:: Life on Planet Dan-E ::

Thoughts, observations, and introspections from an art student waiter/bartender in South Beach. Arcane humor ensues.
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:: Monday, October 27, 2008 ::

:: Server Stories: Cut ::
I've written before how I can be accident prone. I've been pretty good about not breaking glasses so far at The Steakhouse but last night I had a little bit of a doozy.

It was the near the end of Saturday night and I still had a couple of tables but I decided to get a head start on my sidework by polishing some wine glasses. One of the glasses had some water spots caked in so I applied a little extra pressure and sure enough, the stem snapped. This has happened many times before. I nicked myself on the underside of my left forearm but whatever. I barely felt anything. All of the sudden, I hear my co-worker Luis yell, "holy shit you're bleeding!" I look down at my arm and my sleeve is turning red and blood is dripping onto the table.

"That's not good," I say and I grab a cloth napkin and cover and apply pressure to the wound. I remember some stuff from First Aid and my immediate thought is to control the bleeding. Luis freaks (he's a rather overemotional Latin guy... read: drama queen) and runs off the grab the GM. Todd, our token gay waiter, looks like he's about to pass out and I calmly tell him, "Todd, grab that napkin... fold it diagonally... HEY pay attention... fold it diagonally... now roll it up... good... bring it here and tie it around my arm just below my elbow... tie it as tight as you can... tighter... tighter... you pussy." Luis comes back with the GM. "Hey Luis, come here and tighten this for me."

I guess the first thing the GM saw was the blood on the floor, the table, and my napkin and his first instinct was to call 911. I don't know what kind of histrionics Luis threw but everyone found out. The first guy in the back room was Dan, who stood there slack-jawed. I saw him I told him, "Hey Dan, do me a favor. Grab four wine glasses and take it to table 23. They ordered a new bottle of Matanzas Merlot. Do you mind presenting the bottle for me? Yeah, I'll be fine."

By that time, (barely two minutes have passed) almost everyone stopped by the back room to see what happened. I already went through a small stack of bloody napkins and the bleeding has barely slowed. Todd looked ready to either go home or throw up. Luis was still freaked. It wasn't spurting but it was flowing steadily. I wasn't sure if I hit a vein but this was certainly a first time I saw this type of bleeding in all the times I've injured myself. I've kept my arm elevated but it finally occurs to me that maybe I should sit down.

The Chef walks in and asks if there's anything I need. I ask him if he has any cooking twine. He says yes and when he brings it back, I tell him to tie it around my arm as tight as he can. Needless to say, it's much tighter than Todd's lame attempt and it seems to slow the bleeding.

The GM finally takes charge and tells everyone to leave. He grabs a busboy and orders him to get a trash bag and discard anything bloody. The paramedics finally arrive and the Floor Manager escorts me into the back alley. I sit down on the back of the ambulance and they look at the arm. By this time, the tourniquets worked so the bleeding has slowed. I tell the paramedics what happend. He sees the string and asks, "what is that? That's just gonna make it worse!" "I told them to tie it so it'll slow the bleeding." "Yeah, but that also prevents proper blood flow and it might make things worse."


It's a moderately deep puncture wound, like I suspected, but the external wound itself was very small. One medic applies some iodine on it and wraps a pad and some gauze around my arm. My GM, standing there with a very concerned look on his face, asks what I need. As it is, I don't need to go the hospital, or even stitches. It's a small wound, and the makeshift tourniquet, however ill advised, slowed the bleeding enough that I don't have to worry about any effects of blood loss. All I need to do is keep the wound clean with soap and water. "Oh ok, cool." My GM is more incredulous. "That's it?" The medic goes into his explanation, which I wasn't paying attention to, since I noticed that the door is crowded with the kitchen staff rubbernecking to see what's going on.

The medic takes my information, tells me how to take care of the cut, and to look for symptoms of any possible infection. No big deal. They depart and I walk back into the back room of the restaurant and sit for a moment to absorb everything that just happened. I smell bleach and notice that all the blood has been mopped up. I couldn't help but laugh a little at how almost everyone else freaked out while I stay relatively calm. It may seem weird but you have to believe me, when that broken glass stem cut me, I barely felt anything. I was just happy I didn't have to go to the hospital again.

I start polishing glasses again, this time sticking to the stemless water glasses to avoid any more incidents. The GM sees me and asks if I'm okay and adds that I'm free to go home. "I have to fill out a worker's comp report and I need you to sign some papers. You gonna be here?" "I'm fine, I'll be here."

A few minutes later, the last table leaves. Luis comes back, sees me still here and asks "you're still here? I thought you went to the hospital!" "It wasn't that bad. I didn't need to go." "You fucking idiot you were gushing blood!" "It wasn't that bad." "Bro, you lost a pint of blood. " "I doubt it was that much."

Not that I couldn't see his point. There was blood on the table, on the floor, and I went through a small pile of napkins. But as far as I was concerned, I was never in "real" danger. First off the blood wasn't spurting through the air. Second, if there were any glass shards, the blood flow would have washed them out, something the medic confirmed.

Still, that wasn't fun. I never had a doubt that I'd be okay but I felt bad for a few of my more sensitive co-workers who had to see my blood everywhere. Of course by closing time, some of the guys, seeing that I was walking around felt free to crack a few good-natured jokes. "It's a good thing, you didn't leave early or else I would have had to deduct two points from your pool." "Hey Dan-E, if you wanted to go home early you could have just asked."

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:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 12:21 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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