I've been involved with the club for very close to 5 years (about 4 and a half), back then it was Irene maiding and initially she approached me about borrowing Tina for this small gathering. It was a familiar story, she had a lot of offers but they never materialised or were full of requirements to an unworkable level and she wanted to be able to take a break sometime during the night. Sounded reasonable to me so I said "Yes, although I'd like to tag along on occasion to make sure she's Ok."
This was The Factory, quite literal in its name as that is what it was. A disused factory with the club, predominantly, being the open plan office section that sat above it. Now I'm not someone to look back at this venue with rose tinted spectacles; it was too hot in summer, too cold in winter, the ladies toilets never had hot running water and on one winter night I remember the breakers popping as the heating units sucked up too much power and we nearly had to turn people away due to safety. The music was, odd. A mixture of different genres played fairly quietly over the sound system... it created this odd background drone... I suppose it'd lead some to play in a methodical and thought provoking way but I never really got on with it.
I don't think many people remember me from The Factory, true I wasn't there all the time but the nights I was were usually spent in the reception area talking to TrulySub and keeping her company until midnight when we stopped letting people in. Still, on more than one occasion I ended up sleeping on those sofa things wrapped up in a wool cloak so I can't complain too strongly. The Factory was alright. We had fun there.
But times change and I've heard several versions of the story about why The Factory was lost, they aren't my tale to tell so I'll leave them to someone else. And we end up at Eureka.
Now Eureka has it's own little story, I've heard it from a few people so it's no big secret. I can never remember if Eureka split from DV8 or DV8 from Eureka but basically the split happened because originally the swingers didn't want BDSM people onsite. So either way you look at it that's some irony right there considering DV8 hosts, amongst others, ClubFEM and Club XS whilst Eureka has o&I and usually a contingent of BDSM folks using the facilities throughout the week.
We arrived in November 2013 and I wasn't THAT impressed. The Halloween decorations were up and they were, I think most people agreed, a bit cheesy. I distinctly remember the call of "EGG AND CHIPS!" from the hatch but I also remember saying "I'd be interested in seeing what spring brings and we can make use of the grounds properly."
My involvement as one of the maids started soon after this move. Tina wasn't happy and was struggling to cope with the pace demanded, we are very similar people in that neither of us likes to feel we've let someone down or broken a promise. So whilst nobody saw it at the club... I had it when she arrived home. We'd do it together, help the club, she'd keep her word and could then bow out leaving me to do the lift & shift... maybe rope in a few others to help along the way (yeah, I'm well aware of how hard finding an actual service orientated maid is).
Issues were bound to happen, at Eureka you've two distinct groups and they both have different needs... for example, we'd wrap cutlery up before food was being cooked. It made sense from our perspective; it meant that we didn't need to fumble for things when it came time to deliver, we could present a ready bundle of knife, fork & napkin to guests. In essence it'd make our lives easier, our service 'cleaner' and more professional whilst cutting down on the trips we'd have to make.
We did it for a month and it worked quite well. The next month we were told in no uncertain terms not to do that by the Eureka staff. So we didn't until the first o&I of November 2014... and only then in small runs (3 at a time) when it really became a necessity.
o&I's musical tastes are also quite different to Eureka's. Another curiosity, the music wasn't our idea. Eureka's staff don't really know how the DJ Booths work so for a month we had an iPod hooked in to a small set of speakers; it was mainly 50's & 60's stuff. It was April (maybe May) and Ladyviel was going crazy trying to play in the main room. No music, no atmosphere. So she called on Tina to put something, anything on, it was fortunate she had a USB key with some music ready to go; she is actually a DJ so unsurprising but still fortunate as the same day she'd debated leaving them at home.
Sure a few months later we were mysteriously banned from the booth and serenaded with a broken WinAmp playlist repeating the same song 20 times (literally) and eventually Tina had to go and fix it but in-between that I'm sure my waving me arms around at the front so Tina could adjust the volume levels amused people so overall? A win.
Things kept growing, every month we had so many new faces (and lots of familiar ones). The sun was out and everyone was enjoying themselves, I'm glad I was a part of helping them have a good time. Seriously I am.
It was, I admit, deeply frustrating to see so many o&I guests enjoying themselves past the fire pit but being tethered to the club house by Vic's insistence I "don't chase after people"... I managed to negotiate my way out there a few times (some of them noticed and reprimanded some of them unseen) and it seemed that Volcanic Sparks and her little group were having a blast (and in need of jelly babies, marshmallows and such) good on them for making use of the wonderful weather.
Remember I said you've two distinct groups of people at the venue? It's here the annoyances started to pile up. Eureka aren't really geared up to do waitressing nor are they really used to having between 96 (December 2014) - 160+ (June/July 2014) people onsite at once. If I had to guess I think 40 - 50 onsite is about the normal for the Eureka people with only 20 in the club house making use of the eating area. There are two salt shakers, two pepper shakers, one bottle of ketchup, one of salad cream and one of mayonnaise (there may or may not be a bottle of brown sauce... it varies month to month). We did suggest getting more of these in but... well as December didn't see them I guess that idea wasn't acted upon.
