At work in Clevelad, OH

Date Submitted: 08/24/2008
Author Info: Phyllis (Lakewood, OH - USA) 
Occupation: Other
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I had just dropped my daughter off at work and we had gotten into a *huge* fight in the car. It was really bad; things said that shouldn’t have been said. She was in the midst of a very bad divorce and I was picking her up each morning, then dropping her son off at day care in a West suburb, then driving her to work in a South-East suburb then driving me downtown by 8:30; then the same round trip in the evening. I got into work at 8:30 and about 15 minutes later my sister called because she was watching TV while getting ready for work and had seen the first plane hit. A little while later she called again, and so did my brother, to say the 2nd tower had been hit. As stupid as this sounds (and my son reminds me all the time how stupid it was!) I remember thinking that terrorists had to have put some sort of magnetic thing in the buildings, *drawing* the planes to the building. I couldn’t fathom that someone would deliberately fly a plane into a building. Shortly after the planes hit my boss arrived at work and I brought her up to speed with what was going on and let her know how serious I felt it was. Then nobody could work. It was just confusion, phone calls, passing along info you had heard – some accurate and some not. My brother called to say the one tower had collapsed and said I really needed to see it on TV. He said it was very bad and I shouldn’t be at work. There were also stories going around about the one plane who actually went into Cleveland air space and then flew down to DC or PA, can’t remember which plane it was. We heard rumors that the mayor had closed down the city since tall buildings all over the country were at risk and we were connected to one of the tallest in the city. As much as I wanted to leave I didn’t want to panic and jump the gun but in hindsight, given a similar situation in the future I’m out of there much sooner. Finally, the company closed but I stayed behind to try to finish preparing payroll checks since payday was Friday and I didn’t know what the next day would bring. I stayed about an hour but finally had to leave because I just couldn’t concentrate. The parking garage was just bumper to bumper with everybody trying to get out at once but the good thing was that they had suspended any kind of collecting money and everyone was in a considerate mood, even though we were all in shock and worried. I picked up my son at high school. There were other parents coming and going and there were a few *runners*, kids getting other kids out of classes when their parents came to pick them up. My son (a freshman) didn’t know what had happened, although they knew something was going on and they had said a prayer first thing in the morning in chapel for the first plane that had gone into the building. While I respect that the school administration was trying to do the right thing and also, probably didn’t want a bunch of panicked kids on their hands, I think they should have told the kids what was going on. Other schools used it as a learning lesson and the kids were watching things unfold on TV. At any rate, when I picked up my son he asked what was going on and I told him I’d tell him when we got out of the building. When we did I told him that we had been attacked and then explained the Towers, the Pentagon, etc. He then said hold on and ran back into school. I thought he forgot something but he wanted to tell his friends. I worried about that, since the school didn’t want to alarm the kids, so worried that we might be in trouble but then put it in perspective and pushed it out of my mind. From there, we picked up my 2-year-old grandson, at my daughter’s request, and called to let her know we had him. I then went to the store and bought food, water, etc. I also gassed up the car and took out the max cash from the ATM because I had heard that was the prudent thing to do because nobody knew what to expect or anything. I remember sleeping with the TV on 24-7 for weeks; I was so afraid something would happen at night. I remember it was very eerie the next few days looking up in the sky and not seeing any planes, since they had all been grounded. Even eerier was when they were flying again you’d see one that caught your eye funny and wondered if it was something sinister. My sister and her family were upset too because their family Christmas Eve tradition was to go to Windows on the World.


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