Part of my job at the senior property is to plan events. Some events are ones that they have had in the past and basically I just revisit the idea and ask the boss man for money. Others, I've created myself. I've had success to varying degrees...if you don't count the turkey that never finished baking from our Thanksgiving Feast, that is.
Last night was our "rescheduled" holiday banquet. Originally, it had been planned for mid-December, however, due to the sale of the property the old owner refused to pay for it and the new owner didn't have authority to pay for it. It was all rather maddening and frustrating and I cannot even begin to tell you how many of my senior residents complained.
But then again they complain about EVERYTHING, so it was pretty much standard operating procedure.
Now, because this holiday banquet has been done for years, I pretty much followed the pattern set by those who've gone before me.
I ordered the school bus. If you think about it, a school bus for a group of folks who use canes and walkers to simply get around, you realize that it's going to be a nightmare getting them on the stupid bus.
And it was a little scary, but we did it!
Although I wanted to change the venue, I didn't only because I couldn't find another venue that was large enough. Which seems insane considering where the property is! Seriously! There was only one other banquet hall available and it was ugly. That and the previous admin had held the event there a few years ago and all the resi's complained...loudly.
So, we stuck with dinner at the gym. Yes, a gym. It's actually the gym where a certain NBA team practices, so it's a bit upscale with a nice dining area overlooking the basketball courts and rock climbing wall.
Dinner choices included Salmon, Pork Tenderloin, and Southern Smothered Chicken. I personally opted for the chicken, while Beloved feasted on the pork. Both the pork and the salmon were great choices since they were generous servings, although the rice pilaf was dry and the veggie mix/mash was strange and a bit overcooked.
The chicken was...small...dry...and smothered does not begin to adequately describe the dribble of gravy that pooled under the chicken breast.
But it was a FREE dinner for heaven's sake!
One guy, who use to be my favorite old shuffler, complained, rather loudly that he was still hungry and wanted a second dinner. He pointed to his friends and said they got more, their's was better, he'd been ripped off.
Sigh...how do you get ripped off if you didn't pay for the meal?
I talked him off the ledge...but was annoyed that he felt the need to share that he hadn't eaten all day in anticipation of dinner.
So, dinner wasn't all it could have been, but it was okay because I had scheduled EPIC entertainment! I hired a nostalgia type radio program. It was a walk through old time radio and I honestly thought it would be awesome and that my residents would love the trip down memory lane.
I should have known when some of them complained that the back ground music, which was played during dinner, was too loud that we were in trouble. And boy were we in trouble...
The residents were antsy. Some talked loudly at their table and made it difficult for others to hear. Others looked bored. Apparently, only myself and a couple others enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Which made me angry because it was a great show! But so many people just started walking out that I finally nodded to the radio guy to end the program.
I've planned a lot of events in my time and they've always (and I do mean always) been well received and everyone went away smiling. From my holiday parties to the ladies tea to the book signing at a deaf school, has gone well. Until last night.
I've decided that should I still be employed at this property next year that I will dramatically change the holiday banquet schedule. It will last an entire 1.5 hours and I will hire some crappy music guy.
Monday morning will bring a slew of folks coming in to tell me how horrible the night was.
Gee, I can hardly wait for Monday to arrive!