I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

Have you ever been at work when something happens that requires the call for an ambulance or fire truck? It doesn’t happen often and of course we hope that it never does, but occasionally, shit happens and you gotta bring in some emergency medical technicians who are gonna get all up in your space. When I was working at Bennigan’s we had an occurrence that ended up with a lady being carted away in an ambulance. It was many years ago at my first ever waiting job. The main thing I remember about that place is that I wore suspenders and had buttons and crap all over me. We were encouraged to be unique in our “flair” so I pulled out my sewing machine and made my own aprons and then started charging people $5.00 to make them one if they would supply the fabric. Anyhoo, the details of that job are a blur, but I do recall this event.

The restaurant was your typical Bennigan’s with a big tiled foyer where the host stood and handed out crayons and balloons and whatever else the crap we had to pass out to our tables. The tiles had a tendency to get slippery if it rained or if we spilled food or sodas on them. People were always slip sliding their asses all over the place there. I don’t know why we didn’t just throw a mat on the floor or something, but I guess that was too much effort for the managers. One day, the inevitable happened. A lady fell. An old lady. A really old lady. A really old lady fell really hard onto a really hard floor. I was shocked, horrified and amused all at the same time. Call me an asshole, but if someone falls I can’t help but think it’s the funniest thing ever. Seriously, I can watch America’s Funniest Home Videos and laugh my ass off every time they show a bride running through a haze of celebratory rice and she trips on her veil and face plants into a sidewalk. The shit is funny. When the old lady hit the Bennigan’s floor, the manager rushed over to assess the situation. Of course he wanted to cover his ass and make sure the floor didn’t have a big puddle of honey mustard on it that she slipped in. But the floor was miraculously dry. Could it be that Senior Citizen Sally just lost her balance due to missing her blood pressure medication? Could he be that lucky? And then he spotted the culprit. A lone fork was on the floor next to her head. She had tripped on a piece of silverware. So what did he do? He did what any self respecting and model manager would do in this situation. He kicked the fork out of the way so she wouldn’t know it was there. Yes, people, he hid the evidence. I saw it with my own delighted eyes as the fork slid under the host stand and he bent down to check on the well being of the lady in pain. Of course, he called an ambulance and they put her in a gurney and rolled her broken ass outta there. I never heard what happened to her. I assume they just gave her a new hip and called it a day.

As she was leaving a fellow server came up to me to discuss the incident. Her name escapes me but I always liked this girl. She was the one who informed me once that she only ever serves decaf coffee because she doesn’t “need a bunch of hyper people” in her station. She leaned over to me as she watched her guest beining rolled out of the restaurant. “I wonder if I could have gotten her anything else. Coffee, tea, a splint? Oh well.”
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6 thoughts on “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

  1. Anonymous

    Oh man….this so reminds me of an incident that happened a few months ago at my place. By the walkway to the toilets there's this broken tile. I know, genuis. Accident waiting to happen. It's like all us "servers" see a potential fuck-up happening, but still we never really do anything about eh? And managers are too busy "acting like they are in control" to do anything. Long story short, we see a lady fell face first to the ground, and her forehead is cut, reallll bad. Blood gushing everywhere.So what did my manager do? Because one of us servers attended to the lady first, because we were the closest there, and you can't really just walk away from that. My manger quickly logs into his computer, checks the security camera in that area and see's how she fell, did she trip on that broken tile? Man that's a law-suit. But no, in the end it appeared she fainted, and her feet were nowhere near that broken tile. So it was kinda funny, as an ambulance was wheeling away the lady, my manager just stood back and sorta went "Phewww…it's alright, she just fainted and fell". wtf? Needless to say, no law suits what-so-ever…damn! BUt there's a spanking new mat there now…on top of that broken tile, that's right, they didn't even bother fixing that.

  2. selma

    I work at an Uno Chicago Grill in New York City and this reminds me of the only time we've had an EMT crew in the restaurant. It was a typical friday night with a dinner pop, and then it sorta started to slow down, we got off the wait, but the managers hadn't cut the floor yet. I was standing in the host stand (which is in a tiled foyer just like the one you described) and I saw my manager sitting at a table with two guests. I thought it was a little wierd seeing as theyre always giving me shit for sitting down with my tables so I followed him into the kitchen. He walks up to the window and just says "hey guys we need to cancel that pizza on table five." Their server asked him why and he told her it was because the woman at her table just went into labor. Ridiculous. The worst part was that her section and mine were right next to each other and my asian tourists got their feet covered in newborn baby juices. Appetizing, huh?

  3. Anonymous

    Years ago, probably 25, at least, I watched a fellow waitress, put her foot out and trip another waitress who was carrying a tray full of empty glasses. The ambulance came and she wound up with many lacerations and a sprained ankle. The woman who fell was a real bitch and probably deserved it. To this day I wonder had I liked the waitress would I have ratted out the tripper?

    1. Kiwi

      Extremely late to the party but had to comment on this comment:
      The fact you are still thinking/wondering about this many years later is because you already know in your heart you should have spoken up at the time.

  4. Zak

    I work in a downtown area of a college town, so on the weekends it can really hit the fan, fast. I’ve been serving at this place for two years, and being a 22 year old college student, it’s pretty much the best money I can make right now. Anyway, it’s right in the middle of all the bars and open 24/7, so the bar crowd all hauls their drunk asses into our restaurant, and issues tend to arise. At one point last year, we were calling the cops or paramedics every single weekend. Hell, one night we had a SWAT team run through following some dude that came from the bars. About 3 weeks ago I had to call an ambulance at about 11 PM because some dude was either all conked out on heroin or had incredibly low blood sugar…we never did figure out which.

    Some of those nights were the most fun I’ve ever had at work, even as much as it sometimes sucked the drunks were pretty much always a good show (even when they were shit shows).


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