We had a meeting a few days ago about what each of us would be doing in the event a major natural disaster hit while we were at the office. I think it’s sort of cute that the powers that be are planning on people staying at their desks for the first hour of a catastrophic event. Sure it would be nice to think that everyone was an automaton who would run the checklists, rationally assess the situation, and make good decisions based on available facts… but lets face it, you’re flying against the strong wind of human nature. In those first minutes, assuming the building hasn’t fallen on our heads, you’re going to see a mass exodus as people’s flight instinct kicks in. During times of real crisis, we’re hard wired to think to hearth and home, not the office and redundant backup. I wouldn’t want to be the brave and crazy soul who tried standing in the doorway blocking the flood tide of people on their way out. Getting trampled isn’t really my style.
I suppose it’s a good enough plan if you aren’t bothered by considerations such as reality and basic human nature. The best I can hope for in these meetings is that I’m sitting far enough back in the room that most people won’t see me rolling my eyes and sketching out my own plan to escape, evade, and recover from whatever big nasty event ultimately befalls us.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.