A week in the life

In the event industry you don’t tend to look forwards to Friday like in other jobs. Friday is most likely a day to gear up and get ready for a lot of work. I’m not sure if we have a definite weekend but we tend to look forward to late Saturday afternoon since most events will have started and any fires that needed to be put out would have been handled.

This one particular week in June really pushed me to my breaking point. Before the week even started I didn’t have a great feeling. To be honest I spend most days with knots in my stomachs and an overwhelming sense of anxiety about things I can’t control.

Let’s take a quick look at the week in review. To give some context to the story, the week before the week from hell, we had some product come back damaged that was needed for a VIP event on the Tuesday night. I hunted high and low for this product we had bought a couple of years back. I was emailing the manufacturer overseas with no response; I was running extensive Google searches across North America and coming up with nothing. At one point I even debated if it would be possible for me hand paint the fabric to adjust the dye lot of the ribbons. I did eventually find a company in Michigan that was willing to sell me some product from their stock. Great – I’m thinking problem solved. The product arrives via Fedex and 4 of the 10 table cloths are discolored from the others. After all that time, energy and money, I still couldn’t get it right.

Then there was a dance recital on Saturday, cleaning chairs and pickups on Sunday followed by family time. Now the week can really get started!

Besides the regular stuff that happens at the start of any week (printing pull sheets, invoicing, adding to the weekly delivery/setup schedule, follow ups for upcoming weeks), I don’t think I could have jammed more in to this week if I had tried. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were busy but I think everyone knows that feeling. Add in a pot luck board meeting for the nursery school on the Monday night, freezies for soccer Tuesday night (the most important job for a team of 3-year olds) and a volunteer appreciation event for another association on the Thursday evening and that would top it off.

Thursday we are up at 3:30 am to go out on deliveries in the pouring rain for the local elections. We had just over 2 dozen stops to make for the various polling stations. Despite the pouring rain the deliveries went fast, I was back to the office by 7am and ready to jump in to the rest of the day. This must have been the week were everyone wanted to make changes to an order. I have said it before that we expect change but this week, besides the last minute orders, everything seemed to change; 2 more napkins here, 3 more sashes there, and so on. To the point I was getting email changes to one order after 11pm Thursday night for the Friday, with more changes to come in the morning.

I probably should have chalked Friday up as a loss and stayed in bed. Some things did work out, the sashes that were being FedExed in did arrive and they matched the brides color scheme perfectly. Other things did not go as well; during our pickups from the election people had actually stolen tables and chairs from some of the polling stations. Yes – people actually walked away with 6′ tables. My husband was working a half day, so we were prepared. I was ready for this massive setup at 4pm, we had less that 2 hours to install over 400 sashes. We get to the Museum  early, strangely there are only like 200 seats setup, I ask the banquet lead, turns out the event is Saturday. There had been a couple of revisions to the order. I had the event date correct but had left the delivery date as it was when it was a DIY not full service event.

A few sashes
A few sashes

Saturday, one team setup 3 events, while we setup another 4. We all met back at the Museum for the installation (now on the right day) and installed all the sashes in just over 1 hour. When the final count for the week had come in, we had done just over 70 various orders. For larger companies that might not seem like a lot, but for us, it kept us on our toes, especially considering we pulled it off with only a staff of 6. If this is any indication of the weeks to come you can find me hiding under my desk.

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