One thing you must learn early on as a Caterer & Party Rental Company is what “Party Anxiety” is. I coined the term over 3 decades ago, so I can stay Zen — and to train my staff to stay Zen when a client starts freaking out and getting anxious without an apparent cause.
One recent order was the impetus for me to finally write a blog about “Party Anxiety” after so long.
Cheryl calls me last night at 9:15 pm, which was Friday, June 12th, 2020. She already sounds anxious and out of breath and wants to know if I could deliver tables and chairs for a party at her home tomorrow. I was driving and told her I would call her when I get to the office. At 10 pm we finalize the order with a credit card payment, and we agreed on a noon delivery time.
For a point of reference: All of our party rental orders are delivered on Friday for Saturday and we do not deliver on Saturdays since we are normally busy catering. We do not give delivery times. We tell our clients to leave the yard open in case they are not home when we arrive, that way they can enjoy their day. In this particular instance, I did not even mention the policy to Cheryl. Being in the midst of a Pandemic, business is not as busy as normal, so we have been much more flexible with last-minute orders and minimums.
At 9:30 am on Saturday, Cheryl calls me and asks if I could come early and I agreed and loaded the truck with her tables and chairs. On the way at 10:30 am, her daughter Carol calls me from her Mom’s phone and asks me why am I delivering now and not sticking to the agreed-upon time which was noon. I respond that your Mom asked me to come early, and check in with her. After some banter, we hang up and her Mom calls me and explains how stressful the whole process has been. I agree to turn around, go back to the shop, and deliver at noon.
That stressful feeling is party anxiety.
My advice for those suffering from party anxiety is as follows: breathe deeply, plan properly, and trust that all will work out because most times it does. Parties are about rejoicing with those you love, renewing lost friendships, and creating new ones. Trust the process and then enjoy your party!