They’re Terrorizing Themselves

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2019

(A few months ago, a series of gas explosions rocked an area to the north of Boston. Several homes were damaged or destroyed, though injuries were thankfully low. My coworker lives in one of the towns affected and was evacuated in the early morning, and is thus unable to come into the office, so I’ve been providing cover for her. We work as faculty assistants. A woman from another department in the school calls to set up a meeting with one of my colleague’s professors.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have access to that professor’s calendar. If it’s for something urgent, I can try to catch him in person today?”

Caller: “I think it can wait. Do you know when [Coworker] will be back in?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. She lives up in [Town affected], so she’s displaced right now and it’s too early to know when she’ll be allowed back into her house.”

Caller: “Goodness, that’s awful!”

Me: “Yeah. Thank God, her house wasn’t one of the ones that blew, but it’s such a scary thing!”

Caller: “It’s terrible, just terrible! And I haven’t heard anything about how it happened, but it must have been terrorism, right?”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure about that—“

Caller: “It had to be! What else could it be?”

Me: “Well, I think I saw something about how they were doing maintenance—“

Caller: “Oh, they’ll say anything now. It’s just a cover-up! It had to be terrorists; that’s the only thing that makes sense!”

Me: “Right. Sure… So, why don’t you email [Professor], and CC me and [Coworker], and hopefully we’ll get this scheduled.”

(Why on earth terrorists would want to target an insignificant residential area thirty miles from the nearest city is beyond me, but she wasn’t the only one to jump to that conclusion!)

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