Anybody have stories of 9/11/01 so-what-itude?

I was doing distributorship on the West Coast at the time, and one of our customers had a branch office 1/4 mile from Ground Zero. He was basically the office prick guarding the paper clip & sharpie pen supply, enjoying the perks of lording over the vendors.

Like everyone else (I thought) we spent the work day with one ear to the radio, when he called in with an order.

“Randy,” I asked, “how are the people in your New York office?”

(empty silence, during which I assumed I’d asked a question for which he had only a dreadful answer)

But then he cut back in with his usual demeaning & demanding spiel, as if I’d asked a stupid question. I later found out through other sources his NYC office was fine.

Has anyone else have experiences with rats who were oblivious to major events, so long as the water bottle in their cage kept dripping?

I got an e-mail from my publisher around 1:00 p.m. on 9/11/01 (I only read it after I got back to my office on Thursday). “I know things are kind of hectic up there,” it read, “but can you get us those revisions in the next week or so?”
I replied, “Now that I am through fleeing for my life through burning rubble, I will get started on the revisions as soon as I can.”

My story can’t compare to Eve’s or anyone else who was actually there when it happened, but…

I was working at Bitznbytes Computer Center in Concord, NH on that fateful day (they are now out of business, they went under about a month ago), we were in the manager’s office, watching the events unfold in disbelief, I saw WTC Tower #2 fall on live TV…

after about an hour of watching the events unfolding in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, “Scorpius” (names Farscaped to protect the guilty), who was watching the events with us, ordered us back to work, as if it was a non-event, and actually got pissed that we were watching the attacks and aftermath…

when it was HE who invited us into the office to watch them in the first place!

the store was dead the rest of the day anyway, he kept finding busywork for us to do, i mean how often can one clean the displays in the store, when they had just been cleaned a half hour ago and NO ONE came into the store in that time…

Fortunately I was unemployed at the time, as I didn’t stop crying for days. My son’s friend worked at Sears and they understood the emotional drain the event had on everyone, and let the whole office (5K people) go home if they wanted to. I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with the kind of response highlighted here.

My Boss’s Boss, who is usually a pretty nice guy, kept going around telling everybody that “It isn’t important” and “It don’t effect you nohow” and “You don’t know any of them people, get back to work.”

We work at Nashville International, right across from the Tower on one side, & the State Hanger, where the Governor keeps his plane, on the other. Just down the street from what was once a casually-guarded military base.

The next day, there were armed Nation Guard troops everywhere, toting M-16s, & looking for trouble. My Boss’s Boss was mighty quiet for a while.

Reposted from a recent Pit thread, here’s my memories of that morning.

Not 9/11… 3/11 in Madrid.

The last time I took a long-distance train there, I heard not one but two… sorryIdon’thaveawordforthem… yelling to the employees at Atocha station something along the lines of “YOU should get bombed!”

If I hadn’t been so stunned, the first one would have gotten the sharp edge of my tongue. For the second one, I did react in time. I told her I’m from Navarra and people like her make me sick to belong to their same species - she started trying to cut in and I told her I didn’t give a shit that she looked old enough to be my grandmother, NOBODY who is moronic enough to wish death on another deserves any of my respect. She mumbled something halfway between an apology and a “youth nowadays” but the security guard gave me a smile this big.

I worked right by the Empire State Building as a recruiter for a temp agency for the biggest a-hole I have ever met in my life.

Since those of us in the office (those of us who had hearts) were terrified out of our wits, thought the Empire State Building was next, and so were we, we had all been on the phone with loved ones assuring them we were okay, and needing to hear their voices - I’d been on the phone with my mom every ten minutes, trying not to dissolve into hysterics every time I heard her voice, when he came over to my desk, and said:

“Get off the f-ing phone and get back to work!”

If I’d had a way to walk home to Brooklyn at that point, I would have left right then, but as all of the bridges were closed, I had nowhere to go. So I ignored him and continued talking to my mom (as did everyone else in the office).

I quit that job a month later and gave his ass three days notice, which was about three days more than he deserved.


I woke up to the story on the radio. Perky morning DJ’s reacting first in disbelief, then horror. By the time I was ready to go to work, the ferries weren’t running, due to security concerns. My boss was livid that I wouldn’t drive the 100 miles around and over the bridge to come to work. Considering I was telecommuting 2 days a week anyway, it just didn’t seem like that big a deal to me.

At least he agreed to having an off-site backup after the towers came down.

