Friday, August 06, 2010

The Importance of Self-Image and Grunt-Work

We are having a 90th birthday celebration tomorrow for a relative. We are renting the family center of a church. A caterer will be supplying the eats and a floral artist will see to it there are beautiful floral arrangements there.

The caterer and the floral artist and their staffs were to meet this morning and set up tables, chairs, table clothes, and whatever else should be done. I volunteered my services to help out on the grunt work. They happily accepted.

The question I asked myself what image should I convey? Should I follow the chef around and tell him my secrets on how to get the best from a grill rotisserie and tell him out how much I like garlic and hot spices in my food? Or should I tell him my adventures with the beer can up the ass of a chicken squatting on the grill? Or should I do a quick Google-study on different types of flowers good for arranging, go buy a beret’ and leotards and talk to the floral-artist about my opinion on different types of arrangements and maybe try to use a lot of French words. Or maybe I should have my earphones and ipod in place, my ball cap backwards, and sort of bop to the rhythm that no one but me can hear, as I walk and occasionally fall down on a my back and do a spin, then get back up and start moving chairs again. Or, maybe I should just bring the book I’m reading, find me a quiet corner and open my book and read and tell them if they need me to do something, just ask…. But by my expression they will understand it will be best if they do it themselves.

I picked none of the above. I wore my ball cap with the front in the front and I did what I was asked to do, which was move roll the big round tables like big wheels, and then sat them up by unfastening their legs to the table bottom and after that was done I moved the chairs, eight to a table. I put them “about” where they should go and then someone else, a paid staffer, placed them exactly where they should be. Before it was over with I was pouring with sweat.

Of course the plan was, we thought, we were to place back the tables and chairs after the shindig tomorrow.

We noticed some young men came in, talked to the leaders and the leaders told them it would be over tomorrow around 5pm. Then the young men left.

We were told those young men would be back after we finish to put the tables and chairs back into place on the racks. We said, “We thought we had to do that because we were told the church didn’t have anybody working Saturday afternoon.”

“They are not from the church, they are doing community service”.

I wondered, “What image do I want tomorrow afternoon? I wonder if they still sell “sponge-on” tattoos?

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