Missing The Point: The Earthquake Drill

From:  Janice Yauncey
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 10:03 AM
Subject: Earthquake Drill

Please provide feedback on the earthquake drill:
1.    Did you hear the drill announcement? If no, where were you in our building?
2.    Did you know what you should do?
3.    Did you follow the directions and actually drop, cover and hold on?
4.    Did you have trouble getting back up after the drill?
5.    Did you receive the written directions instructing what to do in an earthquake?
6.    Are there any changes that are needed to make your space safer?

Thanks, JEY

From: Aaron Simon
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 10:20 AM
To: Janice Yauncey
Subject: RE: Earthquake Drill


1) I heard the drill announcement, even though I was trying desperately to wish myself into a happy place by way of blaring Iron Maiden from my speakers. This is more due to the terrifyingly loud PA system we have in place than your efforts,  so don’t get too excited.

2) I consider myself a loose adherent to Buddhism. One of the things I like most about Buddhism is a very important quote attributed to Siddhartha wherein the Enlightened One states something akin to: “Think critically about everything an authority figure tells you. If it clashes with your intrinsically-held beliefs, then ignore it; even if I have told you something.” Of course, there are some pitfalls here, like what if a psychopath ignores “do no harm” in favor of “do tons of harm?” But that’s a question for a theological discussion, and I don’t think you’re looking for that.

However, in answer to your question, consider what the Buddha said. Your suggestion about hiding under something stable certainly sounds logical, but it is ingrained in my mind that the best way to survive an earthquake is to jump out of a window and run screaming around the street–you’ll outrun the tremors that way. Thus, I know what you think I should do, but I know what I should do.

3) As per my discussion above, I did not do any one of those things. Instead, I ducked to the hallway outside our office, ripped the fire extinguisher from the wall, and hurled it through the window. Once the glass finished breaking, I leapt the two stories from our floor (not that big of a deal, since I routinely jump from roofs to leave friends’ homes) to 5th Avenue, and, in the proper fashion–arms in the air, continuously emitting shrieks–I ran blindly into traffic, whereupon I was hit by a Cadillac. No lasting damage was done, though I don’t think I’ll be able to run again.

4) I did have trouble getting up after the drill, as I was hit by a Cadillac. I’m not sure if this is part of the drill, but you really should include “Do not get hit by a speeding Cadillac,” as it is helpful information to possess along with “do not panic.” (The Cadillac that hit me was not technically speeding, though a vehicle traveling thirty miles an hour ramming into a man traveling four miles an hour still hurts a lot.) I managed to eventually stand, though it was with the help of the paramedics on-site. I imagine that I would not have had trouble getting up from the drill if the Cadillac had not hit me, but there were quite a few vehicles traveling on 5th when I was hit, so I assume I still would have been hit by something and would have thus been hurt by a car and had a hard time getting up.

5) I did receive the written instructions, but promptly shredded them. It was a waste of color ink, and I felt that it was a very patronizing thing, telling me what to do when I clearly did not want to do anything. If I want to run out onto the street and outrun an earthquake, then, damn it, I will run out on to the street and outrun an earthquake. No amount of your paper fliers will stop me from doing so. The only thing that will–and has–stopped me was the recent meeting with a large Cadillac on 5th Avenue.

6) I would like a complete change in my workspace. I’ve seen Ted Hayward’s office numerous times and quite like the fact that he has a window. As Ted is still on leave while his FBI case is being investigated, could I have his office? The close proximity to the window would be appreciated in the event of another earthquake drill, as next time I would not have to knock over several women–one of whom was pregnant–in order to break through a window.

Thanks in advance,

Aaron Simon
Enrollment Coordination Specialist, Disabled

From: Janice Yauncey
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 11:00 AM
To: Aaron Simon
Subject: RE: RE: Earthquake Drill

What? You jumped out of a window?

In the event of an earthquake, you are to seek cover under a sturdy structure, like a desk. This was clearly outlined in the written instructions.

Where are you e-mailing from? Are you on a remote device?

You won’t be getting Edward’s office. Our lawyers are close to getting the matter completed and he should be returning in a couple of weeks.

Janice Yauncey
Organizational Safety Watcher

From: Aaron Simon
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 11:13 AM
To: Janice Yauncey
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Earthquake Drill


If you would have read my e-mail, then you would have seen that I did, in fact, jump out of my window. As you had to ask for clarification when I stated it, quite clearly, several times, I am led to believe that you did not read my e-mails. I am forced to wonder why someone of your mental fortitude–rather, lack thereof–was put in charge of something as unimportant as an earthquake drill.

Further, I think you would have understood, after reading my e-mail, that I do not like your instructions, and chose to follow my own. They were much more fun until I was hit by the Cadillac.

For all you know, I am e-mailing from the cold depths of Hell. Let’s keep it that way.

Thanks for the update on Tedward’s case. I’ll see what I can do to throw a wrench in the works.

Also: As my injury happened on company time in response a drill for a highly unlikely even for Nashville, I’m going to be suing the organization. Thought you should know.

-Aaron Simon
Suing Your Butts Off

From: Janice Yauncey
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 1:01 PM
To: Aaron Simon
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: Earthquake Drill

I talked to James and he said to ignore you. He said you are a compulsive liar who plays it for laughs.

Please do not e-mail me about the earthquake drill, as it was a serious thing and coworkers could benefit from it. I checked and the windows outside aren’t broken, so your story is a lie.

Jane Yauncey
Organizational Saftey Watcher

From: Aaron Simon
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 1:10 PM
To: Janice Yauncey
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Earthquake Drill


I’m hurt. Literally. I’m hurt. I had to limp back into the office from the street. Do you know how hard that is? Do you see my dedication to this job?

Aaron Simon

From: Janice Yauncey
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 1:13 PM
To: Aaron Simon
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Earthquake Drill

Stop it.

Janice Yauncey
Organizational Safety Watcher

From: Aaron Simon
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2011 1:10 PM
To: Janice Yauncey
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Earthquake Drill

I just saw bone poke through my skin. Is that covered by our health insurance?

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