Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holy Island Wide BLACKOUT Batman!



I am completely pooped to the core. With Christmas finishing, going to work on December 26, 2008 was supposed to be another regular day. Schedules to do, people to feed, employees to talk to, things to think about for my next blog posting (yeah, it's always on our minds isn't it?).

A reminder for those who do read. I work for a restaurant in Waikiki.

Around 6ish pmish I was below at the outside portion of my place and noticed the weather being not the most paradise-y of paradise for those visiting. (When sitting in my office earlier, I THOUGHT I had saw lightening flash out my window, but put it to overtired mommy syndrome.) For a fraction of a second, the street went out and back on. It happens.

I went back up to the second level to my office and retrieved flashlights and made a plan with my head host "just in case".

20 minutes later.

BLACKOUT.

My restaurant had just filled up with the dinner crowd. (Sigh). We have full floor to ceiling windows so all the guests started looking out and down the streets assessing the blackout debacle. I tell my hosts and other staff to make sure the guests were comfortable and that we'd wait a bit and see if the power would be back on. We propped open fire doors and escorted any that wanted out.

Over an hour later after getting most of the guests out, the restaurant in decent shape for the next morning managers entry (ahem, ME), we all braved Waikiki, sans electricity. Most of my staff live in Waikiki so they just had to deal with a gazillion other tourists, locals, whatever figuring out where their hotel was/how to get home without getting hit by drivers trying to remember how to stay civilized without power. Me? I lived a mere 20-25 minutes by car, but OUT of Waikiki.

A normal 15 minute drive from my work parking garage to the freeway entrance that would take me home took almost 2 hours. YES! ONE and a half stinking hours later of grumbling how stupid people could become on the road. "4 WAY STOP A-HOLE!" seemed to the phrase for my drive.

Listened to one of the only radio stations that was equipped to handle the state emergency and a couple old timer DJ's (who I totally LOVE...Price & Perry) handled calls and gave advice to keep Hawaii that had battery operated radios the lowdown...or those stuck in cars (smirk), interviewed all the important people of the state, Hawaiian Electric Co. Bigwig telling Hawaii it might be at the very LEAST a 12 hour ordeal and it was the thunder storm had created the problem the island of Oahu was facing, the Mayor and Gov. came on to say President Elect Obama was doing fine and that he commented on he was going to have an early night. These poor guys....they usually do the MORNING radio....



Finally, after the 10 minute freeway drive, I pull into the gated community where I live. And it's eerily dark. To be honest the whole drive was just eerie. But it gave me the eebie jeebies cause my paranoia kicked in a little and my mind jokingly seriously looked for zombies...(Hey, they come around in these type of situations...in movies...shut up Rambler...not you RaMbLeR, but me :l .....)

My husband. I'm pretty sure if I dissected his brain I would find a mini computer hooked up with super decked out techie whatever is important to a geeky computer geek. He was pacing and looked agitated. My 2 year old kept pointing to the light to flick it on, and wondered why EVERY time she pushed the TV button it wouldn't come on. I moved candles away from plants (er, honey what are you thinking?), made sure the dog had food and water, and prepared us for bed. Cause that's what us mommies do well in emergencies. We calm the daddy's down...joke....kinda...



My techless hubby praised my amount of candles (ridiculous prior to blackout, but genius after...thank you very much) and went to bed.

I cranked up the hubbys hand generated/battery operated radio to hear what was up to date with the black out and set my alarm on my almost dying boyphone (NOOOOOOOOOO) and prayed it would work until I needed to wake up 6 hours later.

4 1/2 hours later I woke anyway and decided not to chance the sleep. I called my Head Chef and we made plans for me to pick him up so we could go back into work to salvage what we could, wait out the blackout and be ready to re-open if possible. We arrived back into Waikiki, around 6am, with police at certain areas and it still as black as you could get.

We walked into our restaurant to see if we could do anything. But it being dark (a farking creepy dark if you walked around by yourself) we decided to sit it outside and wait for employees to show up and figure our game plan. I will say this, while by myself on one end of the restaurant, not known to me, the building maintenance manager and his security guard where checking on our floor....FRICK dude...you scared the CRAP out of me...(remember my zombie comment earlier?)

Around 7ish AM, parts of Waikiki turned on...including us. Mad scramble to reset our system from our main store on the mainland, triple check food to make sure it held through the night, and get ready for breakfast service.

All I'm gonna tell you is that I got my butt handed to me several times trying to serve the insane amount of people I served for breakfast and lunch!

11 hours later from arriving, my big boss kicked me out.

I had to attend an important family Post Christmas gathering that evening which I didn't want to miss. I don't know where the crack came from that allowed me the energy to continue but I made it to about 10pm. We drove home. We parked the car. And....

I crashed.

Hard.

