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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Show me the money! - Thurdays #inthelineofduty

I have so many things in my head struggling for attention. It's so crazy. I am driving and something pops up as a topic for the blog, before the end of the day, another one pops up. How do bloggers manage this? I try to calm down and save the thoughts somewhere to be processed later. Some make it; others die before they make it to the top. I think though, that the solution to this would be structure, I have to give a structure to the blog. With Fridays (#90smusic) sorted, I have a thought for Thursdays.

In my walk, I have had many interesting and not so interesting experiences. I believe sharing them would help someone feel better - like, oh so this is not peculiar to me! Yea, I felt that way yesterday when talking to my friend who's a veteran entrepreneur. He mentioned that his accounting was a hot mess for a while. I was surprised and relieved in a way at the same time. For a long time, I would dread the, "what's your monthly/annual turnover" question, because honestly I did not know! *covers face in shame* Lol, I felt like the most unserious entrepreneur on the planet.

Let’s get back to the matter at hand. Thursdays will be tagged #inthelineofduty. Whoop Whoop! Methinks we are making progress. Today, I'll share a quick story about things that the desperation for income can make you do.

The Catering Experience......

Remember when I said as an entrepreneur, you could get so desperate, you want to hawk pure water? I wasn't joking! At a point in time I got really desperate. When you are desperate, your judgment is impaired and you can't think straight. You make decisions for the short term without thinking about the consequences. I needed cash badly. I have this friend, Moji who's always throwing ideas around her head but can't run with them because she has a 9-5. Anyway, on this day I went to see her and we came up with the idea of catering for office parties. My Dad had this cook then, Joe who was very good with packaging take out Chinese amongst other things. We were fired up and agreed to get orders, supervise him and deliver packed meals for people's birthdays and stuff. You know, the office folk like to "wash" everything, Promotions, a new car, birthdays etc, this was going to be great.

At first I thought, where would I get the time, Moji was not available really, but we talked back and forth and concluded that it couldn't be that hard, shebi it is to supervise Joe, what's the big deal really. Anyway, funny thing is, two major jobs practically fell on our laps. A colleague of hers had her birthday coming up and my husband's office folk wanted to do a joint promotion declaration for about 100 people! We close marked our targets, sent in free packed samples to them and got their orders. We had 20 for Moji’s colleague, 100 for my hubby’s office.

The week before, I got Joe to break down the recipe so I could document and buy the right amount of ingredients required. When I bought the Chinese rice, I cooked a few cups to measure exactly how much we needed for 120 people. It was about 3 cups to 5 for decent portions. So I sorted my measurements and passed this on to Joe. I am an engineer at heart; we work with calculations. A lot of preparation went into getting the seasoning right and grilling the chicken in my little oven the night before. At this point, I was already thinking, what have I gotten myself into? Hehe

I went to bed, but left instructions for Joe on how many cups of rice to cook and all. Then I left him to do his thing. I had to get some sleep. That grilling chicken matter was no joke, 8 at a time! Anyways, I woke up at about 5 to get work started on the main things. I had called my sister from another mother, Kike just the night before to ask if she could come round to help, she always comes through for me. By about 8, she was already at my door! I was so happy.

As everything was going on, I went to the store room, to get something and my eyes caught the bag of rice, by my calculation, it should have been almost empty, but here it was with at least 20 cups of rice left in it. Huh! Joe, I called, why’s the rice still remaining? He goes, mummy Ibukun (I so hate to be called that by the way, but hey), rice yen ma to, o ma n wu (the rice will be okay, it will rise). I tried to argue, but if you have worked with all these Togolese or French cooks, you’ll know how temperamental they can get. Already, we were almost on a war path because Joe was sacrificing time for precision. The carrots must be this way, the courgette, that way and all this was doing my head in. We had a deadline! Who cares what shape the carrots are in the sauce, abegy!

The rice was ready around almost 10ish and we started to dish…… Lo and behold, by the 65th plate, it became obvious to us that the rice would not be okay!!!! Yeepa!! Me that I can cry, I just opened tap, straight. My brothers had come around to see how things were going. Leke, the soldier was like Sade, get a grip, think of a solution, you have to stay calm. Calm ke? How? I was just thinking, kai I have disgraced my husband, his colleagues would be like, “this your wife no serious o”. Then my friend Moji, in her office with many women, they would so laugh at her! Thank God for Kike, while I was there panicking, she had gone to mobilize Joe to put the remaining rice on fire.

As soon as it was ready, we had to mix everything together again, so they would be even. By this time I was already getting calls from my friend Moji and my hubby. Here we were still trying to pack the food far away on the mainland and we still had to get to the island in time for lunch. Heo!! Kehinde went to the estate junction to negotiate with and get a cab for me and quickly, Happiness took the 20 for Moji’s colleague straight to their office while we were still packing the 100.

We survived, but it was craaaazy! I doff my hat for caterers. There’s no need to ask if we continued with this side business, heck no!! The Joe sef now is nowhere to be found so we would have been out looking for another cook if we had.

Let the caterers be doing their catering, me I will face my Gift consulting and focus on making it work.

Life Skills Learnt
  • You can’t do all and be all. Find what you’re good at and enjoy, put your heart in it and with time (emphasis on time here!), things will work out. 
  • Catering is not for Mofolusade! (Lol)