Tableware woes.Posted: January 10, 2013
After what seemed like forever, we finally have catering and tableware out of the way!
Who knew looking for tableware to rent would be such a pain?
I don’t think it should’ve been that difficult to find, but because we had invested time, energy, and most of all HOPE in a vendor that was first recommended to us but later proved to be a pain in the arse, the whole quest started off on bad footing. It was my good friend’s cousin who used this particular vendor for her wedding (she had hired CJS too, which was a plus point) and she had no problems working with him, so I was thankful thinking we were spared the arduous search.
Boy, was I wrong.
This time, it was Faz who was tasked with the liaison. I suppose alarm bells should’ve started ringing the first few calls he made, because the guy — we’ll call him Mr I from hereon — obviously hadn’t registered our enquiry at all. Even on the third call he was still getting our event date wrong.
But we persevered with Mr I because at the time we hadn’t bothered to look for other options. I mean, he was a recommendation after all. Recommendations are supposed to be good, no?
It took us something like three months to make an appointment with him to view his inventory, as well as discuss prices. Although we were anxious to meet him, we were quite forgiving of this fact because he had told us upfront that he would be very busy.
Our appointment with Mr I was at 9pm on a fateful Wednesday, at his warehouse in Sungei Kadut. As we were driving to the place, we realised his office was literally in the bowels of the Sungei Kadut industrial area.
Let me tell you something: SUNGEI KADUT AT 9PM IS NOT FUNNY OK.
The place was really dark and deserted, save for a couple of foreign construction workers walking on the roadside. Simply put, it just wasn’t welcoming lah. I was half-expecting to see zombies emerge, which I imagine would’ve forced us out of the car, and into the industrial junkyards where we would look for weapons we could use to puncture their brains.
(Ok, ok I admit I’ve been watching too much of The Walking Dead. I’ve been suffering from withdrawal symptoms since December last year because the next Season 3 episode will only air this February! )
So when we finally found the place, which by the way looks like this…
…we gave Mr I a call. Guess what, he wasn’t even in and told us quite unapologetically that he wouldn’t be able to make it!
He did mildly amuse us though when he told us we could go into his warehouse to look around — on our own! If I’d known, I would’ve come with a huge ass lorry and take off with all his tableware!
I don’t know why Faz bothered sounding civil despite Mr I’s blatant lack of courtesy. He was in fact so pissed that he just wanted to leave. I was pissed too but was by the same token desperate, so I urged him to just go in and take a look. After all, we were already there.
So we parked the car, first made sure the dogs lying around didn’t flinch at our presence (good doggies!), and entered the first open door we saw. Apparently we entered the wrong room, because it was a roomful of foreign nationals sawing wood. We went round mentioning Mr I’s name but no one seemed to comprehend what in God’s vast universe we were saying. Eventually we came across a Bangladeshi who could speak Malay, and he led us to the correct room next door.
Mr I’s inventory proved that he was at least legit. He did have everything we needed under one roof: tableware, portable sinks (a Grassroots Club requirement for washing), kendarat and dishwashers. But seeing as to how unreliable Mr I was, we knew we had no choice but to look for other alternatives if we didn’t want to be let down — especially on The Day!
God, what an awful experience.
Our search proved that looking for tableware to rent wasn’t as easy as we thought. Some caterers outsource their tableware themselves. Some are not willing to supply tableware to a club because of the club “restrictions” (we didn’t see what restrictions there were, but we didn’t bother asking them to elaborate). Others just didn’t sound interested — I assume it’s because we’re basically a small fry to them.
Then I chanced upon Sham Enterprise, our saviour, online. I don’t remember which combination of search terms I googled — I must’ve tried 101 combinations, I think!
Got a same-day email response from them, which was good. Upon enquiry, they had everything we needed, which was fantastic. On the morning of our appointment, we received an SMS confirmation of our meeting again, which was superb! So we met them, got a quotation, went back and did our own calculation, and concluded that the packaged deal they were offering, which included tableware, portable sinks, dishwashers and kendarat, was value for money.
Both Faz and I felt that we could trust them although we had no reviews to base them on. They were nice people, who shared with us that they’ve been more than 10 years in the wedding business, but mostly work with wedding planners — which is why you don’t see them at wedding expos. They seemed genuine enough and were not pushy, which allowed us to be at ease.
It didn’t take much convincing, really. We went back another day to take them up on their offer, which then allowed us to make our deposit with CJS Catering.
Lucky thing we called CJS when we did — they were about to hike their prices, and omit one food item from their wedding package! We’re really looking forward to the complimentary food tasting for 10 pax, which we’ll probably schedule somewhere in March, during his birthday week. Coincidentally he shares the same birthday as my brother. It’ll be like a mini celebration!
The issue of tableware was giving us a lot of grief, but we can finally move on to other things with peace of mind now, Alhamdulillah.