20080104

70 mph winds today!

Winds in the Bay Area reached something like 70 mph today (well, yesterday now). Big rigs fell over, bridges and highways were closed, it was a mess.

My boss called at 8:00 to tell me the electricity in the building was out, and to keep him updated on the estimated time for everything to be up and running. Snafus beyond immediate control are always bad, because he's the type of person who panics as he imagines a bunch of unlikely scenarios and hounds people who are trying to help him to the point that he impedes their progress. On top of that, he's having a midlife crisis now, and has been crankier than usual.

I got to the office, and everything was dark, but the doors to the buildings and stairways were propped open, so I headed up to the office and attempted to call the utility company for a status update while I waited for the property manager to arrive. Except PG&E won't give status updates unless you have an account number or phone number associated with the account handy. I tried the property manager's office number... no dice.

I found out there was no estimated time for the electricity to come back on, because lines were down all over the state, so I called the boss with the news, and he said to leave him alone for an hour and a half and report back again. While I was waiting, some windows in the floor above blew out, the emergency power on my floor failed and property management put the building on lockdown and evacuated it, due to the danger posed by failing glass and the fact that there was no electricity.

I reported back to my boss as I headed to the car, and this is where his panic began. He fumed about not being able to access the building if he needed to get something and what if he needed to get something tomorrow for his trip to London on Sunday? I said it would be a function of whether the electricity was back on or not, and as I figured he would, he said to go back and and ask property management to make sure. Mind you, it's not that he actually has much there he would need. He doesn't keep much in the office other than completed paperwork. On the few occasions he has needed something while on a trip, he called to have me send it to him.

I turned back to the building... and the door was locked. I was in the basement garage, and had to walk out to the street and then around to the back of the building to get to the building's main entrance... which was also locked. The sign said to use the delivery entrance, which was on the opposite side of the building I'd just come around. It only took a few minutes, but the rain had already soaked through my raincoat and was making its way through my sweater and skirt. I found the property manager, who told me access to the building tomorrow would depend on... yep, whether the electricity was back on or not!

One more time, I reported back, then I had to walk around the outside of the building again to get to my car, and on the way, a small branch that was being carried by the wind whipped by and blindsided me, clipping me in the back, and sending me sprawling to the pavement. I was pissed! And then I was scared, because if that thing had hit me squarely and just a foot or so higher, I could have been seriously injured or dead. I was on the far side of the buildng, where there was no one going by, and if I had been hurt, it probably would have been awhile before someone found me. So then I was soaked, still pissed, lying in a puddle and getting cold. The only good news is my phone switched off from the impact of hitting the ground and/or having water on it, so my boss couldn't call back and tell me to go back again and make sure.

I was chilled the rest of the day. Actually, I still am. That's why I'm up typing this. I couldn't get warm, which prevented me from falling asleep. Plus, the fact that I really need to be more assertive when my boss is being unreasonable is weighing on me right now. I pretty much just let him rant and take out his frustrations on me. They don't really do much to harm me most of the time (I'm good at blocking out unnecessary chatter), but they are counter-productive.