Thai Nguyen

Hiring and Recruitment Coordinator

Thank God it’s Friday!! Happy hour, cocktails, all weekend catch ups over brunch and nightlife euphoria are in overdrive for most of us. Then for those of us who work in events, this means ironing out your black or white button up, polishing your black dress shoes and confirming to the booking email for the job that your agency is sending you out to. But let’s be real. Probably twenty-five percent of us will actually complete all those tasks. That’s besides the point though.

Like any other dancer, artist or performer moving into the big city, catering events have always acted as my second or third shift jobs, aka my rent. After a number of years with simultaneous catering and events companies, an opportunity of working in the office for one of those agencies as a booker rolled off my skinny black tie and fell right into my lap. Now, strolling into the office with my regular 9-5 and still catering it up after hours and on weekends, the shared idiosyncrasies of events in different capacities become apparent, whether I’m in the office, sending out staff, or I’m out of the office working in events.

THE RUSH

The moment when guests are invited into the main floor for dinner service, only to find that they’d rather stand, linger and schmooze with the those they haven’t seen or have already seen but gossip is keeping them from taking their seats. All while you stand there with red and white wine in hand with a smile plastered on your face, thinking to yourself “Just sit down,” because you still have to offer them wine, ask if they want fish or beef and move on to bread service and first course serve out, all in the time frame it takes you to Uber a car on your phone, because the father of the bride is about to make a speech.

VS.

The two hours before an event and one of your promo models text you to tell you they have to cancel because they booked a callback for a huge film and have to fly out to LA immediately.. You suddenly find yourself scrambling through your contact list, texting and calling all the staff known in your rolodex who will actually reply and see if they are available, can make it to the event on time and with the right uniform. Oh wait..and can they also be 5’11 or taller, blonde with blue eyes and a size two? I better start recruiting!

THE SLIP-UP

The moment you roll up for an event and while you stand there in your white button up, you realize everyone else is rolling up in black! You could have sworn the details stated white. WHITE! WHITE! WHITE! Well it did. But it was probably the email confirmation for tomorrow’s event with one of the other five agencies that you are signed with. #cateringproblems

VS.

The busy week when you have events after events lined up, with multiples in one day and an unprecedented amount of staff being requested. Upon all the slots you have to fill, all the availability checks and confirmations you have to send out and between the hundreds of staff members you have in your system, you suddenly receive an email from one of your top male staff, confused and asking why he is confirmed for a high end women’s lingerie promotion and to arrive in full hair and makeup with black heels. Oops.

THE END OF THE DAY

The last minute of the event when your feet are throbbing and your back has given out from standing for ten hours. Starvation nation is calling because all you’ve had to eat were the few hor dourves you were able to sneak from cocktail hour. But but everything is golden because the day is done and aside from the 1.5 hours drive back into the city from the Hamptons, you know you won’t have to deal with that bride who had a little bit too much to drink again.

VS.

The end of the office day when you’ve booked and confirmed all your staff for the following days of events and your mind is at peace knowing you’ve got all your bases covered for your clients and you can now relax to dinner with your boyfriend. IF ONLY. In the middle of dinner when your boyfriend is asking you to move in with him, your client calls and is requesting ten more staff for tomorrow’s event at eight in the morning! All of sudden you’re Anne Hathaway from The Devil Wears Prada and you find yourself in the office...even when you’re out of the office.

 

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