The beautiful client was picky, particular, and wealthy. I wanted her to be pleased, since this was only my second time working at her manse. In catering--like all jobs--paying attention to little details is vital. Plan ahead, think things through, etc., etc. Yet mistakes happen, and bring me back to Earth. I'd like to think my brain wasn't operating at one hundred per cent because we were on Day 2 of a heat wave. I had gotten little sleep the night before, and was worn out by the heat.
There were two hours for me to set the table and do other kitchen tasks. Easy, right? Well.... Forgetting the first course soup spoons shouldn't have happened. My boss and I went over the menu when I arrived to work. The maid had already set everything out for me, or so I thought. I should've done an inventory for each course before I set the table. But it looked like that had already been done for me. I didn't realize my huge error until the guests were seated and ready
to eat. My boss was ladling and garnishing the soup bowls for us to
OMG. All of the sudden, I could visualize the place settings in the next room. Shit! I had put a spoon down, but it was for dessert. A teeny spoon sitting at 12 o'clock was not going to gain me any smiles or looks of support from the client (or my boss). I was panicking. There were no soup spoons on the table! Eeeek!
My boss said, "I told you! Soup, Mary! You needed soup spoons! Go!!"
Out to the dining room I walked-ran, to find the proper spoons. Talk about awkward. There were four drawers to go through. I finally found the spoons tucked under an antique looking cloth. By this time, half the soups were already on the table, placed by a co-worker. The guests were talking and hadn't tried eating yet. They were of the well mannered sort, whew. That bought me just enough time.
I worked my way around the table, neatly placing a spoon for each guest. The final spoon was set right before the last soup bowl arrived. Within a minute, they started daintily eating the soup. I reported back to the kitchen: "They have spoons. Soup's set," to my boss. She was visibly relieved but still peeved, and I apologized, twice. It took me all night to forgive myself, and I kept replaying the nightmare missing spoon scenario over and over again in my head. Pulling such a rookie move will do that.