The day had promise. A guy came and paid me $400 for the pleasure of taking away a cooler that I didn't want and probably would've given away for free. My window graphics were, I learned, done, and would probably go up today (they did). And I was looking forward to a fairly low-key day where I would tie up lots of loose little ends and move towards getting open soon.
Then, in the midst of fielding two phone calls simultaneously (a cell and a cordless up to each ear, arms crossed momentarily, fumbling), I realized that the sound of water running I was hearing was....water. Running. From the ceiling down all over everything; onto the counter, onto all the stuff stored in the line coolers, onto my cash register, my hamburger phone, and the new menus I'd just gotten back from the printer. From the light fixtures, from my menu board (still lit).
All I could do was quickly tell both phone calls that I'd call them back and then start trying to figure out what the fuck was going on. I dashed out the back to see if it was raining. It wasn't. Duh. There are offices above me.
Then I ran up the fire escape out back and pounded on the back door to whatever offices are up there. Someone heard, let me in, and I quickly headed to the spot where it seemed like the water would've been coming from. Bathrooms. After stupidly checking the women's room first and finding nada, I went into the men's to find two stopped-up toilets, one of which was running and overflowing. I was so pleased with myself for finding the problem so quickly that I didn't even blanch at the prospect of cozying up next to the filled-to-the-brim toilet in order to reach behind it and turn off the water supply. If you must know, yes, there were floaters.
Great. Problem fixed. I yelled a parting message to the office-workers to "PLEASE, NEXT TIME YOUR TOILET IS STOPPED UP, CALL THE LANDLORD!" and headed downstairs to begin the lovely task of cleaning up the fucking bilge water that was all over my restaurant.
But not until after I called the landlord. I called my rep (or whatever you call the guy who handles your account for the building management company), left a message for him, and then called back and hit zero to talk to the operator. I very excitedly told her what was going on and her tone was about what you'd expect from someone who you just told all about the toast you had for breakfast. As if stuff like this happens every day.
"Yes, ho hum...have you called the building janitor?" (She didn't actually say "ho hum".)
"No, I wasn't even aware that I have a building janitor. What's his name and number?"
She gives me the info using the most blasé voice I've ever heard (I think she may have literally been filing her nails and blowing bubble gum bubbles at the time) and so I hung up and called Tufa, the janitor. I think his name's Tufa. It might be Futa. Or Tafu. Definitely not Tofu.
Anyway, he's an older Croatian guy shaped vaguely like a bowling ball, but with much more hair. I told him what was up and he disappeared for about twelve seconds before re-emerging and declaring the problem fixed. I asked if he'd help me clean up the mess, and he gestured that I should just show him where the mop was, but when I did, and showed him where I wanted him to clean, he balked, saying "I no mop NOTHING".
I really didn't know what his problem was, but I was in no mood to get into it with this dude, so I just kind of disengaged. Once I returned, it became evident that he had misunderstood and thought that I was trying to get him to clean the floor of my whole restaurant and once I explained that I just wanted him to clean up the overflown toilet water, he became much happier, chipper even, and started flying around cleaning up.
Which he did very quickly and effectively, I will say. I pressed him about the situation upstairs and he agreed to go back up and make sure the toilets were both working properly. So he did, and then--poof--he was gone.
I spent a good amount of time then walking around throwing things away and trying to salvage stuff. Very annoying. No call from my landlord rep guy the rest of the day either.
But, honestly, for all the annoyance, it wasn't a huge setback. When the water was streaming in, I had visions of settlements with insurance companies, re-wiring electrical, and all sorts of months-long delaying type of stuff, so the three or four extra hours I spent on this don't really seem that bad. Just a bunch of drama. What else is new?