*Or to blow a fuse (literally and figuratively)
Yes, it happened while we were in the middle a huge lunch rush. On a Sunday of all days. For a moment there, the café was plunged into semi darkness. Only the light from the huge windows filtering through. The clientele seemed unphased and continued on with their leisurely conversations. A few looking over to me in the kitchen. I smiled and acted like nothing was wrong. Except that we had no lights in the kitchen, no lights in the bathroom, no dish washer and NO OVEN. The no oven part was worrisome as I use the oven to make the main course for the brunch which is the feuilletés and quiche. While my staff buzzed around me, I continued to make lovely salade composé for the feuilletés that had been ordered. And watched calmly as they started to pull appliances out from the shelves to figure out another way to get some juice to them. A few frantic looks from my girls, I then figured it was time to call Julien. Within 10 minutes he was at the café with Maximilien in tow. Good thing my lovely friend, Stefanie (Thank you, Stefanie!) and her husband were there to occupy my very busy 12 month old while Julien went to work. A few minutes later we had light! The buzz of all the appliances surged on and were fully operational. Brunch was saved and all ended well.
I was pleased to see that the books that I had brought over the night before were getting some use. Customers started pulling down books to thumb through to pass the time. Exactly what I wanted these books to be used for. A Spanish couple mentioned to me they were happy to find that had put a Paris guidebook on the shelf. While they waited for their œufs à la coque they jotted down places to visit later that day.
Standing behind the counter during my very first brunch rush was really surreal. I did not see the time pass except for when the fuse blew and those 20 minutes felt like an eternity. But I kept cool, knowing that if I did not panic my staff would not either. I told everyone to smile and act normal and that all would be just fine. I have been dubbed "zen" by my two part-time servers. I like that.