Club Subversion & The Firm present: The Boat
It should be noted that I've already rewritten this twice, this in and of itself should be considered odd as I habitually don't do any editing of my journal posts beyond basic spell checking. Make of that what you will however I will state that none of the organisations involved in this event have requested it.
As part of the London Fetish Weekend a combination of The Firm and Club Subversion elected to run a second boat party for the evening of October 3rd. As you can imagine I was onsite at 7pm to help get things ready for an 8:30pm sailing. The main difference was that instead of my normal black & white domestic outfit the requirement was for "flash" and well if flash was wanted I'd deliver it in spades. Enter, stage left, yours truly wearing the wonderful Mk3 pink thing... I can't get much more flash than that 1990's throwback to sissy maids.
Once I'd collected my staff badge and managed to get down the dock things were surprisingly hectic. Given that I was onsite for 7pm and we were scheduled to begin letting customers on at 8pm for an 8:30 departure I thought things would be slightly more sedate. Someone who I've never met before yelled at me to load a bunch of bags, now keep in mind that a) I've no idea who this person was, b) had no way of knowing which particular pile was the correct one and c) the person ran off before I could double check... yeah, I figured I'd grab what I could, toss it on the waiting pleasure craft and well... fuck it.
I dumped 50% of the stuff on to the boat, although wasn't strong enough to solo lift the chunk of metal that was some of the play kit I also wasn't entirely sure it was my job... I was seeing a lot of faces I didn't recognise getting on with things, it seemed that the Club Subversion people were doing pretty much everything and those from The Firm were very much on the sidelines.
My first real indication of how the night was going to run came during our abortive attempt to get the catering side of things going, it seemed sensible to get the initial offerings ready: some simple, dry, nibbles. First thing I wanted to do was check if the gloves we were using were non-latex, I explained why (someone coming was known to have an allergy, they take Piriton but eating contaminated food was pushing it). We checked, they weren't. However someone, apparently called "Mistress Absolute" who was running the show decided to wade in and declare that anyone with a latex allergy coming to this event was a "fucking moron". I instantly categorised her as "Bitch. Sub-category: Head up own arse and tasting tonsils".
For those wondering my Owner was the one with the known allergy
I also discovered that despite having a fairly large pile of trays the plan was that only 2 of them would be in use at any one time... we had 4 maids serving and "Slutty", apparently 'Absolute's sub, acting as Senior for the night. 4 maids. 2 Trays. The timetable was also quite short and featured a lot of options. 4 maids. 2 trays. 6 - 7 'courses'. Each tray to be taken around once.
It was then that I walked away, it seemed that despite us trying to get ahead of ourselves, set up the two trays and cover them up 'Absolute' was furious that we'd got a head start, apparently she thought we'd be standing around holding trays for over an hour.
It was going to be one of THOSE nights. Fuck. I went off to find somewhere to be useful. It didn't take long and I ended up setting out flyers for Night of The Cane (which I'm booked to work) on as many surfaces of the three decks as I could, dropped the spares off and found myself on the top deck of the boat looking at people down below and chatting to other members of The Firm.
It was the first time that night I actually said that it seemed we were playing second fiddle to Club Subversion, I literally had nothing to do, we'd been sent away and our prep scrapped. It was a feeling that seemed quite common amongst people.
Eventually guests were being let on and I ended up by the entrance helping to direct people: basically pointing out where they could hang their coats, where the toilets were and such. Nothing major. With people onboard the gangway was dragged in and we set off.
During the initial get-in and aborted attempt to set-up I was able to get a good feel for the layout of this boat, noticing the differences between it and the craft that the traditional London Boat Party usually takes. Three decks instead of two, with the middle one being entry/exit point for the outside portion which included the top most deck. The steps were also considerably steeper. The environment was also a bit different and this larger boat seemed to be rocking far more than the smaller craft.
As we began service several things became apparent. With 4 of us but only 2 trays it means that with any given course 2 of us were redundant. The second was that one of us was struggling with the steep stairs and her long, victorian style, uniform. Thirdly it seemed that the person put in charge of us hadn't really done this before or at least wasn't used to being in charge of a team and keeping them running. Finally... everything was moving at a frustratingly slow pace and it really was one round with a given load of goodies and that was it for that course.
