In Life!, Work Series on November 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm

“Who wouldn’t want a career where life is one big party?” Woohoo! BUT, what people don’t realize is that it’s more organization than dancing around eating cake and saying “Isn’t this fun?”
Since we at Obsolete When All Are Employed seek to dispel any disillusionment between theory and reality, adding to the list of overrated jobs is: Event Planner.
As part of my job, I plan events, parties, and meetings – part glorified secretary, part leader and coordinator, and part liaison between those who really know what’s going on with those that don’t. Oh yeah, and part self-therapist to deal with the stress with the above.
Now, event planning in real life, and especially for a financial institution, is not like bringing a few kegs to a party and putting on some Lady Gaga music. Firstly, we hardly serve alcohol. Secondly, we need to be extremely organized. And thirdly, we need to be extremely organized and act as HOUND DOG to those who aren’t and can’t follow through with promises.
Below I highlight the key difference between college and real world:
-Kegs ( I don’t drink so fruit punch too)
-Good music
-Mass email notification (it doesn’t matter if people you invite actually come, as long as someone does and talks about it the next day)
-Dress sexy (when you turn off the light it doesn’t matter)
-Decorate (again, only if you plan on not turning the lights off)
-Food that won’t make people puke

Real World:
-Registration (table, list, alphabetizing, etc.)
-Name Tags for VIP LIST
-Leis (Hawaii people love this)
-A real menu (that means calling catering services and bargaining)
-Parking validation coverage (people drive in the real world)
-Letters, cards, and emails (they like feeling important)
-RSVPS (actually getting them back and ON TIME so you can make your list of attendees)
-Decorations (gotta order the balloons and flower design)
-Gifts (you might think it’s fun, but it’s not really for you so it’s about 40 percent fun. Also mostly mugs, duffel bags, and letter openers)
-Coordinating with catering, your boss, your coworkers, your volunteers (can be more talk than help)
-Sending volunteer notification
-Award certificates signed by the right people

… could keep naming about 30 plus more things to do but you get the picture.

And in the real world, there are more consequences if your event fails – just ask a Wedding Planner, they’ll tell you.

But the question for today is: Is it a personality thing? Can work actually be a party? If you have any advice or comments, I’m glad to hear it. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the Final List of attendees from a liaison. And dealing with a last minute broken promise from my coworker to follow up on parking validation. WOMP WOMP.

Obsolete When All Are Employed

  1. Very true. I am not completely please with my last profession. Although I am detailed oriented, extremely time accountable, and able to hand large amounts of stress, wedding planning is difficult. I agree that event planning is overrated. Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks Dani! I’m glad you liked the article. Since you are a wedding planner, I thought you could relate, and we are happy you are commenting. The event last night was a success and many people liked it but it is so frustrating when people that you rely on give you things last minute or get credit for work that you did. I have one person is mind that I shall not name but you know how it is. Life is unfair.

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