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The Job No One Wanted

Updated on July 5, 2022

Dog's Body

Because no one wanted to take on the task, they asked Alice.

Alice was the go-to person for all matters that lacked celebrity. She could write the speeches others gave, draft the laws others piloted through the House, set appointments, attend pre-conference meetings, but never stand on a podium or have her photo in the newspaper.

As no one wanted to spend their time constructing the Awards Ceremony, though everyone wanted to be the Master of Ceremonies or the Guest Presenter, Alice was put in charge of ‘arrangements’ including the banquet which would follow.

The Awards

The Awards Ceremony was a yearly event. Lots of people would be handed some item, a certificate or plaque or statue, say a few words, then take their seats.

Looking at the list, Alice noted the number of awards before the major presentation and realized that no particular order need be followed.

Many awards were "in-house," who got them and who gave them was not the point of the evening; that was reserved for the major award.

The major Award would be presented by the most important member of the organization to a world famous celebrity. The celebrity would make a short acceptance speech then be escorted to the banquet held in an adjacent room.

Considering time & money Alice arranged the ceremony to begin at 5:00 pm, the dinner at 6:00. The organization could pay the hotel for just three hours, keeping well under budget.

Timing was vital. The room in which the Awards would be presented had long been booked from 6:30 to 8:30 for a lodge meeting. The Banquet hall expected to hold an anniversary celebration scheduled to begin at 8:30.

Hence to end the Award Ceremony just past 6:00 and complete the dinner no before 8:00 was vital.

How It Was Done

Alice set the time so tight that it would force her group had to be out of the 'Award' room and into the banquet hall within the established time. There could be no acceptance speeches. Beyond a thank you the Awardees had to be on and off the platform as quickly as possible.

The Banquet had to begin at 6 and end before 8.

Alice told her various 'superiors' that as they were 'highly disciplined' they could hold to the strict timetable.

Now came Alice's real artistry; she selected the people she particularly despised and set their awards to be bestowed between 5:00 - 5:15. Those she only disliked would follow in order of her opprobrium. The few people who had not insulted her over the years would be set just before the final award.

This is because Alice knew the penchant of her 'people' to always be late. Hence, being told 5:00 would mean they would arrive by 5:20 at the earliest. Hence, there was no worry of acceptance speeches, the awardees wouldn't be present.

At 4:58 pm the television cameras were in place, the awards on the table in carefully designed order. Of course the chosen Master of Ceremonies was not on spot. Alice had foreseen this.

Gingerly she took the podium, nodded at the camera, went into welcoming those who were present and without pause began announcing the Awards bestowed on those who had not as yet arrived.

Aware they weren't in the room, she said:

"We are recognizing the contribution of (Name) for (Activity), of (Name) for (Activity)", on and on in such a manner it flowed seamlessly.

She went through the list getting rid of all those she really despised, moving up to those she disliked, keeping her eyes on the audience.

As one arrived, she announced the Award, smiled, and as the Awardee approached and was handed the Award, she immediately went on to another winner before this one could clear her throat.

The chosen M.C. had now arrived and was glowering from the wings. Alice introduced her and came from the podium.

The chosen M.C. was handed the list and obviously confused by the columns. It was clear to everyone in the room that the M.C. had no idea who won what. This humiliated the M.C.

Then it was time for the main award and Guest Presenter came to the stage. The Celebrity rose to receive her accolade. It was 5:41.

A brief acceptance speech was made, applause, and the Celebrity was escorted to the Banquet Hall.

The television crew packed to leave. The room was empting and one of the 'superiors' requested Alice ensure all late arrivals got their awards.

Alice took this task with great pleasure and amusement, joyous at having preventing their fifteen seconds of fame

Taking Her Bow

It was inescapable, but Alice had to be commended.

She had run the presentation smoothly and brief. There was no embarrassing delay caused by the absence of the Awardees for how cleverly Alice moved the ceremony forward.

Alice took the kudos with humility. She also relished the angry glowers from those who arrived after their award was presented.

Smiling ever so shyly she looked into the angry faces, telling herself how well done it all had been and, alas, this was probably the last time she would be given such a task.


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