Yesterday I was sitting at my desk when I thought I felt a little shaking. It took me a second to realize it wasn't my imagination. There was a little more and then I realized others were looking around wondering what it was. I stood up and could see the blinds shaking in an office. It felt like an earthquake but my immediate thought was, "No, this is New York." But it felt awfully similar to an earthquake...
Then one of our guys walked out on the phone and said, "That's a ****ing earthquake. They felt it in Jersey. We need to ****ing evacuate. They guy I was on the phone with in Jersey's building alarms were going off."
This is the point where people remained calm on the outside, but were clearly panicing on the inside. I had the thought to grab my phone but left my handbag behind. You really just don't think in these situations. I can't tell you how many times at my last job we had fire drills and had to leave the building, but I believe this is the first time it was for anything real.
As my colleagues and I walked the twenty six flights to the ground all I could think about was 9/11, and the people who were going down flight after flight after flight. I'd only gone about ten flights before my eyes started playing tricks on me and I was really losing my depth perception. I kept worrying I was going to trip down the stairs.
I also couldn't help but think about potential terrorist attacks. At the time I wasn't even thinking about the tenth anniversary of 9/11, but when you're in New York and something suspicious happens, the first thought you have is "terrorist."
We got outside and walked over to Central Park to get away from the buildings. Everyone was on the street, nervous because we still didn't know what was going on. I was able to make one call before I lost service, and then occasionally I'd get a text but couldn't send anything out. We finally heard the epicenter was in Virginia and it was a 5.8. I realized it wasn't that large on the scale, and have definitely felt stronger earthquakes and haven't been as nervous, but when you're in New York, and you're so high up, it's scary.