It was my first big meeting today. Not big by any means but it meant a lot on a personal level that it should go right.
Some spectacular sandwiches were ordered for lunch. None of your limp triangles here. J went out with me yesterday to get fruit, fancy biscuits, dried fruit-and-nuts. Last night I put water to chill in the fridge. Checked the flipchart and pens. You don’t want to run out of flipchart pens. Wrapped knives and forks in napkins. Washed the coffee maker. I really should have given the coffee maker a dry run, if you see what I mean.
This morning I could not get it to work. While our guests made light but slightly thirsty conversation I was faced with a coffee machine that just refused to do coffee. I went hot and – well not cold, just hot. Tried another socket, bingo. Fucking thing. I have no idea what the coffee was like as I hadn’t tried it out first, but they all drank it.
Then to the sandwich place – actually it’s a quite fancy boulangerie-nosherie type place. I had my French phrases all sorted in my head and then couldn’t understand a single word they said. It was more the vocabulary than anything. Anyway, two cellophane-wrapped platters the heavier, back to the office.
I was all Cinderella at my desk while they laid into the fancy tartines until I was invited to join them. Hoooraah! Under the guise of quality control I tried several different sandwiches. And we have loads left.
After lunch one of my colleagues helped me clear. All dirty dishes are left for the cleaner, who comes twice a week. As an ex-nanny I know how little I liked to come back to the house to find a load of dirty dishes. It wasn’t part of my job, but I washed them – if I was preparing food for the kids it was impossible on a counter full of last night's food.
I have the cleaner’s job description here and it isn’t part of our cleaner’s job either. So I did the washing up with the kitchen door closed so they couldn’t hear me do it. I think if you’ve worked in a role like that you feel a certain empathy.
Anyway, the meeting is still in progress and everyone seems happy. But it’s a bit too early for food poisoning to manifest itself, I suppose.