Sure. Of course. But is it also possible to be so completely clueless that you walk right by something potentially catastrophic and don't even notice? And to be both of these things at the same time?
Yep. That was me today.
First, the patting myself on the back part. I had a problem with my ice machine yesterday, the one that sits on top of the soda machine. It serves the dual purpose of providing ice for the drinks, but also cooling the water as it runs through the lines and mixes with the syrup. So no ice equals warm pop. Bleh.
It was a minor problem, and the ice machine company was out here quick with bags of ice, and then a repair guy soon after, who said the problem was fixed and my ice machine was running A-OK!
But I worked late last night and when I was here by myself with just the sounds of my compressors and cooling sheet metal to keep me company, I noticed that I didn't hear the familiar sporadic crash of the ice cubes falling down into the bin. At all.
So I called the company again and scheduled them to come out this morning. Proactively. Just in case. So I didn't have to deal with a down ice machine in the midst of a busy Saturday.
The same guy came out and gave me a look, but I explained to him that I hadn't heard the cubes dropping, so he reluctantly went up there and opened it up again. He came down with some piece of electronic circuitry and told me that my sensor was bad. "Must've just failed last night, after I was here", he said. "Yeah, or you missed it yesterday", I thought.
Whatever. 20 minutes later, he's got a new one installed and I was hearing the familiar crash of cubes descending down into the bin. All was well and I was patting myself on the back for being so tuned into my restaurant that I sniffed that one out before it became an issue.
Now for the clueless dunderhead story.
The pilot on the oven often goes out overnight, and so when I crank everything up in the morning, the oven won't fire up. Sometimes I'm lazy and let Carlos or Luis lay down on the floor and hold the damn red button down for 2-4 minutes, but they just did it yesterday and had a heck of a time with it, so I figured I'd be nice and do it this morning.
Only, instead of using a twisted up piece of paper towel to light the pilot, like they always do, I grabbed my propane torch and fired it up. I laid prone on the floor, resigned myself to holding down the damn button far longer than I think I'd need to, and shot the flame in there, lighting the pilot.
After I finally let go of the button, the pilot stayed lit, I turned on the oven and it lit, and all was well. Again, I started patting myself on the back for doing it so much more quickly and easily than they were able to do it yesterday. I put away the torch and got to work.
Then, later, there was this smell. Something like methane or sewage gas or something. I kept smelling it every time I went over near the shake station, and I could not for the life of me figure out what it was. Every time I passed by there, it was driving me crazy. Eventually I just figured that the floor drains were giving off some smell or something and stopped worrying about it.
At about 11:00 when Tufo, my batidero (milkshake guy) came in, he said he smelled gas and started hunting around the same area. I dismissed his claim, explaining (somewhat patronizingly) that it was just the floor drains giving off some kind of sewer smell and not to worry about it.
He kept sniffing and hunting, and finally he pulls out the propane torch and proclaims "esta!".
And he was right. That was, in fact, it. I had left the valve open on the propane torch and after I put it away, it was just quietly, slowly, releasing all the gas, which was what I had been smelling all day. Duh!
Thankfully, the ice machine vindication happened after the propane torch move, so it made me feel a little better.