Each February a group I belong to organizes a potluck dinner. The 2018 version was last night. Despite a rocky start, the evening went off without a hitch.
Back in August the group arranged to use a conference room at a local church. A couple of weeks later we figured out the date conflicted with another event, so we requested an alternate and filled out a new application. I volunteered to email the form to our contact at the church. The next day I received a confirmation mail back.
Another member was chairing the potluck committee, so other than being part of a team doing a walk-through of the facility a couple of weeks ago, buying paper plates for the event at Costco, and figuring out what I was going to bring for my dish I didn't think anything more about the project.
Part of our arrangement with the church was that they would have the room arranged for us, so the group decided to begin the decorating and final setup 90 minutes before the event started. When I pulled into the parking lot several other people were there and we walked into the church together. Together, we discovered that nothing had been arranged. The large room was still divided into two smaller rooms. The west half contained a podium with rows of chairs facing it. The east half had four folding tables pushed together to make one large table in the center of the room, with chairs arranged around it.
In a panic, I tried calling our church contact. The call went to voice mail. By this time six other group members had arrived. We sprung into action, rolling the large round tables out of a closet and setting them up. The folding room divider was locked, so some of the tables were rolled out of the room, down the hall, and back into the other side. Ten minutes later someone found the key to unlock and open the partition. Members continued to arrive, and forty five minutes after we arrived the room was set up, decorated, and ready to be used.
In the middle of all the hubbub a member arrived who had a cell phone number for a second church contact. I called her and explained the situation, but said I thought we had it under control. The woman apologized profusely. Ten minutes later she sent me a text with a photo of our application...but it was the original one! Somehow they didn't update their records and thought we wouldn't be having our event for another couple of weeks.
Five years ago today: Suck It Up