Anyway, the first day of the event actually went fairly smoothly outside of the usual bumps - starting late, explaining the cues, dealing with an angry Swedish man who refused to stay put because he was convinced someone would steal his computer that was already on stage....you know, the usual stuff.
The next morning started our first full day and held much more excitement. Beginning with the fact that despite me leaving the "do not disturb" sign on my door, the maid still came in. Awesome. I now need to leave a tip just to buy her silence since she inevitably saw the cat things lying around my room (although I doubt she ever actually saw the cat, seeing as Chloe spent her time there in terror, slunking between hiding behind the curtain and hiding behind the bathroom door. My little disfunctional baby. Sigh.)
I get to the event venue and work around until it's time to be backstage. We have an eclectic group of speakers each year so it's always interesting overhearing the conversations that take place in the green room. Like when I heard a former governor tell a southern tycoon that they need to get "43" down to his place sometime soon. "43" being -- George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. Ah, you gotta love politics.
Sometime that morning, I was told that one of our speakers -- who has recently had a slight falling out with our organization - had not been heard from and we weren't even sure he'd still be coming.
He was due on stage that afternoon.
Thankfully, he does arrive but we feel like we need to handle him with kid gloves and we've also heard that he's a bit of a diva anyway. He's a billionaire, I suppose they often get that way.
I deploy one of my volunteers to bring him down the hall, and do you remember when I posted about my first Advance job HERE and the guy I'm working under tells me he had to tell someone to go sit in a corner because they started to freak out on game day?
I nearly had to tell my volunteer to go sit in a corner.
He's already flustered being the "handler" for Needy Billionaire and apparently Needy asks for food. So my volunteer comes out frantically and I calmly tell him that we have sandwiches just for this type of situation.
But Needy doesn't want a sandwich. He wants hot food.
So my volunteer goes racing to another part of our venue to find a plate of hot food. And he comes racing back to where I'm standing outside the green room and -
he drops the entire plate. Shattering on the ground. Right outside the door of the green room.
And he loses it.
This is an attractive, intelligent, successful young man and he flails his arms and curses and sputters at me "this has to be cleaned up! Now!"
You don't say?....
So now I'm trying to calm him down, hoping Needy Billionaire doesn't charge through the door and step on broken dinnerware, calling on my headset for a clean up crew and someone to fetch more hot food, and up walks another VIP speaker-
a former White House official who has to step over the mess to get into the green room.
So far, this is going so well....
And did I mention the headset? Yes. Throughout the entire event, I felt exactly like Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner scene where she's walking around with a smile and all chaos is breaking loose backstage so she's barking out orders through her teeth on her headset like so:
I have to admit, it was fun. Not quite as fun as the Secret Service type ear pieces we used during Presidential events back in the day:
|I'm smirking because that is NOT my vest...but I was wearing a cool earpiece, trust me....|
but fun nonetheless.
So this day also included:
- technical difficulties on stage
- a speaker whose staff had told us needed a bowl of only red M&Ms (turns out they were joking, but we didn't realize that at first...)
-me and my client fearing that she'd slip and call an important General "J Meister" to his face, or some other funny name we had been jokingly using for him in an effort to dispel nervous energy
-me nearly forcing an aide to march into the men's room and retrieve a Senator who had been in there forever and was supposed to go on stage.
At least I didn't have it as bad as the AV guys, who could hear everything once someone had their lapel mic on. At one point they apparently all looked at each other, one saying "what's that noise?" while the other somberly answering "The Congressman has gone to the bathroom..."
Another day in the life of event managers.
And we had one more day to go....