This was a day I had not been looking forward to. Today was my last day as a contractor
. They had given me a months notice, saying that they were slashing budgets and that I had been there the longest. Whatever...
I had spent the day preparing my lab station for the next person who was going to take my job, I noticed that there was an increasing lateral movement to my chair and to the desk. I looked over at the coffee pot which was sloshing around and realized "Hey guys, we're having an earthquake"
There was a look of alarm on my two coworker's faces as they heard me say this and they shot out the door before the S-waves started rolling in. Even though I had only experienced enough earthquakes to count on one hand, my first instinct was to dive under the desk which I shared with 5 test machines. I clamped on to the lips that were underneath the desk with both hands and feet and sat there hanging and swinging for the duration of the rolling while all the computers in the room were doing a dance from side to side. Suprisingly none of them fell over. After the rolling stopped, I walked outside to where the rest of building 26 was congregated and waited for about 20 minutes chatting it up with the rest of my team while we waited for the alarms to stop and get the word that it was safe to go back in.
With everyones nerves rattled, our manager decided that we should all go down to the Mongolian Grill in downtown Bellevue, for lunch and for a small going away party for me. The same footage of Pioneer Square and the South Dome area was in a loop with the newscasters on King5 reporting on the epicenter while the magnitude kept changing from 5.0, 5.6, 5.9, 6.3, 6.5, 6.4, 6.6, and finally the USGS reported it was a 6.9 down in Lacey, about 50 miles south of Redmond.
The coincidence of this happening on the last day of my assignment was just a bit too eerie...