Behind the Scenes – Working with Sexmästeriet

Thursday two weeks ago, LundaEkonomerna arranged a committee mingle at EC where most committees showed visitors (mostly new members of Lundaekonomer) what they had to offer. I stood at Nådiga Lundtan’s table with a bowl of candy and a bunch of magazines. Next to me stood Sexmästeriet, who not only had a bowl of candy but a fancy tablecloth, a competition and lots of balloons at their table. According to LundaEkonomerna’s webpage Sexmästeriet is “LundaEkonomerna’s operating force in social activities”. If you have ever been to a sitting, perhaps the Novice Gala, Visboken or the Winter Ball, you have seen them. They are the ones in white shirts serving your food and standing behind the bar.

At the committee mingle, Sexmästeriet had printed interest forms where members of LundaEkonomerna could fill in that they wanted to work with the crew. After only a couple of hours, the pile was gone and more had to be printed. One force behind this extreme interest was the very energetic tremästare (tremästare is the vice project leader of Sexmästeriet) Elin Vängbo. She is also the reason to why I find myself outside AF-borgen two weeks later, ready to work with Sexmästeriet for my very first time.

It has been three weeks since the novice week (which I wrote about here) ended at it’s finally time for the novices to transform into real LundaEkonomer: it is time for the Novice Gala. I walk up the stairs and into the big hall. There, I meet the ones who have been working during the day. They look exhausted but excited! All tables are set in long fine rows and not a single glass stands out of line. Vice headwaiter Eric looks very pleased.

I go and change to a white, oversized shirt with Sexmästeriet’s logo on the back. Everyone is running around doing different things. I realize that I will probably be standing up all night and decide to join the workers (called hjältar (heroes) by Sexmästeriet) who are sitting at a table and gossip while fixing the snaps.

There are 440 sitting guests at the party and we are 28 workers. The headwaiter and vice headwaiter, Anna and Eric, are having a briefing regarding the dinner. I am, together with my co-worker Ebba, responsible for table L. We notice that we have three vegetarians and one gluten intolerant who need extra careful treatment. Or at least their food does. Then we bring out the appetizers, tasty-looking Caesar salads (of course two vegetarian versions and one with gluten free bread!).

Out in the foyer, vice head bartender Sofia, is getting help filling up glasses with sparkling wine. When I look outside the window I see the guests arrive, looking fabulous in dresses and suits with details inspired by The Great Gatsby, which is the theme of the evening. The party is about to begin!

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Workers pouring up sparkling wine. Photo by Hanna Rasmusson.

As the guests mingle with their pre-drinks, us workers either mingle with them or hide in a room in the back, where we have access to lots of soda, candy and fruit. In the pause, after the appetizer, we bring in all the used plates, fill up the water bottles and prepare for the main dish.

As the guests sit down again Ebba and I put out bowls of potatoes, carrots and sauce on the table. Then I serve pork tenderloin from a silver tray. When I am almost done with my side of the table I feel something wet on my stomach. Apparently the meat juice has dripped all over my shirt. Not very comfortable but at least I did not drip on the guests. During dinner we go back to our little hang out room and play table tennis on a table using cans of Red Bull as net.

I look for tremästare Elin. She is a little bit stressed but I stop her and ask her some questions. The best thing about being tremästare, she says, is definitely meeting and working with so many wonderful people! She believes that there are many reasons for LundaEkonomer to work with Sexmästeriet, the most important one being having fun! You get the chance to get to know plenty of funny LundaEkonomer, work close with the members of Sexmästeriet, “we are very cosy”, but it is also a good way to learn new skills and get into the union. I also ask her what the most difficult part of being tremästare is:

“Definitely to wash the worker’s shirts. It doesn’t matter how much Vanish I use, some stains simply do not want to disappear!”

Whoever I ask, the workers say that the main reason of why they work with Sexmästeriet is, just as Elin says, to hang out with the other workers and have fun.

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The crew of the evening. Photo by Hanna Rasmusson.

Main dish is done and it is pause again. We carry in all the empty plates before it’s time for dessert. As they eat their mud cake, we get some delicious pizza to ease our hunger.

Before the dinner is completely over it is time for us workers to have our five seconds of fame. We run up on the stage and dance while singing “sex, sex, sex on the beach”. The sitting is then officially over and we have about one and a half hour to get things ready for the after party. We clean and dismantle the tables, brush the floor and start building the Red Bull bar. Elin hands out a schedule showing what each of us workers are going to do during the evening. My first hour is to clean up in the big hall, where the dance floor and Red Bull bar is. But since it is the first hour there is barely anything to clean up. I stand together with some other workers and watch people dance.

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Tremästare Elin Vängbo together with workers on the stage. Photo by Ellen Carlsson Hanse.

As the hour is moving towards its end I look at the schedule. It says “chill/dance” for my next hour. I start with getting myself some soda and candy and rest my legs backstage. Then I go mingle with some friends and hang in the entrance. Time flies and it is time for my third hour, which I am going to spend behind the bar. I serve drinks to the happy costumers. This hour is the one that passes fastest since you are busy the entire time. My last hour is cleaning up in the foyer and making sure there is water poured up in plastic glasses.

As the clock hits 03:00 the party is over! We carry out the trash, dismantle the Red Bull bar (you can probably guess by my very frequent mentioning of the bar that it is not very beloved by Sexmästeriet and the workers since it is very heavy and unwieldy) and clean up everything. The night at AF-borgen is over. I think the rest of the workers agree with me when I say I had an amazing night.

Are you interested in working with Semästeriet? I thought so! You can find the contact details on lundaekonomerna.se.

Malkolm Wester

Editor

Editor of Nådiga Lundtan and currently studying the Bachelors program in Business Administration and Economics at LUSEM.

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