Okay, so, I don't know how many of you (if any) are from Manitoba but in our province it's a tradition to host a wedding social where you rent out a hall, pay for a liquor license, hire a DJ, solicit businesses for raffle prize donations, and essentially open up a bar/raffle contest in a community centre where people pay $10 to get in, $3 for drinks, and usually around $2 per raffle ticket and the money from the proceeds that you raise help to pay for your wedding. I know a lot of you are going to say "WHAT that's insane", but it's what we do and I had to explain this whole thing to everyone so you could understand what a big deal this is since people usually make between $3,000-$10,000 off of them.
We had purposely made arrangements far in advance of our event to allow us adequate set up and sound testing time for our live band. When we arrived the building manager who greeted us was helpful, told us where to set up, and gave us the okay after we were finished. Our group left (with a few band members staying behind) as we were pressed for time and decided that we would do our sound check between 7-8 before guests would be arriving at 8. When we arrived shortly after 7 we were met by the shift supervisor/head bartender who (very rudely and unprofessionally) demanded that we relocate our band equipment as it wasn't far enough away from the fire exit. We explained to her that we were given the okay on where we were set up by the building manager who was there earlier and she (word for word verbatim) told us that he told her "I told them how to set up and they did it like this instead so I just left it." Obviously if the band didn't set up in the right spot they didn't understand the way he explained the rule to them so why did he choose to stand by and do nothing? We were then left with no time for our sound check and had to do it after guests were arriving which was super embarrassing.
Between 7-8 the same woman also brought to my attention that 2 beers had been consumed sometime between 4-7 (apparently a big no no). I told her that I was unsure who had opened them and that I would find out. I spoke to some members of the band and they confirmed that they had drank them between 6-7 while we were away getting ready and didn't know that it was against the rules. I explained this to the shift supervisor AND the president and I apologized (this conversation is relevant to an issue that occurred later in the night).
After we had set up and had guests coming in one of the other bartenders (not even a person in charge, just a random) began going through our raffle baskets demanding that we remove the donated alcohol (several bottles of wine and a 26oz of Cuban Rum) as they were not on the liquor receipt. I had contacted the MLCC (our provincial Liquor Commission) on June 5th (the day before our event) and they had personally told me that it was NOT an issue to not have a receipt for the liquor in the baskets since it wasn't a substantial amount and that even if there had been an issue it would not have involved the hall at all, meaning the bartender had absolutely no business opening our baskets to remove the liquor. The bartender refused to listen to us and demanded that we take the liquor to our vehicle.
Throughout the rest of the night I had guests (and our upstairs DJ) who on several occasions came to me complaining that the female bartender upstairs (who was the shift supervisor) was being snotty, rude, and rolling her eyes at people while they were ordering drinks.
At the end of the night I went upstairs to pay the balance of our hall rental. I was visibly upset and the shift supervisor still felt that this was a good time to ASK ME for a tip, like flat out said "If you felt like we did a good job you could leave us a tip". I didn't acknowledge her request and paid her the balance of the hall rental and went to find the president of the hall to make a complaint.
While speaking with the president he tried telling me that the staff is on a volunteer basis even though I know for a fact that they get paid by the hour out of the money I pay to rent the hall, I told him that and he said "Well, what I mean is that they volunteer to be involved with the hall but yes we do pay them for the bartending time." SOOOOOO they're not REALLY volunteers and technically they were on my payroll for that night.
After I spoke with that guy I went back upstairs as I needed to pay the DJ. While I was speaking with him the shift supervisor interrupted us and asked if I would change my five dollar bills with her so that she could pay the staff (further evidence that they weren't volunteers). I was super pissed off at this point so I told her "No, it isn't my responsibility to make sure you have change to pay your staff with especially given the circumstances.'
I returned downstairs and told my fiancé that I was done dealing with the hall and that he would have to empty the upstairs coolers of our leftover alcohol. After he went upstairs the DJ came down to make sure that I wasn't upset with his service at all, I ensured him that I was happy and explained all the issues that we had been having with the shift supervisor. He confirmed with me that he did find her attitude extremely snotty and unprofessional and asked if I would be okay with him speaking with her to get her side of the story since he was a neutral person in this disagreement. I told him that would be fine.
When he got upstairs he struck up a conversation with her and she immediately began complaining, swearing, and name calling me AND accusing my fiancé of stealing the two beers that we had ALREADY told her were consumed by members of the band. This is even more offensive as at the beginning of the night she reminded us that my fiancé couldn't consume any alcohol since he was on the liquor permit and we had specifically told her that he was on the liquor permit because he was a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for 2.5 years. She also (word for word verbatim) told the DJ "The halls not going to refund any of her money so I don't even know why she's bothering to complain". My fiancé was emptying the coolers during this time IN VIEW and ear shot of her when she was saying these things.
I'm so upset because we've been in attendance/members of the wedding party at 2 other socials at this venue and we have never seen this kind of service. Not to mention that 2 weeks prior to our social our best friends had theirs at the same hall and the SAME girl who made us move all our band equipment okayed them blocking the SAME fire exit with posters/prizes AND okayed them leaving their alcohol in their prize baskets even though they didn't have the receipts for them.
I am just so upset with the service we received from the hall especially given all the double standards and rule bending. We were so looking forward to having a fun night like our friends have had at that venue and can't even believe what we were given. You only get to have one wedding social in a lifetime and I am extremely disappointed that ours had to go the way that it did.
So far I've emailed the executive of the hall and she responded within 2 hours of me contacting them and she seemed pretty disappointed in what I had to say. I'm asking for a partial refund and an apology from the shift supervisor since it was mostly her that had the issues that night.
I'm really sad about this whole thing because it was hyped up so much and I pretty much spent the entire night dealing with crap