Saturday, 17 July 2010

Real Life (part 13)

This year it was my turn to be the equivalent of the morale officer for my division at work (I have a snappy title that goes with the role, but I won't share it with you).

Whilst those of you who know me are rolling around on the floor laughing at this thought I'd point out that mostly I don't have to do that much in the role. I have a committee of five younger, more enthusiastic, staff who have all the ideas and do the legwork. I just turn up at the end to take the credit (or, more commonly, pay for everything). What we - or rather they - do is organise a range of social and charity events throughout the year. We get a mix of responses and do things like quizzes, one-off projects (built a playground a year or so back) and recently went greyhound racing

This weekend is the centrepiece event of the year, - Dragon Boat racing with the local Rotary club. This means finding a minimum of 12 people to crew a boat for three races. Ideally you want more than 12 so not everyone has to do every race. The whole thing is billed as a "Family Fun Day" so there's stuff to do when we're not racing.

However it is also expected that you do a barbecue, so the last couple of evenings have involved the shopping for this. 100 burgers, 200 sausages, 300 bread rolls, plus salad, dressings, bottles of drink etc etc.

We have a departmental gazebo to house us for this event, and this year we have one of those large rubberised tarpaulin banners with the company logo on it to mark our space, but you also need cool boxes, picnic blankets and a large amount of assorted paraphernalia. Although the event doesn't start until 10am you have to be there by 8am (on Sunday morning!!!!) to ensure you get a decent pitch and to have everything set up by the time the hordes arrive.

Although of course you don't know how many hordes are coming. Your rowers are signed up before hand so that's your minimum number, but its the supporters that you have to worry about. There's those that are definitely coming, then there's those that "might pop down", and they might come alone or they might bring a friend/partner/child etc. So we're catering for a minimum of 50 (ish).

Which is all very well, but where do you store everything? The freezer & fridge are stuffed to the gills, and we still haven't bought any ice to keep drinks cold.

One thing wargaming doesn't prepare you for is mass catering, although in fairness to Paddy Griffith he did write a chapter about it in a piece he did on organising mega-games. I wonder where I put that?

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