I couldn't really do anything about the first, third or fourth issues but the second? Yeah, I could do something about that. I had a quick word with her and I actually understood completely her issues so I said I'd look after that side of things and she should head off to be with her friends. Hey, I'm a nice person and I'd did understand that all of her friends were on the top deck, she couldn't do the stairs with the tray in her dress and generally not happy with the situation. So off she went and I finished the round.
The slow pace, random gaps between serving and general lack of speed meant I spent a lot of time just wandering around, I did a quick trip to find a DJ as the music was too loud in the 'dungeon' and once that was adjusted I was back to pottering.
It was when we got to the hot food that I think my frustration started to show: we were trying to sort out the sausages and I was expecting them to have a modicum of grease or condensation inside their wrapping I grabbed two of the trays we'd just finished with as a landing zone. Good plan, stops the contents spilling everywhere, keeps things neat and easy to tidy up. Nope, I had a very long and irritating lecture from "Mistress Absolute" about how those trays were only for vegetarian stuff. I had to ask about five times if they were greasy before I got some semblance of an answer and off she swanned.
I very pointedly pointed out to "Slutty" that if its owner thought mine was a fucking moron for having a latex allergy and coming to the event then its owner was a fucking moron for getting pissy about the needs of vegetarians.
I was also surprised when after only a single round of chicken drumsticks it was declared that we were totally out of hot food. Working on The Boat and using their Norwigens (and experience of my own) this didn't sound right: especially as the trays we were using were substantially smaller than the ones we generally used. As it would later be revealed this wasn't the case not only was their more in the first container BUT the second was still full to the brim, so even though we had people coming up to us to request more hot food... and we had it available... we were sending them away hungry.
The final nail in the coffin for my evening came, unsurprisingly, at the end of it when we were setting up to do runs of grapes & cheese on cocktail sticks. I watched as they lifted them out individually, try to reattach the bits of cheese that had come off the attendant stick.
I reached in started grabbing them five or ten at a time, discarding the failed ones to fix later so we had at least one god damn thing going. I pointed at the finished tray and told one of the maids to go.
"Ohh you want that tray then? Alright." I took three attempts to explain to the lazy arse that no, I wanted it to pick the fucking thing up and cart it around the fucking boat offering what was on it to the guests who were already complaining they were hungry! I decided to write them off at that point as being less use than a chocolate teapot and just started loading the other trays. When we had all three finished I looked around. Yep you guessed right, all three trays sat their with people looking like lummoxes. Someone tried to give the chocolate teapot one of the trays only to have it refused as it was the one I wanted?
Eventually the slow people ambled off and myself and another of the regulars who did stuff for The Firm took over preparing the trays and honestly? For those final 10min it was a glorious breath of fresh air: in the time it had taken them to get a single tray loaded we managed three and we were having to reassemble the treats as well.
Finally the boat docked and I had one finally task: hand out flyers for the next event. Whilst I did hand them out to people as they were leaving I figured that in the crush to get off it'd also be wise to bomb people before they left so did a quick tour handing them out.
With everything squared away both myself and my Owner headed off to the car and pottered back home, thus ending my involvement with this particular event.
Personally my thoughts on the event are that whilst I'm sure people had a good time and enjoyed themselves I can't honestly say the same for me. It was frustrating to be working with people who either couldn't actually do the job or too inexperienced to realise how the event was going and adjust to demands. I'm also not entirely sure how much of this event was The Firm and how much Club Subversion, allegedly it was a fairly even split but it felt like it was mainly the Subversion people taking the lead.
It's also worth pointing out that of all the other 'maids' on that particular boat I was the only one wearing a corset... by rights I should of been a bit slower and less nimble than those not wearing one... the fact I was still outrunning them just makes me shake my head in wonder.
Honestly though? If this happens again in a years time... I think I'll pass and just let the Subversion people get on with it.