Some days I love my job… while other days I feel like I’m in the “cubicle of purgatory”. As mentioned countless times before, I am a church lady office administrator so I am often at the epicenter of a circus. I wrote about the “family business” once before.
One aspect of my job that I truly dislike is fielding the cold calls and email requests for renting our building. I am “The Gatekeeper”. I have enough crazy to interact with inside the congregation, so I approach each interaction with the outside crazy, with fear and trembling. Requests have ranged from piano recitals, sports programs and children’s birthday parties, to funerals, concerts and weddings. While I have met some genuinely nice people, people willing to work with me, not drive me to an early grave, glowing brides with far-flung dreams of bridal grandeur are among the worst! They change their minds like a teenager changes her mood – frequently and irrationally. The list of demands requests pile up faster than ant bodies after a Raid© raid. “No” isn’t usually part of their vocabulary. And they frequently ask the same stupid questions:
- Why do I have to pay for a hostess? Um…because no one lives at the church to let you in and our insurance company strongly discourages leaving the door unlocked and the alarm turned off. Can’t imagine why?
- Why do I have to pay for a custodian? We’re not dirty, can’t we just clean up ourselves? You might not be “dirty” (what you do at home is your own business), but your shoes might be…and I’ve seen what Great Aunt Bertha can do to a loo. I have yet to see a bride wear rubber gloves and getting down and dirty with a toilet brush. I admit, I haven’t seen everything yet, so feel free to snap those suckers on, hoist your expensive beaded gown and go for it!
- Does my rental agreement cover the 3 days my wedding planner needs to bejewel set up the sanctuary? Um…no! See answer to question 1.
- Can the grand piano be moved on to the platform? Let’s see…our baby grand piano is virtually built into the side of the platform and weighs somewhere between 500-900 lbs. Pianos don’t like to be moved and often need to be tuned after they are…so, No.
- Can our flower girl throw real rose petals down the aisle? Well, if you’re willing to pull on some rubber gloves and spend your honeymoon scrubbing the stains out, be my guest. Alternatively, you can pay to have the entire church re-carpeted. It might be cheaper than your wedding gown.
Negotiations with one of these blushing brides is only just beginning, and I have never spoken to her…
I received a voicemail message one morning saying Someone had “booked her wedding” at our church. She gave me her email address to forward the Rental Agreement. I immediately had words with Someone! It turned out Bride & Groom stopped in during an evening rehearsal and decided they liked our building. Someone let them look around, checked to see that the date was still available, and told them to call me in the morning to go through the details.[ Mistake #1: Never say the date is free right away!]
I forgave Someone.
I emailed Bride outlining the approval process, attaching the requisite documents, and listing about 14 basic questions so we could get acquainted. The questions included silly things like name, time of wedding, needs (minister, organist, audio-visual technician). I didn’t get a reply and assumed the nightmare was over.
Someone received a phone call 2 days later from Groom, saying he was dropping the deposit and agreement this coming Sunday morning.
“One cries because one is sad. I cry because others are stupid and that makes me sad.” – Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory
I nearly started crying. Instead, I forwarded my original email to Bride, politely asking again for some information. She quickly emailed back that she’d fax the agreement in the morning. It never arrived. But I’m guessing I’ll have the pleasure of meeting Groom some time Sunday morning. Can’t wait…
I’ll bring some tissue.