As the title implies, yesterday, February 20th, 2014 was no ordinary day at the new headquarters for operations. The day started out much like any other day, but something was in the air, and I was not aware of what was to come. Granted, in the grand scheme of things, what did transpire seems kind of normal for Oakland, and the world these days. I got to the shop at about 9:45 am, and started figuring out the day’s prep schedule. We don’t really start looking at the phone till 3 pm most days so if its not ringing with telemarketers and solicitors of all ilk, then I’m cool with that. (a little secret, we only answer the phone for relatively local area codes in our “off-hours”, so we will pick up if you call from the Bay Area and want to make a pre-order.) I was trying to get our tunes online but got distracted and hadn’t noticed we had no internet or phone connection until the landlord came by around 11 am, to see if our phones were working.
I was like, Uh, why do you ask? I think so, but, sure enough no signal, and the router was blinking red. We then realized what had happened. We believe our building was the victim of an attempted robbery. The would be perps used big tin snips or wire cutters and severed all the phone and data lines they could see outside on the back wall, including the main AT&T cable that runs back to the pole. I figured they tried to deactivate the alarms or something, and they must’ve gotten scared off or realized their plan did not work. You’d have to be some CIA ninja to disable our alarm with a pair of wire cutters and a CIA issued Crackberry. If you can knock our communications satellites in space the I’m screwed, but if not…
When I entered the place I saw no obvious signs of forced entry to either our front door or the back door. Anyone else looking at our doors may think otherwise, as they’ve both been hacked at dozens of times with the previous owners, but they are thick, and well fortified. Everything’s locked up and hidden all over the place. We don’t have much to steal, a couple refurbished Apple products, a craigslist-scored 1990’s era stereo, $200 in pepperoni, a decent printer, and like a couple hundred bucks at any given time. We do have three all-light cameras and a DVR pointed at the important areas. We are adding a fourth camera to an undecided location outside our back door as a result of this incident. Our landlord said that the Everett and Jones down the block was successfully broken into, so maybe they were just out to do something somewhere. That’s the second time in less that two months for E&J, and from what we’ve heard, pretty par for the immediate MacArthur Course. I.E. this may happen again. Time to lay some pipe, or well conduit at least. Protect our data lines!
To begin the crisis management plan we have in place (which is none), I got one the phone with the beginning of many an automated call system navigation gamer, starting with O.P.D. Tried to report the incident, but we had nothing on anyone. All we could do was file a report online. Did that, Check. Next was AT&T, henceforth known as “them,” to set up the repair ticket and eventually, after the suggestion of a Facebook fan, establish call-forwarding. Brilliant. Yes I’ll get that happening. Ahh, no phone line, right. Ok Call them from mobile device. Account number? passcode? please say or type…Let’s just say I have it memorized now. In between all of this there was another incident I happened to get involved in.
I was out back to take a call, and a minivan pulled up, smoking from all sides. I’m like, pretty normal because there’s an O’Rielly Auto parts across the street, smoking cars do appear from time to time in East Oakland. I peered over towards the car as the man opened the hood just to kinda lend my advice to the situation. If you knew me as a teenager, I had a lot of car incidents involving flames, steam, smoke and you name it. He was with a small child, who we both told to move away as soon as I saw freakin flames coming out from behind the engine block. I ran inside and grabbed an extinguisher, and maybe over-did it with the Halon blast, but that shit did tha trick! Car was no longer flaming, and the side of our building wasn’t gonna suffer any blast. Several people have since told me it takes a little while for a car to blow up but I was having one of these days and I wasn’t wasting any Time.
After that the day seemed a little easier, until the top oven went out. If you’ve been following along with our feeds, the ovens have been the bane of my existence since we opened. The ones we bought with the place hadn’t seen that much action in some time and well, just weren’t up to the task. I think we killed them in our first week, and have since gotten replacement ovens. Right away. Brand new stone floors in some older refurbished ovens. But I’ll be honest here folks, they’ve had some troubles. The guys that sold them to us have been good to us and have done everything they can think of to make them work, driving back and forth from the L.A. area. I think we have a few more parts to replace and we’ll be good as new. When they work, they work great, but when they go out it kinda sucks. For the most part, everything is working out as long as we check them every 1/2 hour we’re good.
The service Thursday night began hecka quiet. No phone line and we were all calling to see if my cell would ring. The phone line finally made the connection, and the call forwarding was working. I asked a customer what number the called to confirm. Sweet. The night progressed and all was well. The next day (today) AT&T was on it like a bonnet, and was onsite before me. They got the lines repaired before 2pm, and had to replace a whole bunch of stuff. We were back up and running. Friday night. Ready Set Go. Month number one done. First possible robbery attempt, check. Onto month number two.