Wednesday, August 24, 2011


There's nothing like a good ole fashioned earthquake to cut into your workday. Sitting at my desk and feeling our building begin to rock and sway, my first thought was "that damn landlord probably didn't adjust the boiler" and it would only be a matter of time before the building exploded. The irony was we had just finished a meeting with our insurance brokers, during which we estimated that only a cataclysmic event affecting the entire D.C. region could shut down all our business locations at once. (Only our failure to say "you know, like an earthquake, as though that would ever happen here!" kept us out of bad sitcom land) For the first time ever, I swore at work. Upon learning it was in fact a quake, I tried calling the wife, but cell service was jammed (which tells us something about the overload during any emergency). Fortunately, she texted soon after to indicate that she had been shopping at Pentagon City and managed to hitch a ride in a taxi with some Nationals Park workers.

We evacuated, and the drive home was uneventful, until reaching Maine Avenue. At this point I am a short walk from home, but a short walk does not make for a short drive--this time. The entire street is jammed solid, as all the idiots in town must have decided that the best place to be after an earthquake is the 14th Street Bridge while it is under repair. I figured maybe the power was out, so the traffic lights weren't working and that was the cause of the chaos. But no, lights were working, but some cop was directing and somehow making it worse. Forty minutes later, I had finished the final blocks home.

When all was said and done, it sort of sucks that one of the few things we had over California--lack of earthquakes--is gone.

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