Monday, December 20, 2010

Thanksgiving...a little late

I just realized I never posted about Thanksgiving. I never came here to record the days events or to post pictures of the main feature, pie. I cooked the night before. I made O'Bannon Sweet Potato Souffle and Tequila Cranberry Sauce. The next morning I woke up early, loaded them up in my car and went to work. Yes, work. On Thanksgiving. I worked last year also. The Town Club has a massive Thanksgiving Buffet and working it is mandatory. 

When I first arrived, I snuck all my food into the Bar refrigerator and creeped upstairs to the employee kitchen for coffee. Still very much asleep and very much wanting to get the next few hours over as quickly as possible. I settled on a stool with my coffee and began the process of ringing up tickets which was my delegated job. On-Call Event staff serves the buffet and so the rest of the full time Wait staff gets to do other jobs that day. I was looking forward to sipping my coffee, punching in member numbers and charging them for Mimosas and Bloody Mary's and the $35 buffet. I admit, I make it entertaining, taking notice of who is there, how many members in their party and what they are drinking. I have to keep myself occupied somehow. "There are only 4 people at that table and they had 17 glasses of champagne! Yikes" = Self-made Entertainment while you work.

I was instantly interrupted mid-sip by a tap on the shoulder and a bartender holding a black bow tie and tuxedo jacket. It had been ripped, just moments before, from a suddenly ill banquet server and now I was being given the job. I instantly went from my cozy stool and noticing that Mr. Smith needed a highchair and must be bringing his grandchildren to dashing all over the banquet room, getting tea, coffee, water, cocktails, and more for 40 people, per three 2 hour shifts. We served over 900 that day. I felt like I had been punched in the face. It was a rude awakening from my stool and coffee to an ugly polyester tuxedo and 40x3 thirsty, hungry, high maintenance people needing something from me. It was chaos, to me, and it was hard. It was time and a half but they can keep their money. I wanted to go home. I wanted to eat sweet potatoes. I didn't want to carry mimosas on a tray and give them away. I didn't want to act like these little girls in stockings and smocked dresses and big bows and monogrammed panties were the highlight of my day. They weren't. I wasn't the least bit excited to see them. I didn't mind seeing them on paper, punching them in and charging their accounts. In that state I got to have coffee and think about other things. In this state, I had to work, hard and act as if I was as overjoyed to be there as they were. That is not an easy thing to do. I am possibly one of the most transparent persons you will ever meet. 

My face is a book. So I don't know if trying to act as if I care comes across even worse than just being myself and looking a little miserable, but I gave it my best. I smiled at babies, I helped a little boy choose dessert from possibly one of the most incredibly arrays of desserts one can imagine, I took an old lady hot English Breakfast tea that I had to go to Marietta to go and get. The whole time, wishing I were just with my family. In jeans and boots and cashmere and casual and not in a stuffy place with chandeliers and Riedel, but home. I certainly appreciate all those things, but I wanted pie and my family. I whined to the right person and finally got to go, but it was an hour too late. 

By the time I got to Carla's everyone had eaten and I was so incredibly exhausted from all I had just endured, that I could not eat a bite. And for me to not be hungry means something. I was so incredibly tired. Feet hurt, back hurt, brain hurt. Comatose. One tiny perk was that I did get a 10 minute break to go partake of possibly the nicest Thanksgiving Buffet that money toward membership in North America's #1 Country Club can buy. But even that was partially no good because I had to eat it in such a hurry. 

But I could't help, despite my exhaustion and frustration, be so incredibly thankful. So many blessings I cannot contain. Here are a few: