Click to read PART 1
March 11-12: While I was struggling with the fallout of Expo, I also knew my employer was keenly aware of the COVID-19 situation. A load test was arranged for the following week. Everyone with remote access was to log on from home and test the waters, so to speak. I remembered as a kid, my friends and I would go into the girl’s bathroom at school and flush all the toilets at once. We were sure it would flood the building and we could go home. The goal with all of us flooding our servers all at once was to not break anything.
In my area, we are divided between three locations; two in Nebraska (different cities) and a location in Texas. About 30% of our associates are teleworkers. I've had remote access for years. I used to travel a lot for work and living 30 miles from work, it's nice not to have to negotiate bad roads on bad weather days.
As we waited for local schools to make a decision about closures, it was business as usual for the most part with one eye on the business continuity plan. Having all of our offices in the midwest, I envisioned a tornado taking out one or two of our buildings or loss of power from a blizzard or what we know now as a bomb cyclone, the cause of last year’s flooding. Will our plans work if we have to shut all of our buildings? We are not dealing with a decision equal to canceling a horse show - this is big business with thousands of employees. No COVID-19 cases had even been reported in Lincoln.
March 13: Just like it did for Expo, things progressed quickly. Schools announced they would be closing indefinitely. The load testing was moved up to Friday the 13th and associates with remote access were told to work from home the following week. This could help alleviate issues with child care and help reduce the population in our buildings, therefore reducing the risk of contamination.
I left the office early as I hadn’t stopped at the grocery store all week. I was starting to get a little concerned with the toilet paper situation and was sure my local store was not one of those where shelves were emptied. It was like Black Friday and shopping for a blizzard all at once. There were people all of the the place with carts stacked high with food. Long lines formed at every cashier and it wasn’t even 3:00 PM! There was not a roll of toilet paper to be found.
I went home to do the load testing and planned to go back into town later that weekend, finish up grocery shopping and get the rest of the equipment from my office. But a little voice told me it felt a bit like abandoning the ship. I don’t have young children at home, I live in the country and we are pretty isolated and I have to say, even with the panic in the grocery store, I was still a bit in denial about this whole thing.
I returned to the office on Monday. This would be Day 1 of 8 - and what we are no calling the “longest year of the week”.
My March 16 Post to Facebook:
My March 16 Post to Facebook:
To Be Continued.