Picky clients

I miss my wife. If anyone sees her, tell her hello and that I love her.

She works a lot. She went to work at 9 a.m. yesterday and wasn’t done until 11 p.m. I helped her out in the evening. We went to Lucky Lounge to break down a fajita buffet that she catered.

Days like that seem pretty regular. I think she’s frustrated because she’s still new and there’s a significant lack of help. Plus when you’re in catering, you have to deal with clients. Often picky clients.

I remember a time when I worked at the Austin Country Club. A client was throwing a baby shower and invited were well-to-do women in their late twenties and early thirties. All wearing name-brand pastel country-club-quality spring dresses. All had very small hands attached to golf ball size diamonds on their engagement and wedding rings.

The Austin Country Club can get linens in any color of the rainbow. This particular client wanted “sea foam green” linens. We usually stocked a plethora of “sea foam green”. I put “sea foam green” in parenthesis because I can’t bring myself to write sea foam green. Damn, I did it. Now I have to subscribe to Christopher Lowell’s decorating tips and tricks mailing list. Anyway, my boss and I set the beautiful banquet room overlooking putting greens with off-white tablecloths and “sea foam green” napkins, all folded in the most elegant of ways. Polished silverware was set as were bread plates, glassware, centerpieces, polished dressing boats and bread baskets. The whole nine yards.

Our client arrived. Let’s call her Bianca. Bianca took one look at our immaculate room arrangement and looked horrified. She cried. She cried so hard that one would have thought she had just witnessed a puppy walking in through the back door of a Vietnamese restaurant. She wasn’t crying because Doug and I had done our standard and amazing job of setting up an fine dining banquet room. She cried because of the linens.

Everyone else thought the room was gorgeous. And it was. Bianca whined about how she wanted “sea foam green” napkins and tablecloths for her friend’s baby shower brunch. Still crying, she told us that she wanted us to “do something”. We told her that we only had “sea foam green” napkins, not tablecloths. “Do something”. Still crying.

If you’ve ever had a fancy-shmancy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or bag of Doritos at a country club, then you know that there are a ton of table accessories. For each person there are: 23 forks on the left; 6 knives closest in on the right; 14 spoons to the right of the knives; and a wide array of utensils that lay horizontally above where one’s plate will be when served. Among these utensils are a shrimp fork, a grapefruit spoon, a pea fork, a sausage grinder, lemon tweezers, a lice comb, a salt knife and a ball ping hammer. Bianca wanted Doug and I to remove all table accessories and start over. With new linens. She’s still crying. “Sea foam green”.

Doug and I took Bianca out onto the putting green and pummeled her with a 7 iron and one of the sausage grinders.

Bianca eventually calmed down and the party went well. Everyone enjoyed their food, the service and watching Bianca’s friend open packages filled with Made For Baby Bentley Big Wheel, J. Lo.’s “I’m Still From the Block” Diamond Baby Gucci earrings, Pedialyte by Crystal and trust funds.

Anyway – that was a fun client experience for yours truly.

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