Quick Updates

I realized recently that my friend Susie probably gets a lot more readers than I do because she always pops in at least one picture per entry. (Well, that and she's been Freshly Pressed four times!) It's kind of daunting to go back and put in images because I've been doing "text wall" entries for so long, but I have no life right now, so what does it matter?

Watch this space for updates–I'll figure out something! (I suspect bringing back "song of the day" is better than nothing.)

So it turns out that there is an advantage to not liking my mother.

If we got along okay, I would have been at Carrabba's with her and my grandma for Mother's Day.

Except Carrabba's had a Norovirus outbreak on Mother's Day (and the day after, some say), so I would have been in the hospital with them! (Or at least with Mom…I think she went to the one here in town and it sounded like Grandma ended up in the one where I was born.)

Photo from the Lansing State Journal–clicking on it will take you to their story.

I didn't even know they were sick until my regular Tuesday call to Grandma–Uncle Mike picked up the phone and told me that they ate at Carrabba's (down to what they had, even) and the virus hit them both at two o'clock Tuesday morning. Grandma had gone by ambulance (and he followed), while my mother called her best friend (and former sister-in-law) to come get her. (Somehow I thought Aunt Sally was a half hour away, but Google Maps tells me they're only eleven miles apart–a mere three miles farther than me!) Mom was discharged sometime Tuesday evening (and went back to work yesterday, by the sounds), but Grandma was admitted, likely because Norovirus is hard on an eighty-three year old body–especially one that already has trouble with atrial fibrillation.

I thought you were only at risk of contracting the illness if you came in contact with a contaminated object, but Grandma said that Uncle Mike got sick from sitting with her the past couple of days and she's so contagious that the hospital staff is wearing protective gear. I'd be interested to know if my aunt got sick from fetching my mom, but I don't know if I'll ever hear.


This is the second outbreak of Norovirus to hit Carrabba's in a decade, so quite a few people are up in arms over the issue. Some said the owners should lose their operating license and that management ought to be fired–this was before it even came out that it was Norovirus again. (Some others said that they'd eaten there Monday and were fine, but if the virus takes roughly thirty-six hours to incubate, it's very possible that the sick employee felt fine on Sunday but miserable on Monday and called in.)


1. Bloomin' Brands' license may be tied to more than one restaurant. I can't imagine that there wouldn't be one permit for each restaurant, but with Outback and Carrabba's next door to each other, it's possible. Ergo, if Carrabba's shuts down, Outback might have to go with it. And people would be annoyed.

2. They recovered all right the last time. I worked there approximately a year after the last outbreak (this one much bigger at four hundred people) and we were moderate on weekdays, busy on weekends; just like most other restaurants. Some are vowing to never eat there again, but I imagine there will be plenty of others like me who shrug and say, "Well, that's rotten; but the food is too good not to go back for."

3. This is not the same management as a decade ago. Anyone who thinks BB is stupid enough to keep on the same general manager after he sickened four hundred people is pretty damn stupid themselves. That's not a guess, by the way–my coworkers told me that Ray (I think his name was) was fired for it and that's how Jen (the propritaria who hired me) got the job. Her front of house manager, Jimmy, eventually went on to manage at Dublin Square (and may still be there, for all I know). She was thrown under the bus over…I don't remember what…by the kitchen manager and replaced by Kim. (Another guess on that name.) Kim left after I did and there has been a few proprietarios since then. I don't doubt a bit that Sam* will be fired for this and there will be a new name painted over the front door before the month is out. (*I don't know his name, but I know he's a he, so that name is as good as any.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I believe there's a visit to a different former employer in my future. 😉

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