sounds like a glitch. Be sure to save often in case this sort of thing happens.
You can go to http://www.grimfandango.net/?page=saves
to get a save file for where you're at so you don't have to start from the beginning. I'd recommend specifically this one http://www.grimfandango.net/files/sa...ppedwaiter.zip
However, beware. Using these saved files might mean you miss out on some puzzles or cool plot, so try to pick the earliest moment you're willing to play from, the most cautious choice being from the beginning of a year.