More Adventures in Event Planning

So yes, once again I got roped into planning a large event for my client. As I've said before, I do a lot of different things at my job and because I used to do Advance for President Bush (seen HERE), I always end up being asked to plan events every now and then as well. I always end up with funny stories and sadly I can't tell them all or I'd never work again, but I'll leave the details vague and tell you a little bit.

We'll begin the day before the event started, when I did my final meeting with our vendor and the staff at the venue we're using. I arrive 10 minutes early, very pleased with myself, and I start to park in the garage and discover -- every single spot is taken. At least until the very top, many floors later, where I finally park and make my way back down to the venue -

which is busting at the seams with a cheerleader competition.

I'm going to need so much coffee, stat.

I had forgotten that the reason we couldn't start our event sooner was because this cheerleader group had taken over the place until midnight the night before our event. I push through the girls (who are doing splits in the hallways, doing headstands, wearing ribbons and stage makeup, being trailed by their stage mothers with southern accents....) and I go to two different coffee machines -- both not working.

I'm going to start crying.

I realize I'm now late for my meeting, so I turn down the hallway towards the room I'm supposed to be in, and there's a guy guarding that hallway, asking to see my "bracelet" - I assume it's a cheerleader event thing. So now I'm late, coffee-less, and I can't get to my meeting.

I then realize I don't have a number to call my vendor, she tries to call me but it doesn't work, I finally call one of her staff who try to find her, and someone from the venue finally calls me.

This is all while I'm still attempting to get coffee, so I wander into an atrium where I see a cheerleader literally climbing up a pole in the hallway, and I ask where I can get coffee. I'm pointed inside an area where there is a buffet. I look at the tiny cup for coffee and see it costs three dollars and I'm filled with indignation. I'll just wait here while the venue staff comes to get me and they'll get me coffee for free, surely. I'm a client afterall.

So I'm waiting to be rescued, I get my coffee, start adding cream and -- I overfill my cup. It's right at the edge so I bend down to slurp it (I've lost all sense of pride at this point) and of course the whole thing spills everywhere. Meanwhile, I get another call and the venue staffer can't find me. So I have my phone between my ear and shoulder, my purse and papers are half-falling out of my arms, I'm bent over trying to mop up cream and still slurp down my coffee --

And so sets the stage for the week.

The venue staffer finally sees me and I'm hovering inside the buffet area inexplicably because I want to get her to tell  me to just walk out with my coffee and not pay. She doesn't get it. So I finally leave the barrier, at this point stealing the coffee, and I look at her as if it just crossed my mind and say "woops! I guess I need to pay for this!" she still doesn't get it. Finally I say "unless you think it's ok...." and she finally gets it and says "just take it, it's fine." Sheesh. And we wander down more hallways (this venue is HUGE. and did I mention it's FILLED WITH CHEERLEADERS?) and I walk into a room with, oh, about 25 people around a table, all just looking up and now staring at me. And I kid you not, my vendor introduces me -

and they end the meeting.

I. am going. to scream.

Most of the group leaves the room (as we hear cheerleader chants in the hallway as if they are getting ready to sacrifice one of us) and my vendor's like "I just wanted them to see your face so they know we are all one team." I'm thinking, 'sure, that's worth me driving all the way here and going through that traumatic coffee/cheerleader situation, and then driving all the way back home.....'

This is starting off so well....

We do end up going over a few more things (thankfully) and I go back home and pack my stuff because me and my core staff are going to stay at the hotel at the venue throughout the event to make it easier since we will be needing to do stuff there at all hours anyway.

The problem is, I have this:



That's Chloe. Well, when she was a baby, but this conveys her personality -- a little psycho. I love her, but she's super tempermental and when I'm not home enough for her taste -

she pees on my things.

Sigh. So I decide to smuggle her into the hotel with me and keep her there during my event.

Smart, right?

So we get back to the hotel that evening and I pull up in front and the bellhops surround my car.

Crap. Can't let them see the pink duffle bag with airholes containing a feline in the backseat.

I quickly jump out and am like "oh, let's get the trunk first!" thinking I'll rearrange the inside of my car so they can quickly grab the boxes of event supplies in the front and not have to look in the backseat.

And did I mention it freezing and insanely windy? So when I jump out, everything goes flying. My hair, my clothes, bags, etc. And the bellhops are frantically trying to hurry so they can get everything on the cart and back inside. So we are running around each other, trying to grab things, unable to see at times -- it's ridiculous.

At one point one of them just ask if they need to grab the stuff in the back and I quickly brush it off and hope they don't realize it's an illegal cat. I finally feel like we're all set so I jump back in my car -- and one of the bellhops starts calling out to me.

The wind has somehow shoved part of his coat into my trunk, which is now closed.

Why. Why do the weirdest things happen to me at the times when I'm already stressed.

He is also dumbfounded and actually says, with disbelief "that's a first...." So I set him free and finally drive off, contraband cat in tow, to the garage and this time the cheerleaders are gone and I park on the bottom floor and head in. (that will be an important data point later).

And so begins my week.....