Monday, June 19, 2006

Standby to Evacuate

Fifteen minutes ago one of my colleagues told me, "Call Building Management, there's a leak in the Men's Room." Yes, reporting problems in the john is one of the less glamourous aspects of my job. I called the management company and told them what floor we're on. "I hear there's a leak in the Men's Room." Cut to: two minutes ago another coworker opened the door of our office and found 1) the sound of a waterfall or possibly a burst water main 2) a hysterical woman on a walkie-talkie 3) the sounding of the emergency alarm system 4) a half-inch thick puddle of water racing towards our door. The flood has seeped out of the Men's Room, saturated the corridor, turned the corner is now taking over our hallway. Water is flowing into the elevator banks. "Go home, go home!" yelled the woman from building management. "Take the stairs!" The lawyer next door put on his rubber overshoes and tried his luck with the elevator. The Koreans went down the stairs, 14 flights. And? The Little German Bank that Could? No way. It's a busy day. We're not evacuating unless absolutely necessary.

I thought about rolling up the spare shirt I keep in my desk drawer and trying to weatherstrip under the door, but that seems futile. We picked up the server off the floor of the copy room and propped it up on four giant rolls of packing tape. Short story: if water gets in here, we're screwed. Under my desk alone I have six plugs in a surge protector and a ratking of wires. Not to mention three pairs of shoes.

And now, as I prepare to bail out, here's your frosting. Thanks to SmartyPants for sending the link with the note, "I just thought you should know."


Cupcake said...

Hmm. Your total lack of concern for my personal safety is understandable, but can't you people find the energy to get worked up over the Screech Powers story?

Cupcake said...

People, have you even read the article? Screech Powers is losing his house. So he's selling t-shirts that say, "I helped save Screeech's house" with three "e"s because of copyright issues. And the house he's trying to save? It's in Wisconsin. Out side Milwauke. Why the hell aren't we discussing this?

Cupcake said...

Oh. It's not Screech Powers? It's Dustin Diamond?

Yeah, that changes things.

Policate said...

Hey, how did everything work out? Did you get flooded or not? Everytime it rains hard here (and it rains all the time in Portland) the basement of our buidling leaks. Now, normally this wouldn't be a problem, except our basement houses millions of dollars of electronics, so then there is pandemonium while we try and find buckets, which we don't have (we are a multimillion dollar company with offices in 3 states, with a leaking basement and we don't have a bucket. I know it boggles the mind) so we put together this strange bucket brigade of garbage cans and and ice buckets until it stops! Just imagine a bucket brigade of urban hipsters holding garbage cans of muddy water. It's pretty funny.

Cupcake said...

Thanks for asking, Policate. The order to evacuate remained only a recomendation, not a requirement, so we hung tough. Water did not slosh through the doors. Phew. Then I looked in the copy room where our server is kept on the floor. The water which was about an inch thick in the hall outside, seeped THROUGH THE WALL, under some filing cabinets in the copy room and was heading towards all of the electronics on the other side. That really got me into action. With some colleagues we danced around, trying to get everything up and sop up the water.

Water from the flood got into the elevators and electrical closets, also causing the fire alarm system to malfunction.

And in case you're wondering, cleaning up after building disasters falls under my job description as a "special project".

Also, Policate, you might want to check out Company in my sidebar.