First of all, you KNOW it’s a bad situation when you’re first reunited with your classmates in the walk-in freezer at school, the coolness-oasis you’ve all flocked to in an attempt to regulate your body temperatures after hiking up from Collegetown to class.
Seriously. It’s been so hot that none of us can sleep, so hot none of us can stand to blow-dry our hair after we shower, and so humid that it doesn’t matter anyway because a blowout wouldn’t last 30 seconds out the door. So what we’ve got here at Cornell University is a population full of sweaty, shiny, tired kids with really bad hair. Aside from those unpleasantries, it’s good to be back at school.
I suppose I should talk about the summer. I was in Manhattan and it was lovely… but I was so incredibly, fall-off-the-face-of-the-earth busy that I could have been in the worst place on earth (the inside of a Croc) and I wouldn’t have noticed. I was working a Monday-Thursday internship at Great Performances, a catering and event planning company, had a job at Hotelchatter.com writing hotel industry news stories daily (which was FABULOUS, hello career of choice), and was doing a consulting job on the side.
So Great Performances… eh. I don’t know– catering and event planning within a larger organization? Not for me. The company is wonderful; they even have a farm in upstate New York where they grow their own produce and have started a program with PS-180 where they teach grade school kids how to cook with fresh ingredients and things (I participated in one of the programs and it was one of the highlights of the summer; also, I was on a farm, alert the press).
But I learned very, VERY quickly that catering in NYC is pretty serious. I don’t really want to get into details about what I didn’t like about the whole thing, but I learned a lot about what I don’t want to do– which is why we do these internships, right?– and I did get to do some cool stuff in the meantime: GP had TONS of high-end clients and I got to attend some pretty ritzy and fabulous events.
I had an issue with the footwear policy and was scolded many a time for wearing open-toed shoes to work. I mean, there is a huge kitchen attached to the offices where GP does all of their prep and recipe testing, so open-toed shoes were a no-no. But come ON… I’m not cooking. I only went in there for Diet Coke. I tried to strike a deal where I would promise not to go into the kitchen if I could wear my summery strappy sandals, but no dice.
During the workday, I was primarily working on the Plaza Hotel project, as GP is going to be doing all the catering for the event space once it reopens. The property has been closed for a long time for renovations, but it’s slated to be up and running in October/November of this year (it had BETTER be up and running, because there are insanely lavish events booked). I WISH I could tell stories about the new Plaza clients– oh my goodness; if these sensible, close-toed shoes could talk…
Anyway, it was a good experience and will never, EVER make the mistake of telling a client who is ready to drop $500,000 on an event that we don’t do Kosher catering (we do), and I now know to do everything in my power to forever avoid a certain high-profile, overly-botoxed NYC independent event planner.
Whatever. I figure it’s all fodder for the tell-all I’m going to pen later on in my life a la Devil Wears Prada. Ok. Yes.