From the Usual Source.
Update, 1020 hrs: Lex, strangely enough, uses the exact same one-word title on his 9/11 post... wherein he re-tells his "where were you?" 9/11 tale. I strongly suspect the comments to his post will have many, many such tales before this day is done. Here's mine, very briefly:
I came up out of the Montgomery Street BART station just a couple o’ few minutes after 0600 hrs, on my way to work at a web services firm where I was the Director of Site Operations. There was a gaggle of people watching a teevee in the darkened window of the Fidelity office on the corner of Market and Montgomery; I passed them by without looking. Someone burst into Starbucks as I was standing in line and shouted at no one in particular “The bastards flew planes into the World Trade Center!” There were maybe six of us in line and we all looked at each other and rolled our eyes… just another crazy person (there were LOTS of ‘em in SFO’s Financial District). The shouting guy saw our reaction and said “No! I swear! I just saw it on TV!”
I got my coffee and hurried upstairs to work, where I had my night-shift switch our large-screen network monitor display to CNN. It was around 0615 hrs…
We all stared at the TV incredulously for about three minutes and NO ONE spoke… we just watched. Then reality hit and we began to launch our disaster recovery plan, preparing to relocate our emergency operations cadre to an alternate location. The rest of the day was a blur…
Well, it was and it wasn't. My boss, the Operations VP, hit the door to the Site Operations Center sometime just after 0615 hrs. We had our alternate SOC turned up and working before 1000 hrs; in the interim we had implemented our emergency telephone tree and called everyone in the company, advising them not to come in to work. Those few who did come in before our calls went out were sent home. We also called all our clients and advised them we'd gone to emergency operations. My boss, myself, and one other person remained in our main SOC to take what calls might come in for the rest of the day... mainly because there's always someone who doesn't "get the word." Things got really, really quiet from a business perspective around 1100 hrs. We didn't take a single business call all day.
You might wonder why an IT company went to emergency operations on 9/11, Gentle Reader. The simple fact: we were located in a high-rise building in the heart of SFO's Financial District (that's a pic of my building, above). No one in those early hours knew if the WTC and Pentagon were the only shots fired or if there would be more to follow. We viewed ourselves... and our general location... as a prime target. Thus: emergency ops.
The strangest thing that happened to me on 9/11/2001? The Second Mrs. Pennington called me early in the afternoon that day, just to talk. That was the first and only time that has ever happened.