9-11 memories

My weirdest ever first day at a new job was 9/11.

The first tower was hit while I was waiting in the reception area for someone from human resources to come get me. The receptionist got a phone call from someone telling her to look at the news. She pulled up an image on her computer screen and called me over to look at it with her.

We stared in disbelief. At that point, we assumed it was a horrible accident.

The person from HR came to get me. I don’t remember what happened next. A short while later, though, I was shown my office.

My first ever real actual office looked out over I-90 in Massachusetts. This is a major highway that cuts horizontally through the whole state and is always busy.

On that day, my first day at my new job, it was empty except for a never-ending stream of police cars, all with lights and sirens on, screaming westward across the state.

My new boss came to get me and led me to the break room. I met my coworkers. We all watched the little TV mounted in the upper corner of the room and cried together.

The main thing I remember about the immediate aftermath is not being able to reach people. It took days to, finally, one by one, find out everyone was okay.

I fell to the floor and cried with relief and gratitude for each one.

But when I remember 9-11 my brain recalls the incredibly eerie sight of I-90, completely empty mid-morning on a weekday, filled only with first responders from various towns in Massachusetts racing across the state to get to NYC and help however they could.

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