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HarvestBall
jwg

Our careers as food service workers

This weekend is NEFFA (the New England Folk Festival) which takes place at the Mansfield MA Middle and High Schools. Our LCFD dance groups run a food booth there (we've done it for quite a few years) whose profits go to the dance groups.

It is Italian food. We sell penne with or without meatballs (or vegan meatballs) and tomato, pesto, or butter sauce; salad; cookies and muffins; scones; (matzos since it was Pesach); teas, coffees, iced tea, and lemonade; hardboiled eggs; fruit cup; yogurt and probably something else I forgot. We use the school cafeteria and kitchen for the cooking. There are other groups selling food. Last year we made about $7,000; this year as of mid-saturday we'd used more food than last year for the whole weekend. It'll be a while before we know how much we really made.

rsc is the volunteer coordinator. About 30 people work there with Chris and Sam (who among other things is a summer camp chef) are the main honchos and cooks and work all hours. Other people work for 3 hours of more. We each did about 10 hours. Workers get to choose which dance groups get their share (proportional to the number of hours worked) get their profits.

It is lots of fun. I'd say everyone has a pretty good time doing it. There's lots of laughter, smiles, and chit chat with customers. We're a popular booth because of our character (family values are important), the food and the fact that we are a dance group instead of something else. I'd certainly not want to do it for a living but once a year is fine.

We worked from setup at 3:30 0n Friday until shutdown at 11 pm. I got to do three contra dances that night. Today (Saturday) we danced all day and worked from 7:30 PM to shutdown. Tomorrow we have a concert so can't work there. Which is a good thing since my feet are tired and as soon as I finish this I'm going to bed.

There was a gender role free English Country Dance session this morning (and a grf Contra tomorrow that we will miss). With a couple of exceptions at the other dance sessions I always danced with another guy and a couple of times when I danced with a women we switched roles. When we first started doing going to straight dances ~10 years ago there seemed to be some resistance by some men, but that is absent now. It is fun flirting with the straight boys and one of the things about contra dancing is there is lots of eye contact.

Until next year.... And meanwhile next weekend is LCFD dance camp.

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the only times I was in a volunteer food service situation was in the late 70s, St Barnabas' church (where I was interning) ran a fish and chip stand at the Western [Ontario] Fair. They made heaps of money on the ten-day run of the fair, but I never got to work in the kitchen. Turned out I was one of the few people not intimidated by a till or by cash, so I took orders and cash and drove a cash register and made change.

glad you enjoyed it (and got at least SOME dancing in)

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