This is Not a Drill
Earlier in the week, I told you how I "accidentally" missed the emergency drill, and how it didn't exactly break me up because I know where the mailroom is. I'm there six times a day if not more. I don't need a drill to show me how to get there. Well, wouldn't you know it, yesterday an actual storm hit. Two separate Tornado Warnings, both of which caused the evacuation of the office into the mailroom. Nice.
The first time, I was in the break room getting a glass of water when we saw one of the local channels break in with a "Severe Weather Update". We watched Top Jimmy get his weather woody on, getting way too excited about the prospect of actual tornados, and basically decided to ignore it and go back to work. Then the sirens went off. And people freaked out. We went to the mailroom and waited it out. While we stood in there, I kept my mouth shut because even though I didn't take it very seriously and wanted very much to joke around, I know some people were quite upset by the storm and I respect that.
After we left, we headed back to the breakroom to see what Top Jimmy was saying, and where the radar showed the storm. It appeared to be headed away from us, so we went back to our desks. I was offered $25 to get on the PA system and scream out "Its coming right for us! Everyone to the mailroom!".
I did not take this bet. While countless people would have found it quite amusing, there's an equal number who would have been terrified. Probably not best to mess with people like that, even for me. So the kitty of $25 passed around the office as we tried to find someone to do the announcement.
Then just a few minutes later, the receptionist calmly said out over the PA "The storm has changed direction and is headed right for us. Everyone please evacuate to the mail room." I assumed they'd just convinced her to take the $25 and make the fake announcement, so I ignored it. Went to the bathroom, stopped by the breakroom, bought a soda. Looked up at the TV and sure enough, it had changed directions! It was indeed headed right for us. So I moseyed on over to the mailroom, where several people were very concerned about my absence.
This time, the gloves were off. My late arrival seemed to give the group of usual ornery guys reason to stop being serious, and instead joke around, which of course make those people who actually take weather seriously quite upset. It was very amusing.
I've always been of the opinion that I pay insurance for a reason. Now, I know I'm a positive person who is perhaps a little too easygoing at times, but honestly, can you change the weather? No, so enjoy it. The flagpole in the parking lot is bending at 45 degree angles in both directions? Cool! The shrubbery is being uprooted and rolling like tumbleweed? Awesome!
Incidentally, that storm did a number on my grill cover out on my deck. The amazing thing is, the tie string got tangled underneath one of the patio chairs, which was the only thing keeping the cover from blowing away. A big heavy grill cover, held down by a thin string stuck under the leg of a plastic chair. Its amazing that both the chair and the cover didn't blow away. Crazy.
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