I wasn't supposed to work yesterday, but my boss asked me to go with him to a luncheon at the Music Hall. I declined at first (I am only allowed to work 20 hours until I return full time on the 16th), but then I remembered a meeting I needed to attend on the same afternoon. So, I reworked my schedule to accommodate a half day and made my way to the luncheon at 11:30.
Now, my boss has been sick lately. He's been insisting that he wasn't contagious, but I'm not sure any of us believed him. And, sure enough, upon meeting him at the luncheon, he started talking about how he felt feverish and how everyone in his household was also ill with the same thing.
He then proceeded to hack all over the place and shake hands with everyone. It was like he had made a deal with the germs to help infect as many people as possible. And, of course, he insisted on sitting next to me. He knew better than to cough on strangers, so he'd turn in my direction during each and every coughing fit while I stared at him with my best "Seriously?" look.
I could have killed him.
(Or at least sprayed him with Lysol.)
By the time the luncheon was over, the tornado sirens had started going off. It really didn't look very threatening outside, and I assumed the warning applied to some other part of the county (since sirens going off doesn't always indicate an emergency in the immediate area. Just one somewhere in Dallas County). So, I was a little surprised when, in the middle of talking to an old coworker of mine, my boss came over, interrupted and said we had to leave. Now.
I figured he was being overly dramatic. After all, he'd never liked the old coworker I was talking to very much. But he was visibly concerned as we left the safety of the building and sprinted for the parking lot.
The museum is within walking distance of the Music Hall, but it had started to rain. So, I gave my boss a lift. During the short ride, he was on his cell phone freaking out about the weather. Which I thought was odd considering we live in Dallas and tornado sirens have a tendency to go off in the spring. Not that tornado warnings are to be taken lightly. It is just that they happen frequently enough that it seems silly to panic. DFW is the largest metropolitan area in tornado alley. We aren't strangers to severe weather.
But there was my boss...panicking away:
Boss: "Oh, this is bad. Everyone needs to go home immediately. I'm calling Nora and giving everyone the afternoon off."
Me: "Seriously? How bad is it?"
Boss on the phone to Nora: "Nora? Can you pull up the weather? It is bad. Real bad. Call everyone and tell them that I'm giving them the afternoon off and that they should pack up immediately and go home. I'm pulling up at the museum now, but don't have my keys. I accidentally left them on my desk. Can you open the side door for me? Okay, thanks. I am getting out of the car now."
Boss hanging up the phone and turning back towards me: "Listen to me: Go home and be with your baby."
And with that, my boss jumped out of my car and sprinted to the museum's employee entrance.
And I just sat there and stared at him. Because "go home and be with your baby" is something people say in movies about the apocalypse. Not during spring thunderstorms in Texas.
So, I called Nora back and asked how bad the storm really was, because the last place I wanted to be during severe weather was in my car on the road. Plus, the museum is - quite literally - a bomb shelter. I would be much safer inside its walls than at home in my shoe closet.
Apparently, all my coworkers agreed, because we all chose to stay instead of taking full advantage of a free afternoon off. This greatly confused our boss, who insisted on texting Nora with regular weather updates for the duration of the bad weather. It really seemed to bother him that we were all still at the museum, and he kept trying to get us to leave. He wanted us to go home. He offered to let us come to his house and ride the storm out there (with three sick people, no less!). He even tried to order us all to go next door and be with the City employees. I guess he decided the third option was the most realistic, because he stuck with it for a while. Finally, Nora had to text him that, if we were going to die, we wanted to do it with people we knew, not strangers in the giant lightening rod next door.
There were confirmed tornadoes all around us to the south and east, but the storm really didn't seem that bad from our vantage point inside the museum. We didn't even get any hail, which is amazing since Trevor's car fell victim to baseball sized hail up in Lewisville. Poor boy had avoided having so much as a scratch or dent on his new car up until yesterday afternoon. But he was lucky. The cars on either side of his in the parking lot had their windshields broken.
And then there was this photo that was taken by one of his coworkers from the office window:
Obviously, it could have been a lot worse than a little hail damage.
And, miraculously, everyone escaped the storms unscathed. There were something like 18 tornados reported yesterday, and so far no fatalities. Amazing.
Well, unless you count the fact I woke up this morning with a sore throat. But I don't think you can attribute that to anyone other than my boss.