Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Earthquake Zone

I called National Defence Headquarters today, inquiring about my service records. As I left the employ of the Department of National Defence four years ago, my records were transferred there for archiving. So I have to retrieve them before I proceed with my evil plans to return to uniform.

So I made the call and settled in for a long summer's hold please. It is after all, the government. I got an answering machine the first try, so I left my number and went back to work. Surprisingly enough, within the hour they called me back. Miracles never cease. I cheerfully greeted the girl on the other end and began to explain what I needed when I was rudely interupted by this...

"Oh my God! Hold please".

Then the phone clicked. I turned to my coworker and in bewilderment told her what I'd just heard, which was met by a crinkled brow and quizzical look from Rox. Simply out of shear morbid curiosity I held the line. Let's think about this for a moment; I'm calling National Defence Headquarters - the home of the Canadian Forces administration and logistics services, among other things. Also, this coming weekend, Canada is hosting the G20 and G8 conferences in Toronto and Huntsville respectively. And unless you're living under a rock, you know just how much security has been put into place for those events. My attendant greeted me with "Oh my God".

For about 5 minutes I held the line, wondering what was happening. When she finally came back, she was incredibly pleasant and apologetical, while informing me that I'd have to call back later, as they were in the middle of an earthquake, and they were evacuating. You see, NDHQ is in Ottawa, which is just south of the 5.5 magnitude earthquake today, at 1:41 pm.

Just as I was calling.

The quake didn't cause any major damage, but it was registered as far away as Boston. We felt it in our office, and one of the girl's husband called asking if we felt it. I didn't. But several others did.

This was my first earthquake, and I didn't even feel it. Not that I really wanted to, but the experience was lost on me. The only hint of the event was being put on hold quite rudely. For a call that started so upbeat and friendly, it certainly took a downturn. Tomorrow I'll try again, and unless they're still having aftershocks, I shouldn't anticipate any problems, except of course that tomorrow the phone will be answered by Master Corporal Shitforbrains, who's been relegated to a desk job due to his offensive leadership tactics and horrible mannerisms. Such is the army.