Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Where Were You Working When the Storm Broke?

This has been one of those days... there were storm warnings all day, even a tornado watch for Northern Westchester and Rockland counties. As luck would have it, we had a VIP event scheduled for tonight- a preview of one of our Fall fundraisers which, again as luck would have it, happens in a tent in a low-lying field on one of our properties.

The e-mails tell the story... at noon, my boss wrote to tell everyone the event was cancelled, at half-past noon, the event was reinstituted. Either way, I had to work, so nothing was really effected on my end. I arrived at work, and there were mucky-mucks abounding. The first thing I did, as a favor to one of the part-timers in our development office who I absolutely love (she met her husband in one of the bars in my neighborhood, so we get along swimmingly), was carry a couple of cases of beer from our basement staff kitchen to the room where the pre-event reception was taking place. I was getting flashbacks to my high school years, when I worked in the local deli as a factotum. I was also able to touch base with one of the guys on the day crew who handles most of our maintenance work- plumbing, changing light bulbs, sending work orders for electrical jobs. I am a big proponent of institutional memory, so I was able to point out certain things which needed to be addressed before the busy season starts in earnest this weekend.

The event went off without a hitch, but as soon as it ended, all hell broke loose, weather-wise. While we didn't get any tornadoes, one was confirmed in Chappaqua, which suggests that Vulgarmort may have gotten his hands on the keys to Obama's Weather Smurfing Machine. A handful of people from the development office and my boss' boss made it back to the site's Visitors' Center, drenched to the bone. I helped them put the leftover beer and wine from the event in a storage room, then went to the basement to check to see if any flooding had occurred. Sure enough, some water was backing into the bathrooms from an overtaxed sewer system. Luckily, I had put down doorway flood barriers and flood control bags at the beginning of the shift, so things were somewhat contained. I told my big boss about the flooding and he was able to observe the rising level of filthy water coming up through the drains. It's nice when one of the bigwigs gets to see what we deal with happening in real-time. After a brief conference, I called our cleaning contractor, who had been onsite earlier to clean the place before and after the event, to let him know that his services, and his wet-vacuums, would be needed first thing in the morning. He's one of our best contractors, and I have come to value his competence and his friendship.

As the office staff left, I went outside to lock up the main parking lot, which was being overswept by a torrent of water flowing down the street. The water was over my ankles and, with the current, a lot of it ended up flowing up my legs, leaving me totally drenched, poncho notwithstanding.

I am now taking a brief breather before heading back outside to lock up an outlying parking lot, and making a hasty inspection of the property. Before I head back into the storm, which has subsided to a moderate rainfall, I think I'll post one of my all-time favorite songs, which lends its title to this post title:

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