Sometime back I mentioned my "Sheraton Palace Story." I think I have now recovered after almost 7 years to tell you all this sad tale:
Evil Oil Company decided to host a “symposium” and invite their clients from other oil companies. It was decided to hold it at the Sheraton Palace, due to the fame of this particular hotel and its prime location in SF. The symposium was to run from Monday-Thursday. The business portion involved several presentations over the four days, with copies of the presentation printed in color and placed on each chair before hand. The social aspect included a meet and greet cocktail hour at the Garden Court, daily continental breakfasts and lunches outside the meeting rooms, and dinners at various restaurants in the City for different groups of clients, culminating in formal dinners to be hosted by each member of the sales staff for their particular clients. All of which I had to coordinate, arrange, reserve and cat-herd into being, because the Evil One (I’ve mentioned her before) couldn’t recover from her hangovers until late p.m.
I single-handedly worked my tail off for months, sending invitations, following up on those who didn’t RSVP, dealing with last-minute cancellation/additions both to presentations and guest list, transportation issues, talking to the hotel staff, etc. During this time, Evil One was second-guessing, criticizing, blaming, and just in general being her half-drunken self.
During those four days, I was on my feet and on the go from 6 a.m. to midnight, flying between the meeting rooms, the business center, the concierge, and the catering office. The nature of the job meant that I had to socialize with the clients, and with these clients, there was eating and DRINKING. I had to drink with each and every one of those clients and keep a clear head (because someone had to pour them into the limo back to the hotel). Evil One spent the entire time wasted and I saw very little of her during the day at the presentations. I only had to deal with her at night and, as long as I kept her glass filled, she was happy.
On the plus side, I met several nice guys from all over the world. The fellows from China, South Korea, Great Britain, Russia, and Finland were nice, even when drinking. Several pledged their undying friendship as I was bear-leading them from the restaurant to the bar, then to another. Each night ended at the bar across from the Palace with one group trying to drink the other under the table, then I would herd them across the street back to the hotel. After that, they had to find their own room(s), "cause I wasn't going there.
Almost everyone, staff and client, deemed the symposium a success.
During the group meeting the next month, Evil One was honored with a certificate and a $500 cash award for “her excellent work in coordinating a successful symposium.” Another lady who came in and assisted me during the event, but did NO pre-work and no client interaction, received $300 “for her excellent work assisting Evil One to coordinate symposium.” I was mentioned last, and I received $150 because, “Oh, Barensmom helped too.”
That was the day I stopped taking my job and any of my co-workers seriously. I quit EOC not too long after.