I am a planner. Not just any planner, but a darn good planner - not to toot my own horn or anything. As a planner, I know that you are born for this job - it isn't something you can learn. Ask any planner and they will tell you that the love for logistics is running through their veins (need a minute to find someone?? I can wait...done?? I'll continue then!). Okay, I don't have any fancy letters after my name, but I've been in the business for almost 10 years now. I like to think that I know - at least a little about - what I'm doing. Granted, I made my share of mistake when I first started out, but who hasn't?!
There are certain mistakes, however, that you should just look for...things that you've done before and SWORE to yourself you'd never do again...like the time you hit "reply" instead of "forward" when poking fun at someone's email. It is times like those where you felt you wanted to curl up in a ball and die under your desk - you know those times. Unfortunately, this was one of those times...but thankfully it wasn't ME who wanted to curl up and die.
Let me set-up some background on the situation. My organization is having our annual conference in a West Coast state this year. Every year I set up a golf outing fundraiser for about 20 attendees at a prominent local golf course - and this state has no shortage of those. So, our tee times were set at one of the nicest golf courses in all of golfdom. I still needed to figure out lunch plans, though. Off to the hotel I went (via email) to talk to my event manager about getting their chef to make 20 boxed lunches we could take with us. Turns out that even though the hotel was willing to let us leave with their lunches, the golf course wouldn't let us bring them with us, since they weren't purchased there - which is completely understandable!! Back to the internet I went to send in a pricing request for the 20 lunches I needed on golf day. The great thing about this course is that the adjacent hotel is a very nice lodge with the capability to make said lunches. My lunches request read as follows:
"My name is Working Mommy and I am planning on bringing a group of 20 golfers to the Most Fabulous Course in Golfdom for a fundraiser. We already have our tee times set, I just need a price list for the boxed lunches you have available. Please email or call me at your earliest convenience to discuss lunch options and set up a credit card authorization for the necessary payments."
My email request went unanswered for a number of hours, until I suddenly saw a small envelop pop up at the bottom of my screen (Outlook). I opened the email, which was sent by a catering manager at the lodge, and this is what it said:
"FYI - Wonder where they are staying!"
Turns out she had hit "reply" instead of "forward" on my email request...not only that, but she cc'd the hotel's director of national accounts, a hotel sales manager, and the hotel's general manager. Oh wow...I bet she was going to be pulling in a few extra room nights with our little group!! At some $399 a night lodge, she probably thought she hit the mother load!! Before I could even answer, the hotel's national director of accounts hits "reply all" and says:
"I'll find out!"
Honestly, at this point I am laughing...laughing like I've never laughed before!! The catering manager screwing the pooch is one thing - but a national director?? Oh good grief!!! So, since it seemed necessary for so many people to be cc'd on the original "FYI" message, I thought it necessary to "reply to all" for my response:
"Ms. Idiot Catering Manager Who Needs an Email Tutorial,
Our group will be staying at the Wonderful Chain Hotel With a MUCH Lower Room Rate and Five Minute Drive From The Most Fabulous Course in Golfdom. Our group is around 120 attendees, but we hold a small golf outing for the twenty - or so - of our members who are interested. Thank you for being concerned about our meeting space, but at this time I am only in need of the below-mentioned 20 boxed lunches. If you could please email me a price quote or contract for the lunches at your earliest convenience, I would greatly appreciate it! I hope you have a fabulous day!
I can only imagine that once she read my email - and everyone began laughing at her through their office cubicles - a feeling of pure terror came over her and she wanted to crawl under her desk and DIE. I know that is how I would have felt if a potential client made me feel like a friggin idiot! A few minutes after I hit "send" on that message, I got another one - an apology reply, no doubt:
"They are staying at the Wonderful Chain Hotel With a MUCH Lower Room Rate and Five Minute Drive From The Most Fabulous Course in Golfdom. I had bid this for the Two Other Crazy Expensive Hotels I Run."
Ok...guess I was wrong. Apparently we were all still emailing me EVERYTHING despite my previous email regarding the need for only 20 boxed lunches. I just need a price list people...not gossip. If you want to talk about my group - do it around the water cooler. Finally, after a few hours,
"Hi Working Mommy,
I am sorry, as I thought you might be staying here at the Lodge and I did not see your group in our system. Completely More Competent Catering Assistant, would you please forward our box lunch menus to Working Mommy for her review? Please let us know if you need anything further and thank you for thinking of the Lodge!
Idiot Catering Manager Who Needs an Email Tutorial"
Yeah...oooooooook...whatever you say Junior!! There is no way you would have forwarded my lunch request to your national sales director if you thought I was already staying at your hotel. I'm not an idiot, but thanks for playing...moron! Still, just knowing that she probably felt like an ass the entire day was enough satisfaction for me...and that everyone following my blog-topia would know she is an idiot also!!