Tuesday, July 29

"Wasn't that a cool EQ?!"

Today we had a little California special, today we had an earthquake.

I was standing talking to a friend at the door of her cubicle when she looked up and asked "Is that an earthquake?". I hadn't noticed. Then I stood very still (the first thing you do when you think there's an earthquake) and said "Um, yes." She ran over to me. I put my arm around her and guided her away from the glass and kept repeating "You're ok, you're ok." All the while I was looking up at the exposed ducts and lighting swinging overhead. I quickly realized I'd never looked up and thought about where to go in an earthquake. It's all about avoiding getting hit by falling/flying objects. I got us over to a wall and told her to stand against it. She jumped out into a doorway with an "Aren't we supposed to get in a doorway?". I said "No, that's a old theory. It just exposes you to getting clocked from all sides." She jumped back against the wall. All of this happened while the earthquake kept on shaking. I then told her we were lucky that it was the "surfer variety" because those just sort of roll like waves. When you're close to the epicenter it feels like somebody has picked up your house/building and slams it down again and again. I often say "I don't get out of bed for anything under a 6.0" but I'll also say "being close to the epicenter sucks."

We then looked down the hall and saw an entire team running down the stairs and out the door. My friend said "Should we go outside? I really feel like I want to go outside." I told her she could go but that I didn't think it was necessary. By then the earthquake had ended. My friend grabbed her bag and made her way to the door. I found two other friends and said "Let's get lunch. I have to be back for a 1:00." We grabbed our bags and found the parking lot full of freaked out-of-staters. At lunch my friend checked her phone and laughed out loud at the text from her mother that read "Wasn't that a cool EQ?".

I later heard about a woman from Minnesota in a conference room for a meeting. After the earthquake she stood up with her fists in the air and exclaimed "Wooooooo! I just survived my first earthquake! That was cool!!!" Upstairs in our Electronics department a guy jumped up and shouted "Everyone GET OUT!" Another friend, who went through that leadership course with me stood up with her arms out and firmly advised "NO! Don't run. Remain calm. It's going to be ok." the "GET OUT" guy took off down the stairs while the rest of the people stood staring at my friend.

Earthquakes are funny in that you really get to see people's true colors. Some people remain calm, others just look crazy bewildered, others completely panic. While it's happening your brain is saying "What the hell? This is completely wrong." The toughest New York thug can be reduced to tears during an earthquake because it's such a bizarre and helpless feeling. It's the one badge of honor we Californians can wear with pride. If you've been raised on earthquakes you learn that often their bark is louder than their bite. Once they're over you can look back and sort of laugh about it. We laugh because we all know a giant 8.0 is bound to happen some time in our lifetime and, like being over an epicenter, that sucks.


kb said...

Well, I wasn't amused, but then, you know how I feel about these things. And I didn't even think it was really "earthquake weather." Alas, the mere sight of Kate Hutton on TV calmed my nerves. Gotta love her!

Trooperdog said...

I think my parents smiled all day that day. "Ha ha! We got out of there before that one hit! Suckas!" (Little do they know that it can happen here too...just not as often!)