Why? Because Eureka expects the 5 people who want food to wait at the hatch whilst its cooked, put their chosen condiments on and then head off to a table. It works for them and I'm assuming from their website it's worked quite well for a number of years. But that system falls apart when food is being brought to the table.
It quite often ended up with guests not having what they wanted because I couldn't find where the salt or other condiment had gone, I did my best and I think I found and delivered it more times than I failed but it's still irksome that I could never hit 100% success... the perfect day as it were.
We also found an odd happenstance taking place. Two people, 100+ guests. At some point multiple people are going to need the same maid to do something for them be it take empties, get condiments, deliver food, give a tour to someone. It's nice to be wanted and I still hold the record for consecutive trips up the same isle (10 in case anyone was interested) with someone adding something extra for me to do. I'm rather pleased I remembered everything and I don't think I forgot a single errand; not bad begins blowing trumpet and my little system of First In, First Out carried me through to several such minor victories.
Towards the end of the year mugs became something of an issue. Now I did suggest a solution to this problem "buy more" but Eureka didn't take me up on this and I can't figure out why with number petering out we'd start running so low when it hadn't been an issue during the more hectic summer months but on multiple occasions the Eureka people would send us out for more mugs only for us to return empty handed as they were all in use and then to be instantly sent out again on the same errand. I spotted a similar issue with plates and I couldn't tell you why as the club house in summer was just as full as it ever was and with just as many people ordering food and hot drinks.
I had some fun as well, don't get me wrong it wasn't all work work work. Like the time a ProDomme came to visit out humble little club and tried to do a bit of impromptu humiliation play on me (the usual 'putting the maid in their place' thing) and fell hook, line & sinker for my playing dumb. She made a good little table wiper she did and the laugh from everyone else in her party and the look of abject horror when she realised what she'd done warmed my bitter and twisted little heart. Bumped in to her a few times since then, she's much more polite to me now.
I had some very odd times, I became something of a counsellor and spent most of a day outside talking to a very upset Toad70 and making sure she felt Ok... I think she did in the end. Although I felt really guilty for leaving Tina to deal with everything else, sure she told me to do it and make sure Toad was Ok but that doesn't mean to say I don't feel guilty about it.
I've had some bad times, on the other hand people were impressed I didn't break bones so I think that one can kind of be seen as the silver lining on a bad day. I'm remarkably controlled apparently (I think I'm hard headed enough to double as a battering ram and run hot enough to make the Sun look cold but who am I to argue?) but it was done, dusted and the show went on quite happily just 4 short weeks later.
There have even been educational times at o&I or at least in the aftermath. Mistress_Amethyst wanted me to curtsey to her, whilst I was a bit more defensive about it than I should... I thought I was going in to a repeat of the ProDomme encounter but no just a nice lady with a thing for sissy maids. It prompted me to write about what a curtsey means, why it's used and when it's used. I think people found it interesting to see that from the submissives perspective and hopefully quite informative. As it happens the nice lady did get a curtsey from me in the end just at a different venue so all good in the end.
The one thing that truly pissed me off though? Politics. There is a definitive moment, you can tell from my posting history, where I stopped writing about o&I as far as FetLife goes, didn't post in the groups, didn't write journal entries. In fact I even had a friend delete certain comments I'd made from her post because of it. I'm a simple soul and I'll take the shortest route to a solution. So when I start getting several PM's from Vic about being careful what I say when mentioning o&I... the simplest solution is: do nothing, say nothing.
In fact this pissed me off so much that when I took the challenge to write a certain number of truths about yourself I put "I speak for myself and nobody else". Of course I made a few exceptions, the days I was onsite but not as staff... which if you think about it includes now.
I can understand why he was doing it, people associate me with the club so going around in those areas people will assume I'm representing the event when I'm not (never have), although the wording and phrasing of it all... it really did feel like I wasn't supposed to post on FetLife anymore. It's not like any of the other people who run events that I've written journals about have said anything similar.
But yeah, overall with minor annoyances and stupid politics aside I've had a good time. It's been great to see the club grow and serving there... well it's been the highlight my month for quite a while, something I've truly looked forward to doing.
I'm still going to rate Christmas 1998 higher though. That's the day the infamous picture of my curled up on the floor asleep was taken having cooked Christmas dinner for a few Dominant friends; yeah I've been maiding for THAT long so chances of me not being... well... me are pretty much nil.
So I look forward to seeing all my friends and family soon, I won't be able to see them as often as I'd like now but this isn't "Goodbye" not by a long shot if I get my way. It just means I won't be able to serve you any more.
Look after yourself and see you soon.
ex-Senior Maid, Club o&I