When someone on our staff accidentally set off the fire alarm during set up and we had to evacuate the building until the Fire Department had given the, ‘all clear,’ time was lost. Meanwhile at a nearby church, when the guests’ wedding ceremony miraculously managed to wrap up more than 20 minutes early, time was crunched. Beware the intersection of lost time and crunch time.
Twenty minutes before the doors were to open, the staff was meeting at one of the long banquet tables, reviewing the steps of service and everyone’s individual responsibilities, when out of nowhere, all 150 wedding guests suddenly rolled up like a flash mob. Seemingly all 150 of the guests together pounded the Union League’s large front doors with a force that shook the historic building. (At this point I imagine my old boss, the now-retired longtime maitre’d of the Union League Cafe, Jean-Michel Gammariello, asking: “Why so dramatic, Artur?”)
From the crowd of 150 increasingly agitated wedding guests, a champion stepped forth; a young gentleman wearing a snug-fitting tuxedo tailored to accentuate his athletic build exuding an alpha male vibe, launched his body into a parkour double jump; first he mounted the planter boxes half a story above street level; then he pivot-leapt onto the ledge of the main dining room’s front windows; and proceeded banging the historic window glass with both fists, accompanied by a rebel yell, which Shelby Foote described as sounding like a foxhunt yip mixed up with sort of a banshee squall.
As the door-guy, I’m the guy tasked with door stuff.
Therefore, my job was to parley with the 150 eagerly early and exuberantly inebriated wedding guests and to hopefully begin discussing the terms for an armistice. I went out there and baited them towards the side-door, by the Clubroom. The 150 wedding guests had been momentarily kettled into Sherman’s Alley, buying the staff crucial time.
After all the guests had gone home, I apologized to RI, our distinguished banquet captain for all buyouts, with 20+ years experience of ULC weddings NOT under his belt (he wears suspenders), for my failure to prevent the 150 chilly wedding guests from breaching early. RI answered that I had reminded him of Eugene Goodman, the police officer who bravely diverted the mob away from the Senate chamber on January 6th.