Archive for April 7th, 2008

Woooops!! – NOW What Do We Do?

Monday, April 7th, 2008

I had the honor and joy to play for a 60th wedding anniversary party Saturday night. Imagine that – sixty years. Their marriage is almost eligible for Social Security!

Everything was going great, until the main course was served. I couldn’t see what happened next (but I sure did hear it.) An entire tray filled with 12 entrees of lambchops, mashed potatoes, and asparagus crashed, turning a mess of good food into just a mess.

The banquet captain passed the word to the chef instantly, and – for a few minutes – it looked like all was well. Venues routinely prepare about 5% more than the room guarantee, and – as always – there were a few no-shows. It looked like the un-damaged entrees were going to be just enough. But then, with only a few folks at one table to go, our luck ran out. It would be 15 long minutes after the last of the other guests were served before the final four received their meat ‘n taters.

And it was here that I would have made an alternate choice than did my hostess, a daughter of the honorees. As you can imagine, we had quite a few grand-kids in attendance. I would have conferred with the captain, found out exactly how many plates short we were, then told the staff not to serve the grand-kids until all of the Seniors were served.

Seniors – you see – tend to arrive early at parties, then leave early as well. As such, I think they need to be served first. The grand-kids – like all family members – were obviously going to stay to the very end. A 15 minute delay wouldn’t affect them nearly so much.

Our hostess then made a second choice that further disrupted the schedule. (And before sharing it with you, I should point out two significant facts: First, she was the boss – as such, she had every right to make whatever changes she wanted. And secondly, she may have had valid considerations for doing what she did of which I know nothing.)

Be that as it may – our hostess then elected to postpone the ceremonial cutting of the cake until the last diners were given the opportunity to finish their entrees. Doing so resulted in a number of guests missing the cake-cutting and dessert entirely. They simply said their good-byes and left, dessert-less.

Thus to accomodate the few, the majority were delayed. And the party never recovered.

My point is: “Woopsies” happen. In fact, they happen all the time. When they do, decisions that will affect the entire rest of the event must be made quickly. Knowing this to be true, I strongly recommend brainstorming in advance regarding a few possible “worst-case” scenarios. “If this happens, we’ll do that,” etc.

Lots of parties wind up needing a “Plan B.” It’s ever-so comforting to already have your Plan B (and C, and D) in place – before you ever hear the word “Wooooops!!!”