Last week Sunday we hosted an exclusive dinner for the FIFA Executive Committee at the Everard Read Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg. It was an event that required a lot of organising and quite a bit of last minute changes.
I arrived at the gallery around 16h00 and had a quick look around to see the setup and the decor. (I wasn’t the event manager for this function, and truth be told, I found it to be a bit weird not to be the one running around stressing.) I took a few pics and went in search of my boss so he could put me to work where needed. At this stage the bomb squad arrived and needed to get into the venue to do their thing… It’s a good thing I’ve dealt with bomb squads before as I made sure that the doglets did their ‘business’ before going inside the venue. (Previous events saw doglets using the expensive table linen as their personal fire hydrant, if you know what I mean…) On top of everything the Department of Health decided they should pitch up! This was the first we had heard of them needing to be involved and they caused much chaos in the kitchen demanding that they needed to test each course that was being served. We were going to start serving the five course meal in a couple hours so you can imagine how stressed our caterer was. The bomb squad eventually finished and luckily none of the table linen was damaged. The department left shortly thereafter, also with no further hassles. It was now time to do the final check before the guests started to arrive at 18h30.
I was put in charge of checking coats. And although it was great to be a part of the ‘welcoming committee’, my job proved quite difficult. Picture this and have a giggle to yourself: I am an English speaker and most of the guests were foreigners with little or no grasp on my native tongue, so I had to start a bit of mime work with pointing to their coat or shawl and then pointing to the coat rail. I must have looked like a bit of an idiot, but it was fun! The best part was welcoming Mr Sepp Blatter. He’s known as a ladies’ man and he definitely lived up to this demanding 4 (four!!) cheek kisses from me.
As soon as the VIPs were seated and their first course was being served, I rushed off to the Circa Gallery across the street where we had organised catering for the bodyguards and security guards. I was unpleasantly surprised to find a large queue of police men and women. I set about instructing the caterer to feed the bodyguards and security guards first as these were the people we were supposed to be feeding. I then had to deal with a lot of attitude from the police suggesting I was discriminating against them because of who we were feeding first. And each time I looked around the queue of police got longer! I’m sure they must have got on their radios and given the call that there was free food available and everyone in the vicinity should just come on by because they deserved a meal… It was irritating to say the least.
I then rushed back to the main venue to assist where necessary. I ended up helping in the kitchen – cleaning the rims of the plates before sending them off with the waiters, helping to plate the main course, helping to plate the cheese platters. I literally spent the night running off my heels! By the end of the night my heel tips were so worn down that the metal tip thingy was showing! I was super happy when the guests left as this meant a little less running around. And I was even more glad when the time came to head home. I cannot begin to explain how amazing it was just to lie down in my bed!
And now for some pics from the event…
Hugs & Kisses