Good morning my dears and it’s lovely to chat with you again. I am somewhat exhausted today, but no doubt I’ll recover in a couple of days. I’m sure you remember that when we last spoke, I was worried about the number of acts that were supposed to be performing at the Talent Contest last evening. I felt that no more than sixteen separate performances would be possible, yet Gordon had 32 names on his list. Frankly with that number of acts I was more than a little concerned.
Gordon had managed to perfect his disappearing act again and I was unable to find him anywhere in the building. However, I remembered that in my phone memory there was a number listed for the manager, in case of emergencies. After trying that number a couple of times it was finally answered by Gordon himself, who tried to convince me that he was in his office, until I pointed out that I was, in fact, sitting in his chair at that precise moment.
I suggested that it would be a good idea to have a little chat about the talent contest and the huge number of acts taking part. He muttered a little into the phone and then agreed to meet with me at the coffee shop. I thought that if we were there, folk couldn’t buttonhole us quite as easily as in Gordon’s office. Half-an-hour later Gordon and I were ensconced at a discreet table at the back of The Roasted Bean. Yes, my dear, I had a hot chocolate as usual and Gordon had a “flat white” – it just looked like a coffee with milk to me!!
I took the bull by the horns and asked Gordon how he proposed to host a talent contest with 32 acts. He looked a little sheepish and said that he was going to say that each act had a maximum of two minutes to perform! I pointed out that he couldn’t change the rules – whatever they were – without notice. He commented that he was going to tell the singers they could just sing one verse of whatever song they were performing. Yet again I said that he couldn’t do that. The children had been practising for a couple of weeks and wouldn’t understand the change of plan.
I asked him if he had any other ideas and eventually, after going a beetroot shade of red he admitted that he had planned on using the fire alarm to empty the building. I listened to him and was absolutely horrified that his lack of organisation would lead him to consider such a thing.
After a while, he asked me if I could suggest anything. I said I thought that there was a way it could be resolved – it wasn’t ideal, but better than his suggestions. So, we spent the rest of the afternoon glued to our phones and sending emails to the 17 acts that really couldn’t be accommodated during the evening. By pure fluke there were fifteen acts with young people under sixteen, including the little school choirs. That left the 17 adult performers who we contacted to say that as there had been so much interest in the talent contest, we were allowing them extra time to rehearse before the performance which would now be held on Saturday, 7th September. We explained that we understood they would be disappointed that it had been postponed, but as a little gesture of goodwill the manager of our complex (Gordon) would be offering three extra prizes – £100, £50 and £25 – to the three acts the audience enjoyed the most. This was in addition to the prizes which would be given to the competitors who came first, second and third in the eyes of the judges.
Gordon wasn’t overjoyed to be putting his hand in his pocket, but tough – this way was the best I could think of at short notice. The children would have their contest as planned and the winners would be announced at the end of that contest, with them coming back on the 7th September to claim their prizes.
I just had time to change into a smart skirt and top before the audience arrived. There was a huge turnout of folk and the lounge was absolutely packed. Gordon went onto the stage immediately, and explained about the change of plan. He said that it was because of all the interest the contest had generated. Everyone seemed to be quite happy about it. Well, my dear, they would be – more raffle tickets would be handed out at the second performance.
I ended up marshalling the little ones on and off the stage when they had sung their piece, and made sure that all the younger children performed before the interlude. After the tea break and raffle, the older children – they were aged eleven to fifteen, did their performances and then the judges announced the winners. It was 10.30 pm before everyone had finished chattering, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
At the end of the evening quite a few people went up to Gordon and thanked him for the way it had been organised and the great idea of splitting the contest into two parts!! Anyway, it could have been so much worse. Some of the adults who will be taking part in the contest came last night and cheered the children on, which was lovely to see.
I still don’t like Gordon – his ideas for dealing with a tricky situation were underhand and downright dangerous. If the fire alarm had been raised there could have been an accident with folk rushing around. Of course, the fire officers may well have been needed elsewhere and a setting off a false alarm here may have caused a tragedy in another part of the village.
Well, my dear, I must have a little rest this afternoon. I am rather tired and need to have a quiet day. I will be back soon with an update – As Always
With Love – Jan xx