Wild weather!

4 minute read

July 2, 2004, 1:21 AM

Boy, did we have some wild weather today! A tremendous thunderstorm came up out of nowhere around 5 PM (literally out of nowhere – it was sunny when I left for work at 1:30). This thunderstorm was amazing. Winds like mad (so I’m told – no windows at Wal-Mart), really heavy rains – enough to hear it on the salesfloor over the din of the customers, lightning like crazy, incredibly loud thunder (one round of thunder was a BOOM like an explosion rather than a rumble), and even hail, which you could hear on the roof.

And then, as one of our CSMs was handing me a flashlight for “just in case the power went off”, no sooner did she say it than the lights went out. Then they came back on. Then they went out for good. Let me say that the many skylights we have came in really handy, as the only parts of our store that were actually dark were the Service Desk and the other various “caves” in the store, like Layaway, the Vision Center, the Portrait Studio, etc. Those areas were dark, but we still had emergency lighting, which helped. But the bulk of the store was still very well lit by natural light.

Since we couldn’t do much at the Service Desk, since our scanners were out of service over there, they pulled me to the registers, where we hurried to get all the customers checked out despite having no belts due to no power (I told customers that I have no belt and that they should put their items at the end of the belt), and the fact that the customers had to be checked out before our backup power went out. We made it, thank goodness.

While I was checking people out, there was one child who was obviously very distraught by the whole thing, I think convinced that she was going to die (seriously, she said that). I did my best to reassure her that she would be fine, while keeping my cool under pressure. I did quite well, if I do say so myself.

Rumor among the associates was that a tornado was afoot, which was not at all pleasing to hear, considering how wild the weather was outside, and that I had a job to do, and that I didn’t want to crawl under the Service Desk and hide.

Still, when someone mentioned “tornado”, it reminded me of the time at CFW in 1995, before I worked there, that a tornado came through and ripped part of the roof off of the building along with most of the roof of Poly-Bond next door. I thought, oh, goodness, it will be CFW all over again. Thankfully, our roof stayed intact, though a number of people afterwards did place a tornado a few miles away, though this is unconfirmed by news reports (I’m looking and so far haven’t found any news reports to confirm or deny this).

Still, a tornado in the Shenandoah Valley is DANGEROUS. Here’s why. On the west we have the Alleghany Mountains. On the east we have the Blue Ridge Mountains. As such, when a tornado forms in the valley, it’s trapped, being held in by the mountains. And so it can go up and down the valley, but can’t leave because of the mountains. That’s how CFW got the roof torn off. So if we’re unfortunate enough to get one, it stays in and causes some serious carnage.

So the lights were off for a good hour and a half. After they came on, thank goodness, I finally got my lunch break. I went out to the Amoco station in Waynesboro, since our store was still closed due to the power outage, where I got a sub. I drove through the country club neighborhood to get back to work, and let’s talk about carnage. Tree limbs down all over the place. One tree trunk actually snapped in half, with the majority of the tree laying in its owner’s yard. There was even one downed power line. Still, the carnage was rather localized, with the majority of it occurring in the country club neighborhood, Wal-Mart, and near Ladd Convenience Store (down the road).

And when I got back to work after lunch, it was business as usual once again.

Otherwise, one of my coworkers discovered my Web site for the first time, and actually printed a page from my site to show everyone. Specifically, it was from my store, of my Photo 2 thong. And everyone realized, as my sister would happily tell you, that I am a sick, sad individual (and proud of it!). Yes, I have no shame, and have a very dashing photo of myself (if I do say so myself) on the crotch of thong underwear, which is also my best-selling item.

Of course, realize that I am also the same person who’s inadvertently referred to George Foreman Grills as “George Carlin Grills”, as in, “And I see you got a George Carlin Grill.” That was followed by a strange look, after which I realized my mistake. I admit I did have George Carlin on the brain, but still. On one hand, we have a large black man with no hair who is a boxer. On the other hand, we have a skinny white man with a gray beard, shouting obscenities in front of audiences for money. (And may I say I do enjoy George Carlin’s stand-up acts.)

Of course, now I’ve embraced my error, and jokingly call it a George Carlin Grill. Even though we know it’s a George Foreman Grill. But anyway…

So yes, I am a sick, sad individual, but you knew that already.

Web site: And by the time I finished writing this journal entry, I finally found an article about the storm. Seems this fancy weather wasn't a tornado, but it might as well have been. Still, it was hellish.

Song: "I Will Remember You" by Amy Grant

Quote: "Aren't you glad our adventures are over for today?" - Me, referring to the weather