Thursday, August 23, 2007

Don't worry, that siren is just an inconvient background noise

Shortly after 2:30 p.m. today I receive a phone call at work. It is from Mark telling me that they [everyone in the law school] have been sent to the basement because of a Tornado Warning. Everything is fine, but being that whatever is in DeKalb county will surely arrive in DuPage soon after, I started monitoring the weather situation.

About twenty minutes later I stopped by a friend's office to peak out her window at the sky. That is when I realize the tornado sirens are sounding (the building is oddly soundproof I guess). I rush back to my desk and inform my co-workers that the tornado sirens are going off. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise because I've already shared what is going on with Mark. No one believes me or seems very alarmed by the whole thing. I work on the third floor in the center of the building. While the center is rather isolated from the outside, I'm thinking that if the roof gets torn off this won't be a good thing. I decided that this would be an opportune time to return the investor file I have at my desk to the file room in the basement and I announce as much. I grab my cell phone and the folder and head downstairs.

The UPS truck is loading up on the distribution center dock, and after I return the folder I peaked outside. The clouds were churning around and the sky was getting to be a nasty color. Just about that time everyone else came downstairs too. The senior vice president had insisted everyone go. I found it incredibly interesting though that NO OTHER company in the building thought it was necessary to take precautionary shelter. What were they waiting for? To actually see a funnel cloud? It isn't like we are in an open area where you can see miles and miles of sky in all directions. I just don't get it. I have often thought that there is a disturbingly large chunk of the population here in Chicagoland that has no concern over the life or death or themselves or anyone else. This conclusion is most easily reached by driving here for awhile, but there are other clues. Obviously, this is one of them.

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