The View From Under Here

This is what I’m doing today. To clarify, this photo depicts what my world looks like as I find myself squashed up under my desk at work.

Multiple choice:

Why is Karen under her desk at work?

1) Huddled up waiting for the Congressional sh*tstorm to pass

2) Hiding from her boss

3) Sleeping

4) Drunk again

5) Participating in an earthquake preparedness drill.

If you picked one through four, you are probably correct.

If you picked five you are technically correct, which is the best kind of correct.

Today my employer required our mandatory participation in a worldwide earthquake preparedness event.

Humorously, my employer called it a “drop, cover and hold” event, which of course made me think of those fun Cold War duck and cover school drills.

Growing up during the Cold War and living in a town with a Nuclear Research Facility, I used to wonder how that little ol’ pressed wood school desk was going to save anyone’s butt from nuclear fallout.

But whatever.

The theory behind shimmying under my desk while on the clock is the somewhat disputed “triangle of life” that says if you can get under something solid with a bit of room and the ceiling falls, it creates a triangle of open breathable space.

The funny thing is that my desk is cheap modular cubicle furniture and the building is a quite old converted warehouse. The very high ceiling is made of what appears to be solid oak beams.

I question if pressboard beats solid oak in the race against gravity, but I put that aside and complied with the mandatory event by smushing under my desk.

We held for 20 seconds to simulate a earthquake of that duration. Out of curiosity I looked up the Loma Prieta earthquake from 1989 and it was estimated to last between 10 to 15 seconds. Such a short amount of time for such a terrible thing.

By the way, today is the 24th anniversary of that little ol’ 6.9 shaker.

I felt a little silly under my desk and while we all under our respective desks we found the acoustics are awesome. We might have to hold staff meetings that way from now on. Then we evacuated the building and had about twenty minutes outside on a warm Autumn day.

So while we all giggled and cracked jokes about the end to end exercise, I also felt grateful.

It’s always nice to have a plan.

May I never have to use it.

First image, from under my desk, is Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and taken with an iPhone5, the Camera+ app, and humor.

The second image, a black and white photo of children under their schooldesks was found here.

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  • Frank

    It took awhile, but I started checking in on your blog. Now you’re not here. I’m guessing one through four.

    That was funny, by the way. I’ve thought about self effacing humor. People love it, don’t they? It disarms them. And they’re so relieved that people aren’t laughing at them this time. I was the designated self effacing humor person in my family, and when that dawned on me and I quit doing it nobody liked me anymore. That was 30 years ago. It gets lonesome sometimes without a family.

    Anyway, I know, you have a life, work, the pet goats. The Giants are in the World Series. That Napa Valley or whatever that wine place is that you go to beckons this time of year. I’m sorry, by the way, the way the game ended tonight with the Giants pinch runner getting picked off in the 9th inning. They’ll be over it by the time they get back to Boston.

    • Karen Fayeth

      Hey Frank! I’m glad you are still around. My pace of posts has slowed down a bit lately. It happens.

      Anyhow, last week was sort of insane. This week looks to be only mildly crazy, so here I am. I’m back!

      Hope all is good in your corner of the world.

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