I was in the middle of doing a full day of interviews Tuesday over at the focus group facility when I saw the email about a fire drill to be held at 3 p.m. at the other office. I didn't give it a second thought.
Walking up and down the Safeway aisles yesterday morning, my friend called about another project. "What are we going to do with all of the completed surveys? Can't we get them over to the client? I'm worried about a fire," she said.
I told her that, sure, we could make arrangements to get them over to the client, although we still hadn't gotten the go-ahead that the data was all clean. If there were issues, we'd have to go back to the survey booklets to deal with any discrepancies.
"But the earthquake could trigger fires, and I don't want to lose all of these."
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"The earthquake. There's going to be a massive earthquake tomorrow."
V. is a brilliant woman. She is extremely intelligent. She owns a small business which employs dozens of people. She has two offices: a 25-station telephone center and a state-of-the-art focus group facility. She does work for an elite list of clients. I have never doubted her abilities in all the years we've worked together.
And although she is more conservative than I sometimes think is possible, I never pegged her as a doomsday proponent.
Yet, there she is, having fallen hook, line and sinker, for the ramblings of a purported predictor of earthquakes. The fire drill? Not something cooked up by the landlord; it was her idea. And all those surveys being boxed up and put into plastic wrapping to avoid water damage following a fire? Also her idea. Because of the ramblings of a cuckoo head, the dead fish in Redondo Beach, her dog's inexplicable barking, and her cat hiding in a cupboard.
I am laughing about it. We all are. (But not so she hears us!) In the end, it's always good to be prepared, certainly. But there's not going to be a major earthquake today hitting along the San Andreas Fault.
[Image from a company building underground survival bunkers. You truly need to check out its site.]