August 1, this past Saturday… we knew we’d be busy.
It was the all-star Shriner’s game, with kick-off at 1 o’clock. We’re only two-blocks from the stadium, so at exactly 1-minute after we opened the doors, we were busy. In our first hour of being open, we did our normal lunch sales. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t schedule a back-up kitchen guy and was running around as if my hair were on fire.
Norris arrived at noon, and apologized for ordering a sandwich prior to getting there. WHAT! That was YOUR pain-in-the-butt sandwich I just had to make? Grrrrr. 🙂 We ended up having a huge late lunch crowd, and by the time our PM crew showed up at 3 o’clock, they were looking at me with huge eyes and dropped jaws while surveying the disaster that was our dining room and kitchen.
“No time to explain,” I said. “We’ve got exactly one hour to get this place cleaned up and ready for tonight.”
We barely finished getting stocked and ready for the night.
We had a few reservations for large groups (who all pre-ordered: THANK YOU!), and then one lady who called wanting to make a reservation for 38 people.
Um. No. We only seat 49 in our dining room, and there’s no way we’ll reserve the entire restaurant for that many people. She ordered pizzas anyway, figuring that they could always eat outside or on the bus; they were a group visiting for the Shriner’s All-Star football game.
So at 4:30, we began hustling for the upcoming orders. We had 14 Giant pies due at 5:30, and began par-baking them to be sure that the timing would be right. Of course, once we plan to be perfect, life gets in the way.
BAM! The phone started ringing, and customers began filing in. The football game was over, and we had some hungry & thirsty customers wanting food NOW.
After initial shock and confusion, we decided that Whitey would work on the call-in orders and I’d hustle the in-house tickets. It worked out really well until the front gals yelled back that they were out of cups. And forks. And pitchers. And plates….
I didn’t want JC to leave the ovens (he’s the best), and Norris was backing him and the make line up – so Norris jumped in my place and I ran to the dish hole. I don’t know that I’ve ever moved so fast back there, motivated by the fact that our new biodegradable paper plates are 7-cents a piece, and that I didn’t want to waste money using them or using to-go paper cups. Cheap, I know, but it made me move faster than usual.
I reached into the sink to grab another plate, and #@*#! ARGHHHHH! Someone had thrown a knife in the water (a huge no-no) and it sliced open my pointer finger. I was furious. There was no point in asking “Who threw the knife in the dish sink?” because it wasn’t going to fix anything. Instead, I made a point to yell towards the rest of the crew that I was off dishes for the night because of what had happened. Considering that it was Mount Dishmore back there, I’m sure it came across just as ominous that I wouldn’t be pulling my weight on dishes for the rest of the night.
I went into the office to bandage my wound, and it would not.stop.bleeding. I finally had to take an eye patch gauze and use packing tape to adhere it to my finger.
Just then, I heard KC begin to start playing out in the dining room..
One of my favorite musicians of all time, KC Flynn had agreed to play at our restaurant that night.
If you haven’t ever heard KC, you’re missing out. He’s got a voice that is like Dave Matthews/Frank Sinatra/Randy Travis all rolled into one.
Someone yelled into the office that the front needed help, so I left the office, walked past the make line and towards the front and then again: #@*#! ARGHHHHHHHH! Tears sprang from my eyes before I even knew what hit me.
I was on the ground, my knee still touching the puddle of liquid that was on the floor, my foot twisted out behind my leg and my ankle showing a gorgeous color of purple.
This was no ordinary sprain. The softball of tissue was apparent within seconds, and I struggled to compose myself. Front gal came from around the corner and her eyes went wide.
“Omigod,” she said. “What can I do? Oh no!”
I clenched my teeth and said, “Get some towels and wipe up the floor so that no one else mutilates themselves tonight.”
It took a good five minutes to be able to pull myself up and hop back to my office.
And because I’m a good blogger, I took photos:
I know. Sexy shoes. I get that all of the time.
Is that the most horrific ankle photo ever?
Yes. It is.
So while our standing-room-only dining room was singing Jason Mraz with KC, his wife (who studied pre-med) was tending to my ankle with a bag of ice and a tin of Thai salve that smelled like spoiled minty & moldy black tea.
I decided to make the best of it, and propped myself up on a small table towards the back to enjoy the show. The larger groups of people lingered awhile after dinner, then left all at once which ended up making the dining room much more comfortable.
I noticed quite a few local business owners who were enjoying dinner and music – a few of which I have only seen a few times at Paizano’s. I know how hard it is to get away from work when you’re the owner, and to choose to spend their free time at our place made my heart happy (but did nothing for my ankle).
As the night began to mellow out, KC played some of my favorite songs. Here’s a snippet of one:
The video is from my camera phone, so the quality isn’t amazing… but you can see what a talent he is. I even admitted to his wife that I was totally crushing on him. There’s something about a rockstar. 🙂
The next day, I was confined to the La-Z-Boy downstairs in the man-cave, watching bad TV on the DVR. Hell’s Kitchen. Desperate Housewives. Even Heroes. I iced my ankle for 20-minutes, then wrapped it for 30-minutes over and over again for 12-hours straight. It didn’t feel any better by the end of the night.
So I went in for XRays today and was told that it is a severely sprained ankle. My doc put my ankle in a brace, told me to NOT WALK ON IT (yeah, right), and then offered pain meds. Nah. I don’t do well on pills, and besides, I’m hoping to get back to work by Wednesday. Work + Vicodin = Not a Good Idea.
All in all, a great weekend except for my injury. I’m just thankful it didn’t happen while Norris had tonsilitis, or JC was showing animals at the fair. We can only be one (wo)man down at any given time, because we really are understaffed.
C’est la vie.