Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nurse the Hate: The Big One

Having survived what I will now refer to in all future stories as "The Big One", I feel very confident about my future. Here in NE Ohio we were gently shaken by the earthquake that hit the entire East Coast today. It was sort of like being in a small boat tied to a dock on a nice Summer day. Let's all admit, it was kinda exciting. To have been trapped under 50 tons of rubble like in Haiti would not have been exciting, but a gentle rocking back and forth at work? Hey, it had to be better than this week's highlight thus far, singing "Happy Birthday" with all the other Rubes at the office to a work acquaintance while candles flickered on a sad little grocery store sheet cake. This afternoon everyone was all abuzz!

The best part of The Big One is sharing your exciting story with everyone else. "I was sitting at my desk after lunch, and it seemed like someone was rocking my cubicle back and forth. I thought it might have been Steve. Remember how he put tape all over my phone that one time? I felt kind of weird, and then I wondered if maybe that tuna salad at Subway was bad, like maybe it gave me food poisoning? So then I figured I would have been barfing if it was bad, but I wasn't, so I wondered if this is what getting a stroke feels like. Next thing I know, someone says it's an earthquake, and some people are freaking out." That is pretty much everyone's story in Ohio.

The key is to turn it into something. You want to make yourself seem more heroic. Make future potential employers see something special in you. I know this guy that was in a hurricane, and he has told the story 4 of the 5 times I have been around him. The last time I heard it, he was some kind of cross between Superman and Bruce Willis in "Die Hard". Despite the fact he was safe and secure in basically a bomb shelter, he tells it like he was on top of a mast of a clipper ship on the high seas. It's great. That guy knew how to take a natural event and run with it. He's got a job now that pays him so much money you'd blush if I told you how much. People look at him as a Leader. Hell, I was excited the first time I heard the story. He had told it so often, it was "his thing". He was really good at telling it too. It's all about practice. If he had been here today, his version of The Big One would have been like this...

"I wasn't concerned when the building first started to shake. I am well versed in the various fault lines in North America, and so I was not caught by surprise at all. Most of the others fled the building. I stayed behind. It wasn't a conscious decision I made, but just something I automatically did. I didn't think. How could I? I didn't have time. And there was too much at stake. But I am no hero. The real heroes are the ones that stayed behind with me, under my leadership. This ragtag skeleton crew and I did what we had to do. I made decisions on the fly, with everyone pulling their weight and then some. But it wasn't for us. We have a public to serve. Those people out there waiting to see "Price Is Right". Who would be there for them, the silent victims? As the plaster fell around our heads... live wires crackling loose like angry cobras... alarms sounding... women crying... I did what anyone would do really. I made sure that those Burger King commercials aired as scheduled and the station stayed on the air. Most of you here in the room would have done the same in that position. Well, some of you would have wept and soiled yourselves like school children with the sheer fright of it."

I really have to take this opportunity and manufacture something. When Lady Luck deals you a hand like this, you have to be ALL IN.


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