Ugh. Guys. I had to set up a party yesterday with (*ominous music*) JESSICA. When I said I'd help, I didn't realize I'd have to spend the whole day with her.
Boss's boss decided to host a get-together for our department and the equivalent of our department at the competitive company that has acquired us. Jessica constantly sucks up to boss's boss and is pretty much her little pet, so she always gets put in charge of parties. And she really fucking sucks at is. EVERYONE in our group complains to me about what an awful job she does, to the point that some people refuse to even attend the parties anymore.
First, boss's boss HATES spending money (so why she wanted to host this party is so far beyond me) so she told Jessica she was only allowed to order food for 30 people, even though she knew 60 people were coming. And Jessica could pick any caterer and any type of food in the world as long as it fit the budget. So what does she pick? Pulled pork, ribs, and chicken wings. No simple finger foods, no appetizers, nothing that's easy to eat.
Turns out not having enough food was just fine, because most people didn't want to eat. It was the first time meeting our new counterparts, so there was a lot of hand-shaking, introductions, chatting, small talk, etc. Who wants to do that with BBQ sauce all over their hands and mouth? Who wants to be gnawing on ribs and chicken wings while they're trying to chat to new people and make a nice first impression? Several people commented to me that they were hungry but didn't want to eat the food that was there for those reasons.
To make it worse, there were no tables to sit at, so somehow people needed to hold their plate, napkins, drink, and eat messy food with their hands, all at the same time. But wait it gets worse. There were purposely not enough chairs for people to sit in, so a lot of them had to stand up anyway.
Backing up to the set-up, Jessica tells me she needs me to go with her to buy beverages. So we run to the store. Boss's boss has instructed her that we have a strict limit of 7 bottles of wine. For 60 people. And we're allowed to get 2 cases of bottled beer. And we also need soda, water, napkins, cups, etc, with a super tiny budget. Great. Well when I tell Jessica we need to buy water she gets shitty with me and rolls her eyes. I tell her not everyone drinks soda or wine or beer and then I drop a huge case of water in the cart before she can open her mouth again. Several people from my group had already complained to me that the beverage selection at our parties always sucks so bad because Jessica does such a shitty job (which was part of why I agreed to go with her to pick stuff out) and she never bothers to get diet soda or water.
I tell her we need to grab a couple bottles of diet. So she grabs just 1 bottle, and it's caffeine-free diet cherry Coke. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's a pretty niche drink if that's the ONE and only diet soda you're getting. I threw a couple bottles of regular diet Coke into the cart and again she rolled her eyes at me. Well, fuck off to you too, Jessica.
In the wine aisle, I actually yelled at her. She grabbed one of the huge bottles of white wine in a god-awful brand and I told her to put it back. She said "but there's more in the big bottles so we can drink more!" I said "That shit is embarrassing. That shit gives people ulcers and nightmares and I'm not serving it to people. Put it back!" I found some decent brands that were on sale so they were cheap enough to fit in our budget. This was our first impression on our new counterparts. I was not about to have shit wine.
Then to the cup aisle. Jessica did not want to deal with real wine glasses (which is fine cuz that can be a pain in the ass for a big group). So the hill she was willing to die on? She wanted red solo cups for the wine. Not kidding. She REALLY wanted them to the point that I was not willing to stand there and fight over it. So yeah, we served wine in red solo cups. The first time we were meeting the people of the company that bought us, including our potential new boss. Cool.
She claimed we needed the red solo cups because we were on a tight budget. She then spent $15 on her favorite brand of chocolate mints. K. Cool.
I was honestly embarrassed to be a part of that mess.
Jessica then says that boss's boss (who is a total tight-ass and scary as hell) told her that people are only allowed 2 drinks, maximum. I asked how she planned to enforce it. Turns out, Jessica is such a suck-up that she personally stalked the wine table and monitored people. I had some wine in my cup and the kitchen was so packed that I decided to go pour a little more into my cup and then get out of there to go to a less crowded room, and Jessica saw me pour it. I said "Don't worry, this is only the second time I've poured." She said (totally serious) "You're done now." I only had a cup and a half at that point but I was not about to try to get more wine and have her running to boss's boss tattling on me, so I stayed far away from the kitchen the rest of the night. Huge eye roll.
Actually meeting the new people was fun. They were all really friendly and nice, and I had a good time chatting with them. As things started to wind down, a few friends and I decided to escape before Jessica could sucker us into staying late to clean everything up (which I had never been asked to do, and at that point I had been at the fucking party site for over 7 hours so I was beyond done, not to mention the fact that I hadn't even gotten to eat dinner yet thanks to her poor choice of food) and of course she got pissy with us for leaving but I quite frankly do not care. And on the plus side, she didn't mention my wedding once.
I'm so happy that yesterday is over.