A photo I took on the day of the earthquake five years ago, if my photo archive timestamps are correct | Photo: Dan McQuade
Five years ago today, my world shook — literally.
Five years ago today, I worked on the 17th floor of the Comcast Center. I worked a 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. shift, which was almost up. Then, the shaking started.
I actually knew it was coming. While scanning Twitter, I saw a handful of tweets from people in Washington, D.C. They reported shaking. When my desk started to shake ever so slightly, I knew we were getting an earthquake.
It was over quickly. It was not that bad. The main sight I remember was the rooftop pool across the street from the Comcast Center — the water was going back and forth for minutes after the quake ended. Some of my coworkers were terrified — a few people just left, immediately. But once people figured out it was just a small earthquake, and not something more serious, we were fine.
Then came an announcement over the loudspeaker. Whoever was making it seemed out of breath. “There has been,” the voice said, and then a loud pause and an exhale, “an earthquake.” This person now sounded terrified. There hadn’t been any structural damage to the building, the voice said, and work could continue. Those who evacuated should return to the office to finish the day. We shouldn’t be worried.
The tone of his voice said otherwise. Some of my coworkers, previously calm, were now scared. What did the Disembodied Comcast Voice know that we didn’t? Read more »