Ohhhh, boy. I hate weeks like this. Meetings every single day, mostly because the CMS Subgroup, of which I am chair, is meeting twice a week to meet our May 19 deadline for reporting on which content management system the university should choose. One of our members keeps getting stroppy, which sets me on edge. Mom's coming to visit tomorrow and Sunday (glee!), but that means cleaning. Massively. T has hurt his back, though, and can't help, so I'm looking forward to carting all the boxes from our recent single-handed attempt to jumpstart the economy from the breakfast area down to the garage. Sigh. I have three major redesigns that I'm juggling, one of which is Admission. And then come the two whoppers: storms and potential mayhem.
Yesterday the long-forecast storms hit right about the time I was leaving. It was thundering massively and the tornado sirens were going off, but when I passed J in the hall, she had just talked to S on the phone, who said the tornado was going north of us (in Homewood). That's what they always do. Only they didn't. By the time I got in the car and down Lakeshore Drive a bit, S called and said I should either turn around and go back to campus, or come to his house, because the tornado and storms were coming through Vestavia Hills and Homewood and Hoover. Great. So I opted (in the interest of my friends' and relations' peace of mind) to go to Scott's house. We sat and watched the weather until 4:30, at which time he deemed it safe for me to travel. I really appreciated him letting me hang out there, but it lost me the afternoon of cleaning. Took me an hour to get home.
This morning, as I was getting ready, my phone buzzed at 5:35 a.m. with an alert that
A suspicious person with a weapon is on campus. Remain in your dorm until ALL CLEAR. THIS IS NOT A TEST
Huh. Okay. I figured it would over by the time I got to work. Then, at 6:13 while I was driving to campus, my supervisor Philip called and said the campus was in lockdown and that I should meet him in the parking lot, where we would talk about what to do, as he was nearly behind me. The campus security officers were stopping everyone and directing us to the south stadium lot. Sure enough, Philip was there. We got into his SUV, spoke with Officer Judy, and got permission to go to Samford Hall so I could post the story to the web. Kinda weird being locked in, not only to the building but to the PR office suite as well. I logged into the CMS so Philip could compose the story as we knew it. He got called back to the south stadium lot, leaving me locked in alone (at my insistence that I'd be fine). He called later and sent a man from the Purchasing Dept., whose office is on our floor, to be another presence in the building. By 7:30 we got the all clear. The consensus seems to be that the suspicious person immediately ran off campus, so there wasn't any danger really, but the university's emergency plan worked quite well. The great thing is, I could go on with my work as if it were a normal day. I hate wasting time in the morning!