• June 2005
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I work with a whole flock of Chicken Littles

When I got to work on Tuesday morning, a lot of the people I work with were running around pointing at the walls & ceilings talking about cracks in the walls & the building falling. We’re on the bottom floor of a 3 story building. I could hear popping/cracking noises and noticed that the main door didn’t open easily.. it seemed to be hung unevenly. Other doors wouldn’t open at all. The floor is sunken in some places (concrete underneath, so that’s kind of weird), raised in others.

People were saying that the building was going to fall on us & that it was crumbling as we sat there attempting to work…. can you say DRAMATIC??

Soon building maintenance had been called, the CEO, CFO, VP were called, structural engineers were called in. It was finally decided that the building had shifted b/c the interstate (1/2 block away) is being widened & a lot of deep digging has taken place lately. Evidently, everything under the ground shifted from 1 1/2 blocks away and the only structure to feel the effects of it was the building that I work in. Whatever.

I think it was caused from the digging that’s been going on in the parking lot that’s right outside the front door of the building. The phone company crew has been digging up the parking lot.. something that has to do with fiber-optics…should that be one word, two words, hyphenated??? anyway, I’m not sure what they’re doing exactly but it supposedly has to do with phone lines.

The engineers said that we & the building are in no immediate danger & that it will do no good to fix the building until the construction of the interstate is completed.. so the building will be repaired in 2025 (that’s how long highway projects seem to take around here).

Some of the doors still will not open, structural walls have cracks in them, the elevator has rust or red dirt, an Oklahoma trademark, coming out from under it (really gives a feeling so security, I must say), some of the walls are slanting now & one lady runs into the wall whenever she walks past my desk. I have had fun teasing her about having an equilibrium problem b/c throughout the day I keep hearing her say, “Damn it! I did it again!”

These doomsday-end-of-the-world type people reminded me of the Y2K scare tactic so much. I had a neighbor who in Oct, Nov and Dec of 1999 gathered bottled water, canned food, toilet paper, deodorant, batteries, candles, all kinds of stuff. We lived on an Army base in Louisiana at the time & I had never met anyone like her, so I kept asking her what she was doing & why. By the time 12-31-99 came, she had enough stuff to last about 4 or 5 months for her family of 6. She cautioned me to fill up my bathtub & sinks with water in case we had no water the next morning. She advised me to stock up on essentials that my family would need since food would be scarce. She was convinced that we’d not be able to use our ATM cards/credit cards or to buy gas & that we’d have no electricity or telephone service. I bet she still has deodorant & toilet paper from then! I was amazed at her preparedness… although I thought it a bit strange & frantic.

I call that the CHICKEN LITTLE syndrome… you know… The sky is falling! The world is ending! Take cover! Not sure if there’s an official name for this behavior or not… so that’s what I’ve named it.

Maybe the overreaction this week at work was due to the fact that many of these people lived in this area when the Murrah Building was bombed. Not sure. It’s interesting. I lived in Los Angeles when it happened. My son was 2 weeks old & I couldn’t reach my parents here in the OKC area & I was worried.. but I know I didn’t experience the intense feelings that the people from central Oklahoma were feeling.

One Response

  1. Hehe .. chicken little. Perfect!

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