier. "Yes," I said. "We have about 30 plates to feed 50 people, and someone just asked me if he's supposed to use his sleeve instead of any napkins, because we don't have any!!!" I asked him if we could just come and get the items, he said he would have a bag of them ready to go, and we hung up.

So, I get back to the party, where about 30 people are enjoying their salads and sammiches without any napkins, which I distribute as discreetly as I can, and then I settle in to grab some lunch. I put some salad on my plate, and then went to grab a fork before moving down to choose a sammich half to eat. But there are only 3 forks left in the cup. I look around...there aren't any more forks than that. Just the 3 left. And we have at least enough salad to feed around 10 more people. There was nothing else to do. My coworker and I stood off to the side of the table and ate as we watched to see what people would do once the forks were all gone. One gentleman found a stray fork behind the sammich boxes. And the next two did what I would have done - they took knives, and wandered off to stab their salad as best they could.

It was dispicable. And yes, at least we got it all for free (which completely surprised me), but next time, I'll pay more money for the more experienced and diligent catering services. At my old job, I had events in hotels where they served the food themselves, and it was just easier to deal with because they were right on site, and if there were any problems they could be dealt with directly. This job will probably never, ever be like that. So if anyone in the city has any suggestions/ideas about reasonably priced catering companies they've had a good experience with, then send me an e-mail, will ya? I need the guidance so I can be prepared in the future.

I don't have much work to do today, but I do have to find some so I'm not a total putz. Later...

1 comment:

Hunny said...

Something to help pass the time today, go to www.oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com and read his blog.

Work here is boring and I have been working on internet skill ports, but even that has gotten old. I am so ready for the weekend.

Hunny