I woke up today and discovered my body was pissed at me! I kept seeing middle fingers everytime it had to move. If my husband could have a PULL UP on me and an IV of fluids this Rambler would have stay dissolved into the bed.

But I made it a deal. I had to blog today. If anything. I would stuff it full of bad food and lots of sleep and no work or exercise if it would give me the energy to write this story. I'm nearing the end of my time here so I'll leave you all now for another day.


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I found this video from our local TV station if you want to click and check it out.

KITV

Click here for an article in my local newspaper with some photos.

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19 ramblings of your own:

Cammie said...

oh wow. Yeah, that is just plain nuts.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

Aw dude--that sounds like a HOT mess. So sorry you went though all of that (particularly under threat of zombies!), but glad you came out on the other side okay. Get some sleep, doll!

MammaDucky said...

Geezy-kreezy. That's one helluva experience you had there. Hope your body forgives you soon.

Merry Belated Christmas and an almost Happy New Year!

Michele said...

Interesting how dependent we are on electricity, isn't it? Makes ya wonder how people used to do things in the olden days.

Krissy said...

you sure there weren't any old men in the back stairwell and stuffed animals flying out of merch shelves???? you're such a trooper.

Megan said...

What a nightmare! But, it sounds like you survived....barely! ;0P

The Bush Family said...

"I kept seeing middle fingers everytime it had to move"...LOVE THIS LINE, I seriously can't stop laughing, I'm sorry though that your body quit on ya for a bit! Glad you are safe and somewhat "sound" after the blackout ordeal!

Lyndsay said...

You know, I just realized I hadn't seen you on my blog for awhile (I missed you, LOL!) and jumped over to find this. Holy crap Batman! I hope you've recuperated. What an ordeal.

Grand Pooba said...

geeze! I didn't do a post the other day because I thought our interenet was out.

Hubby got home and it turns out the router was just unplugged.

woops.

Maki said...

Girfriend, my sister told me about this. Crazy yeah???

Do you remember the blackout after the earthquake a few years back? I hope you're feeling better after all the craziness. BTW I haven't had the courage to watch the clip (KITV) - It would crush me because I know I'm going to miss the island so much..

ps. one of the things I forgot to list to my honesty list is I'm afraid of zombie... I really am afraid of them.

the RaMbLeR said...

Hey Tweenkie! Dang, i sure am glad it wasn't moi you were telling to 'shut up'! LOL

You SO have to go back to the video of the radio station... starting at :20 you can see that perverted old man checking out that chicks hind quarters as she slides out of the room! I swear...go look!

And, maybe if Hubby would have purchased those PULL UPS prior to your run-in with the Zombie Maintenance Manager Dude and his Security Guard then you wouldn't have had to worry about that CRAP they scared out of you!

You might want to add Pull Ups to your list (along with more candles)for your disaster relief kit. ;)

K, girl, I keep wanting to give my shout-out to you but not exactly good timing with my whole BIL deal...but it IS coming...you just wait!!

Oh, here in OK we are always prepared for NO LIGHTS/ELECTRICITY since we are known as Tornado Ally! Sure hope you didn't leave the candles burning while asleep! They also make these things called flashlights. They have those in your town? Much safer! ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the dissecting your husband's brain part! That's too funny.

Jeanne said...

Hurricane Ike visited us in the fall and, because Ohio has big, stiff leafy trees instead of skinny, bendable trees with a little pompom at the top, the 70-mile an hour winds knocked them over onto power lines. We lost our power for 28 hours, but I know people who went without for nearly TWO WEEKS.

People kept saying, "It's like camping!"

No, it's not. It's like living in a house where NOTHING WORKS!

Glad you made it through okay and thank God the whole zombie scenario never occurred to me!

Guess I'll have that to look forward to next time!

K said...

Wow.

That sounds like a heck of day after Christmas. Glad you made it through.

Shorty said...

Glad you're such a trooper! Great story to share with your readers! Hopefully you'll get some serious recuperation time.

Brittany said...

Oh that would be beyond unbearable for me. I am amazed you did it, it's such a pain, and it's so frustrating. In Ohio, it happens to us almost every winter for a few days after the ice storms come. It's like caveman times, people go nuts, food is scarce, and driving...might as well forget it.

The Happy Mom said...

OMG, what an ordeal! I saw that on the news, that's just crazy!

LOL about the pull up comment! :)

Becky said...

Wow, I hadn't heard about that yet. I can't imagine what Waikiki was like without any lights -- it must have been chaos. I wonder if there will be any federal funds to help the infrastructure with the timing of Obama's visit during the outage :)

Sherendipity said...

holy cow, what a day!
i'm glad you didn't see any zombies. not because i don't think you could handle them, but because I would be totally jealous if you got to see them without me.