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My career as a food service worker...

This weekend was the occasion of the New England Folk Festival (61st annual). It takes place at the Natick High School. The large gym is used mostly for Contra Dance and English Country dance, the small gym downstairs for additional dancing, there is an Auditorium for performances and many other rooms for other activities. Morris and sword dancers perform in the courtyard (the weather was great); there are crafts sales, other folk activities, and a bunch of food booths. The event has ~1500 volunteers ranging from musicians to floor sweepers and I don't know how many 1000s of attendees. Neffa Food Booth
The dancing is great - excellent callers and bands doing their best - and lots of smiling participants. We had lots of fun but were completely exhausted from the dancing and the labor below.

This year as several years in the past Lavender Country & Folk Dancers and Boston Gay & Lesbian Dancers operated a food booth. Our ethnicity was Italian - we served pasta with marinara sauce with or without meat of veggie meat balls, salad, hot dogs, meatball subs, lemonade and iced tea. We had about 30 volunteers doing the work. Chris Ricciotti (pictured behind the cut), our Queen Mum, was head chef and manager, rsc was volunteer coordinator.

rsc and I went out Friday afternoon to help setup. Among other things I chopped onions and cut lemons into wedges for about an hour with a not very sharp knife. We helped cleanup on Sat night and Sunday afternoon. ChrisOn Sunday I was the food server at lunch time, Robert did it earlier as can be seen in the picture above; it was very busy and I was pretty efficient. I only dropped the butter ladle once (yes I had it washed). When I replaced by latex gloves, I didn't realize that the box I was using had mediums in it and with my clammy hands I wasted about 5 gloves on my right hand because I couldn't get it all the way on (I should have been in the OJ Simson trial). Then Chris pointed out that right below the box of mediums was a box of larges!

We bought too much food, didn't charge enough (we upped the prices on Saturday night) and thus didn't make as much money as we could have. Also the menu was much too complicated, large and small pastas with/ or without 3 or 4 meatballs; large and small salads with umpteen combo specials; single or double hot-dogs, and 3 sizes of drinks...It kept the cashier busy. (I did some of that too). I guess I'll have take a more active role in the business management side of this for next time; (so what's new?).

I'm glad that my career was in something else other than food service!

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Who is the Morris dancer in the first picture? Do you (or does Dean) know what team he dances for?

My friend Jim and his daughter Gretchen were at NEFFA. I would have told them to look you up had I know in advance what a key part of the weekend you would be playing.

I don't actually remember him, and I might not have known who he was anyway (I don't know everybody at NEFFA). In fact, if jwg hadn't pointed it out, I wouldn't have realized that was me serving him.

Ace icon. Awww, you two.

I had a similar problem with the gloves, except that somebody pointed it out while I was destroying my first one.

I'm glad to hear how that went! All questions of money aside, I think it's significant and good that there WAS a booth at all... again. Visibility is a great companion to fundraising. Wish I could have been there.

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