Wednesday, August 24, 2011


At this point I figure that there are probably only a couple of people in the USA who don't know that there were two earthquakes in the lower 48 yesterday. And I'm thinking it's because they're hiking somewhere and forgot to bring their cell phones with them. Certainly it's been the only thing people around here have been talking about for the last 30 or so hours."Hi. Can I get a small americano with room?" "Sure. That'll be $1.75. Does your house have new cracks in it?" It wasn't my first earthquake, but it was the first one I experienced that couldn't be mistaken for a truck driving past my window. Our office dynamics at 1:50 yesterday were pretty comical in retrospect so I'm going to share.
First though, there are some things you should understand about my office. Our marketing and booking office is on the second floor of a building that must have been constructed around the turn of the century downtown. The room itself is a big open thing with desks lining walls so that there's a blanks space for us to banter across throughout the workday. There are are seven of us: three marketing people, two bookers, our arty guy and the boss. The window just to the left of my desk looks directly into the office across a five-foot alley and our shenanigans have caused them to permanently close their blinds.
I had thought that yesterday would be a normal albeit busy day, but apparently that's what I get for thinking. Half of my co-workers had just started the post-lunch email check when the first rumbles hit the city. When the desk started to shake my thoughts spiked into nanosecond conversations that went something like this,
"what in the world? Is that an earthquake?"
"Seriously? What are you thinking? This is the East Coast. There are no earthquakes here."
And then when the building started to sway me off my feet. "Holy (don't tell mom what I thought there) this is the real thing."
Parallel to this internal debate was the verbal exchange in our office. When the ceiling started rattling, our boss immediately piped up with, "is someone on the roof?" Assuming that some random workman was traipsing across our building, she went out to the porch and started yelling up to the sky, "Helloooo?" By this time the two guys in the office were scrambling down the stairs in a mad fury (they both claim they would have elbowed little old ladies out of their way if it had come to that) to get to out of what is now being affectionately termed "that death trap shanty" and I, with my northwestern but untested training booked it to the nearest doorway only to look up and realize that the beam I was standing under was basically just a hall and I was sure to die anyway. As soon as it was over all the pale office workers blinked their bewildered way onto the sidewalks and asked the ubiquitous, "did you feel that?" Basically, there was a bit of Mayhem, and since I promised to share songs that I like along with these posts, that'll have to be the one. It's been on a loop in my head ever since the great east coast quake of '11.