This started out well enough as all catered events do. Lunch for 2700 construction workers at a mine site. The weather which was at 23 Celsius for most of the week turned to 29 Celsius day of (this is very hot).
We had a reefer truck to keep salads and drinks and everything cool and so far everything is going according to plan. They called me out of retirement because.. well.. that’s what you do when you have a big event.. no one is safe.. don’t answer your phone!
I was assigned to salads and we have six food lines. On big events we bring in commercially made salads (they are very good and pass our ‘if we can’t make it better ourselves, then we will order it from you test’). I am assigned to the salads.. no problem.. and I volunteer to do the potatoe salad (big mistake.. but I was to find that out).
They are having BBQ farmer sausage on a bun and we have all the bbqs on site, well not all (we are also doing a big event at another location for lunch.. 400 guests BBQ 1/2 chickens) so need a couple there as well.
We have a trailer we work out of for the salad prep and while everyone else is ready.. I am still wrestling with the big potatoes salad boxes with three of those milk container type cartons inside.. the really big ones. You need to cut off the tops and then saw through the bottoms and then dump it into the bowl using a spatula to scrape down the sides.
Now I am thinking to myself.. WTH? I have been away too long from this catering business, why didn’t I pick coleslaw? WAAAY easier.. and lighter, or even the cheesy mac, it is in bags!! Hmmm .. I start off with sharp knife and pack empty cartons nice into the boxes. Someone forgot to pack paper towels.. so getting a little messy.
Seems like same person only packed a few dish clothes as well.. ok no problem.. keep rinsing out the rag. Two hundred went through then the three hundred.. getting a slippery grip here on this knife.. cartons are still getting folded but not so nice. Here comes the five hundred.. so far so good.
Seven hundred are coming through now and I am cursing my poor judgment for picking this freakin potatoes salad.. what was I thinking? I yell for someone to bring more boxes of the salad into the trailer and I start to whine a bit.. just a bit.. I need a sharper knife!!!
My arms are killing me and the sweat is pouring now.. my whine becomes a prayer to let that line-up please be over! Do we not have any sharp knives and who forgets paper towels anyway???? It is positively greasy trying to hold the knife with gloves and a greasy dishcloth from all the pot salad.
The cartons are not only NOT getting folded but are thrown in a corner with the boxes. AND who puts an old lady in here to do this anyway??? Don’t you know this job needs someone taller (the freaking counter is too high…) and stronger and younger and.. and.. I want to quit! Waw.. my whine is getting louder and I KNOW I can’t quit but everyone with in hearing distance is going to know that I HAVE THE HARDEST JOB HERE!
Here comes the thousand and omg can I do this? Well.. of course I can.. but when this is over so am I! I want to know who got the cupcake job.. and, and, even being a Walmart greeter right now would be preferable to this torture.
This is hell and just when I think I am not gonna make it.. the line-ups are over.. whew. They will just trickle in now. We clean up and put the food lines down to two and put away dirty bowls etc.. deal with cartons and boxes, I wash up as best I can.
But wait.. what is this? The trickle is turning into a solid line and both lines are backing up and.. geeze.. we have to open another line and.. WTH? The barbeques were even turned off.. barely. We swing back into high gear.. I am astonished because I can’t even see the end of the line ups.. omg!!!!
We are all stunned but doing our best to open more lines , get out more food and the barbeques go into full swing, but we are all wondering what the hell is going on? NOW I am getting that sick feeling in my stomach that something is not right here.
Where are all these workers coming from? Lordy lordy, why did I say I would help.. I now feel like it is my company again and I know something is not right with the numbers and we are about to run out of food.. omg my worst fear EVER!!!!
Ok I hate to do this but this is ACT ONE .. it happened yesterday and I will finish it with ACT TWO.. but.. I committed to working for the kids again today for another event, a full supper meal BBQ steaks for 700 guests and I need to go get ready. I am hurting, but I still have a pulse so I have to show up.
MAGIC SHOW .. ACT TWO… TO BE CONTINUED…
Stay tuned and I will let you know how we fed an extra 800 workers that that showed up for lunch… and how I managed to walk on stumps today!!