I have been described as many things: crotchety, old, cantankerous, cranky, and that is just from my sister. Of course, I think she is just jealous because I spend my days hanging out with 18-22 year olds and am in essence way cooler and more up-to-date than she is. She, after all, hangs out with people who are one urine test away from the big house. I will admit, however, that I am not the type who enjoys social events. A friend of mine, who is very much a social animal, says that when he talks to his wife about going to an event, the first thing she asks is if there will be other people there. That’s kind of the way I feel. I’m much more comfortable in small groups where I feel in control of the situations.
So how did I end up on the “hospitality committee” at work? Another “friend” of mine decided it would be moderately humorous to nominate me for the committee. I know that in a job situation like this, we are all expected to serve on various committees, many of which never meet or do anything, but I’m not exactly known as the best party planner for social events. My standard phrase is, ‘I don’t like dealing with people,’ which explains perfectly how I ended up with a career in public relations.
It’s not that I don’t like the other people on the committee. They are all nice people and I get along with them very well, but I just don’t feel that party planning is one of my strengths.
However, as I sat through a meeting of the committee on Monday, I began to wonder how certain things would get done if I hadn’t been there. I went to the meeting expecting it to be a short affair concerning decorating for our winter employee banquet which was only five days away. That is how the meeting started as we sat around discussing things like tool, chargers and votives. I’m still not sure what a votive is or if I even spelled it correctly, but I was shocked when I discovered they were not talking about hardware.
It was during this course of discussion about decorations when someone broached the question: What are we doing for entertainment? Need I remind you we were only five short days from showtime. The reply to the question was even more interesting: Well, I was thinking we could ask Amy, one of our students, to sing.
Now, I am not a party planner, but I do work on deadlines and I understand the need to give people an appropriate amount of time to plan and prepare. This was apparently lost on all but one other member of the committee. We were meeting five days before the event and no one had planned the entertainment.
As we sat there, the group began making grand plans for how Amy could do this or do that at which point I, being the only person in the group who actually knows Amy, said, “Wait a minute. You can’t count on anything yet. This is extremely short notice and Amy might have other plans.”
The concept seemed lost and suddenly I realized why it makes me so angry when people ask me to produce and eight-page table piece and have it printed and ready to go by next Tuesday – they just don’t get it.
As it turns out Amy is free on Saturday. She is a gracious young lady and said she would be glad to perform and she will do a wonderful job. I won’t get to see or hear it, however, as I have somehow managed to double-book myself and I just can’t seem to get away to enjoy the social event of the year. Aww Shucks!