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SQL Saturday Boston #sqlsat203 Coffee Lessons


April 19, 2013 by Mike Hillwig

If there is any one thing I screwed up with SQL Saturday Boston, it was the coffee. And you never want to mess with someone’s morning joe.

A few days before our event, I called the Dunkin’ Donuts nearest our venue and ordered 20 boxes of Joe and 15 dozen donuts. That was supposed to be enough for our event.

Saturday morning rolled around, and I walked into that Dunkin Donuts to make sure everything was in order. Needless to say, I was beyond shocked and horrified when I learned they didn’t have our order. I called a few more Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the area only to realize that nobody had our order.  And to make matters worse, the number of the location I called wasn’t on my phone–I had called in the order from my office phone. With the belief that someone had lost our coffee order, we ordered another 20 boxes of Joe and another 15 dozen donuts.

The whole order wouldn’t be ready for another 30 minutes, so we had our volunteers retrieve what was ready. That’s when my phone rang. It was the Dunkin’ Donuts in Harvard Square, telling me that our coffee and donuts were ready. It turns out I had ordered our coffee from the wrong location! We now had twice the coffee and donuts we needed. We sent another set of volunteers to Harvard Square to get the coffee and donuts.

In the confusion of where we were getting the coffee and donuts, we forgot to send our volunteers back to the Kendall Square location to get the rest of the coffee and donuts we (re)ordered.

In retrospect, it’s kind of funny. And we had a budget contingency for just such emergencies. Somehow, it was a hidden blessing. We had plenty of donuts, and we didn’t throw out a lot of coffee. Lesson learned: Make sure you document which location you get something from. That number will be important later.  If that’s the biggest thing we messed up that day, we must have done something right.