My boss at the time tried to get people to turn off their radios and get back to work – right about the time that the towers were collapsing. Needless to say it didn’t work. And then she didn’t understand why some folks in the office wouldn’t speak to her for days afterward. Since I was the only one in the department who got along with Maria, I took it upon myself to explain to her why so many people were angry at her. Her explanation that she had felt getting back to work was the best way to calm everyone down was not received with much sympathy. Especially because telling people that the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history was happening “a thousand miles away” and that it “didn’t affect us” was a really well-thought-out motivational approach.

I was sitting in a web creation class (that turned out to be useless anyway, I am not a techie) when a teacher came in and told us to check out the news on our computers. We’re all sitting there stunned ( I thought it was a Towering Inferno type situation at first, which by itself would have been bad)when I hear a brain donor three seats down say “Woohoo, day off! National holiday!”

I came THIS close to slamming his head into his keyboard, and I’m not proud to say it. I’m also not happy that I didn’t at least tell him off, but I was kinda overwhelmed by his empathy :mad:.

I got roped into helping a guy from the Netherlands move a few weeks after the attacks. He loudly made the comment “So bunch of Wall Street warriors got killed. Who cares?” His son was a fireman for Halloween that year and he made a point of stressing to anyone who would listen that he was not an NYFD fireman because dad loathed all the tributes being paid to the fallen firefighters.

Needless to say the guy has real issues with America and capitalism. He also thrives on conflict and insults. Unfortunately, he is a professor at the University I work at.

So the operating theory is that every American should have been transformed by 9/11, and if they weren’t, then they hate America, soldier’s babies and puppies?

At some point during that horrible day, my cousin called me. She’s a lot older than I am, and been around long enough to realize the importance of what was happening. The reason she called me was to complain that her soaps had been preempted.

She knew that I had lived in NYC for 25 years, but didn’t think to ask me whether I knew anyone who might have been in harm’s way (I didn’t know it at the time, but two of my former coworkers had died; they worked for Cantor Fitzgerald). All my cousin cared about were her soaps. I think she even wrote an angry email to the networks.

And CynicalGabe, I won’t even bother responding to your post.

  1. You just did. Don’t get smarmy.
  2. I was serious.

I guess I’m one of those pricks you’re all talking about. I wasn’t transfixed by the news coverage, I didn’t cry, I didn’t panic. I thought of it as something that happened to people “over there” and didn’t feel as though the danger was going to affect me at all. Even when the final death count was announced, it was just like, “oh.” I felt much more affected by Katrina and the tsunami, even now I get angry when I think about them, but 9/11 never hit home for me and I don’t think it ever will.

I still feel bad about my lack of caring about 9/11, but the death count was not as high as it was in the wars (or natural disasters, or third world epidemics that we could easily cure) and I find it hard to care about America being attacked. I mean sure I feel bad that people died, that’s all I really care about, but as far as feeling personally threatened by terrorists? No. The Twin Towers were just pretty buildings in a postcard to me, and if it wasn’t for the loss of human life (which, like I said, is small compared to other disasters), I would think the whole thing was American consumerism blown way out of proportion.

Go ahead, pit me now.

I think you are misunderstanding the OP: we are not talking about people who weren’t “transformed” or were overly melodramatic about the events; we’re talking about people who had particularly and unsually coldhearted and oblivious reactions.

You know, for a few hours or so there were questions about how many other planes might still be involved and what targets they might be headed for. Barring that, I think at least a day worth of stunned disbelief and even a bit of sorrow for the people harmed isn’t too totally insane to consider as a possibility.

I remember being half a world away in southern Florida being the opening manager of a BestBuy and having a couple dozen employees with me that morning getting the store ready for opening. We had a bunch of the TVs on and employees were checking it out but still going about their opening duties.

I don’t think it really occured to anyone that morning that it was for sure a deliberate terrorist attack that was making history.
I think a lot of people thought it was some kind of accident at first. Nobody really knew the size of the plane involved. A lot of people thought it may had been a suicidal airline pilot. Nobody really knew what was going on but no one really panicked about it.
We open as usual but to lighter traffic since people were staying at home to watch the news. If employees wanted to go home I would have let them but nobody asked to go. When the towers did fall only a few people in the store saw it live. The rest of them wandered over to watch the replays.

So while I wasn’t an ass like other peoples bosses and wouldn’t have been, I didn’t really need to be. Most employees reaction was “wow, that is some crazy shit” and went back to work on what ended up to be a slow day.

It really wasn’t until that night after hearing all the reports and people piecing together what happened that the reality of it unfolded.

Yes, I did misinterpret.Thank you.

The sorrow yes, anyone who didn’t feel that is an ass. The disbelief, not so much. The fact that it happened was not stunning, the fact that it didn’t happen sooner is. Islamic terrorism isn’t a new problem, but we don’t need to get into that.