Thursday, September 04, 2008

Going Through Gustav Day Four

7:30am – At work for over thirty minutes and I’m already bored out of my mind. Got here early since have-to-go-to-Baton-Rouge traffic was reduced with schools closed and nonessential state workers told to stay home. (And I really feel so essential right now.) Parked in the really empty parking lot about 6:45am having left home at 6am. I sat in my car soaking up the AC and charging the phone until a few more people showed up.

We got in at 7am. Minimumal power means emergency generator power. One elevator worked, but no computer, no phone, no calculators. I added up the deposit with my cellphone calculator and wrote the totals out by hand. And since I have never done a deposit manually before, I can only hope I did it right. I finished my Jimmy Dean egg McMuffin breakfast, and updated my blog notes. I found Blogger with my phone but can’t figure out how to update an existing blog through a mobile device. Don’t really want to start a new one. I think I will wander and see if the ice machine is on emergency power.

8:11am – And nobody else is here in my section. When I checked on ice—none—no one was in Fiscal. I’m on my last character’s compelling need questions; I’ll search again when I finish them. I hate how quiet it is. There have been a few more arrivals, but with them so quiet, it makes me paranoid that they’ve been sent home and nobody told me.

8:20am – Phones do work, internally at least. I just got a call from someone trying to figure out the main phone number for the department. The display on the phone doesn’t work, and neither do the “hey I’m ringing” lights.

Dana showed up, I turned over the deposit to Patti in Fiscal, and then Dana and I traded hurricane stories. They actually delivered some mail for us to open, which was all we could do with it.

About 10:30am, I looked out my window to see a DPS unit (a section of the state troopers who patrol the state buildings) with lights flashing and the trooper running to the garage entrance three floors below my window. I got closer to the glass and saw we had another unit plus a city police SUV and another DPS unit pulled in from the other direction. “What the hell is going on? People haven’t had time to get pissed off at the insurers yet.” Dana didn’t have any ideas, and another thought occurred to me. “You don’t think they evacuated and left us here, do you?”

“Let’s check P&C, and see if they know.” The P&C division is next door to our division and looked deserted. But people had been here just at 9. Someone finally answered our hails, two of the supervisors, with a question “Why are you still here? We got the phones covered and they let everyone else go home.”

“Nobody told us.” They also didn’t know anything about what DPS was doing, but no evacuation had been called. So then Dana and I started our trek to find somebody in charge of Management and Finance to A-okay our leaving. We finally ended up on the fourth floor and a secretary told us to go home since all the department heads were in a meeting with the Commissioner. They only needed P&C people for the phones, but thank you for showing up.

So we left around 11am. We ran into Anna on the way and she was upset with DPS. “What happened? I called in to report some broken glass in the garage from storm damage or vandalism. Guess which word they heard?” I can’t be too angry with them. We would have stayed until 4pm or when somebody told us to go home if it hadn’t been for DPS overreaction.

I stopped to check out Walker Wal-Mart, but decided against buying a new plastic cooler. I bought Popeye’s and tried to buy ice but the water had to freeze in the freezer trailer thingy. Course, I spent the rest of the afternoon fretting if I had to go to work Friday or not. The updated COOP message only called in the P&C response teams, no electricity so the building was closed to all other employees.

Then Entergy put out a neighborhood estimate list of when electricity will be restored. Capitol Park is not listed, some of downtown is already on, so no one knows when DOI will get power.

Night breezes finally died and I had to soak up some AC in the car last night, and took a Tylenol PM before finally getting to sleep after 11pm.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

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