Yesterday, being MLK Day, I was excited to work--make that money!! We were steady all day; therefore, no cuts were made, but that didn't bother me because of my full section. Tables were fine; although there were a TON of kids, but that's to be expected on such a holiday.
Well, around 3:00, I was getting restless, hungry, and a tad irritated (just because of waiting tables, not because of anything specific), when the fire alarm lights (above the actual alarm) started to blink, giving a strobe-light effect, and a low alarm began to sound. It was not loud and "alarming" but it was sounding, and then, there was The Voice: "This is an emergency, please evacuate the building in an orderly fashion." This repeated three or four times before it ceased. Not a patron moved. Nothing stopped. A few looked at me questioningly, but no one took action. At first, I figured someone pulled the alarm or that there was a "short" somewhere to set it off. Then, I went into the kitchen...
One of the sprinkler pipes in the walk-in refrigerator burst. This is what set off the alarm. A two-foot wave of ice cold water was flooding into the kitchen, being met by the FOH (front-of-the-house) managers, armed with squeegees, sending it down the nearest drain. Water did NOT flood into the dining room (FOH), but it did create such a mess that we HAD to evacuate.
People were NOT that concerned. My table just happened to be the last to leave. They had just received their food minutes before the clusterfuck, and refused boxes when I told them of the chaos. They sat, they ate (kinda-quickly), and paid, but they did take more time than everyone else. Whatever. I told them they could sit until they saw water pouring from the kitchen. I didn't care. So, we had to clean up as if we were closing, but because cuts weren't made, the process went quickly. During the next hour we obviously had patrons try to come in, and I was by the door, so I had to break the news. Most were concerned about the restaurant, one man was pissed he had driven thirty miles (I told him to go to the bookstore down the street for an hour and hopefully we'd be up-and-running by then...small glimmers of hope...). I can't lie, a part of me secretly (or not-so-secretly) enjoyed telling people we weren't serving food...what can I say??
Off tomorrow...double Thursday.