The day began as usual… Same hurry, onsite call, work, deadline till clock showed 2.15 pm. My friend and me went for an early lunch, that’s by 12.30 pm. Thanks to my rumbling stomach, she had to come along
After a quick lunch (that lasted for 45 min
) we returned to our cubicle and were taking a digestion break(this includes responding mails and checking the forwards ). Suddenly I felt my chair rock like a cradle to and fro… I turned back to scold my friend as she always rocks my chair to make me turn. She too turned back assuming the same about me
Seeing each other’s blank face, we confirmed it was a tremor. We again saw monitors shaking and stood up…
The entire bay stood up and a slight confusion persisted about the move. People started moving towards the emergency door making the alarm ring. As soon as I realized the shake, I got up to make a move. But to my surprise, I saw people taking their bags and stuffs, giving me a feel as if they are leaving for the day
Perplexed, I too took my bag (reminded me of the herd of sheep, when one sheep does something, all the others follow blindly and do the same
), locked my runner (my keyfob was in it…When I had to decide between my life or keyfob…Priority of keyfob was higher
You see if something happens to me, fine but if something happens to my keyfob… That’s it I’ll be screwed for being so careless and dealing with that situation is more difficult than earthquake’s after shock
) and started towards the emergency exit…
Everybody was in a hurry! During the exit to emergency evacuation, I found one person, who actually seemed tensed, taking few steps backwards to show his access card in the reader. I couldn’t stop giggling seeing that. I was reminded of a tamil dialogue by comedian Vivek… “Un kadama unarchikku oru alave illaya!”
While walking down the stairs, there were many who actually didn’t realise what was happening and just followed the crowd… I heard one person telling “Fire in the building!”, another remarked “Its a mock drill”, so on and so forth.
So after reaching the assembly point, people started making continuous calls. Wherever I turned, I saw people explaining about the turn-about of events…excitement bubbling in their tone than anxiety
(Remember the sheep-herd example?… I was no exception
) I dialed my mom’s number and excitedly told the incident only to hear her say “Enough… don’t exaggerate!”. So these kind of continuous calls made all networks crash for few minutes.
Realizing the network crash, my friend exclaimed” OMG! I didn’t save my work… What will happen if citrix disconnects? ” Though I threw a sarcastic look at her, the same fear creeped inside me too
Since it was afternoon, standing under hot sun reminded me of punishments in school days for not completing homework
Slowly people started filtering in… and a crowd was formed in the parking area where there is a shed and also the reception area of the building. I was completely confused and clarified with my friend whether is it a tremour we have come out for… as many left the open space and went under the building
So, when the emergency was called off, people again took the emergency exit.(may be for retracing the same path… still don’t understand the reason). When returned to the workplace, tremour discussions began(and yeah, our work was safe and we realized Citrix was tremour proof as it didn’t get disconnected
Forward mails, Tsunami warnings, continuous calls from my relatives and friends asking my safety made me feel all the more excited about the events. At around 4.30 there was another light tremour which many failed to realize, as excitement of the unusual events had still not sunk in.
So when news about the 2nd tremour was confirmed, people started leaving… So grabbing the chance I too left early (around 5 pm
) only to be struck in traffic for 2 hours… Making my bus journey to last for 4 hours
(entire city had vacated the office and was returning home) FM stations were giving continuous updates, people called to the stations to share their experience, many felt it as a symptom for “the world ending by 2012″ theory… Lol
Well, on a serious note, inspite of the repeated mail alerts and other stuffs, our awareness to handle a disaster seemed a little low. There was more confusion on what to do! Let us take it as a lesson and be prepared for any forthcoming situation (please don’t think I am part of that world-going-to-end association
) Its just that prevention is always better than cure!
Stay Alert and Stay safe