In college, I worked at the Olive Garden, the one in the Stonestown Mall in San Francisco, for about a year. It was a pretty busy place, what with the mall and college traffic. And it was easy money, and since I was going to SFSU, it worked out very well with my schedule.
The first that you offer a guest when they come to the table is soup or salad (then you try and upsell them on wine). Breadsticks come right after. So, there's always a bunch of soup coming out of the kitchen. And the corporate catchphrase about soup temp was that it was supposed to be "pipping hot." Always. Had to be pipping hot. Which is a weird phrase when you think about it. I'm sure there's some history of steampipes or pressurized heating pipes. But, whatev. That's the term they used. Soup had to be pipping hot. And then some nonsense about when you're here you're family.
So, this one day, few months in, after I've got the hang of it, I'm waiting on this three-top, a mother and her two daughters, around ten to twelve years old. And while I'm introducing myself, Willy, a bus boy, was walking into the kitchen. Willy was a nice guy, but he was one of the slowest able-bodied people I've ever met in my life, to this day. He moved slow, talked slow, blinked slow. And I don't mean there was anything wrong with him, mentally. He just was a slow dude. Potato speed.
At any rate, he's entering the kitchen at the same time that this guy (who I don't remember) is coming out, carrying a tray of six bowls of Zuppa Toscana, a white cream based sausage soup. And right as he's coming out, just as the Zuppa guy is lined up with Willy, Big Dan stands up. Six foot four, Big Dan. See, he was bent over, refilling the ice bin and when he stood up the Zuppa had been hovering on a tray over Bid Dan's head, so when Dan sprung up and hit that tray, it was like a catapult aimed right at Willy.
There was a huge, loud crash and the whole restaurant went silent, like we were all waiting to hear what happened next. Which was Willy yelling at the top of his lungs, "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!"
Course, me thinking I was some kind of hero, I told my table to wait one minute and went over to see what I could do to help. But what could I do?
Willy was dripping in white cream soup, Big Dan was saying sorry, the other guy was trying to clean things up, and the manager was shooing us away, telling us to get back to work.
So, I went back to my table and continued with the order, but when I got to the first little girl she just look up at me and asked, very grimly, "Was there blood?" She was pretty disappointed when I told no.