I posted this earlier in an AskReddit thread that was inexplicably removed. It seemed to be interesting to some people, so I thought I'd add it here.

Here's my story about the day of September 11, 2001.

For a few weeks in late August and early September 2001, my (now ex) girlfriend had been having fainting spells on the subway, so on September 10, she went to a doctor who told her to drink more water and be sure to have breakfast before she went to work. On the 11th, we woke up early so we could have breakfast together. Of course, since any shift in schedule is unpredictable, I left 5-10 minutes later than I normally would have.

As the N train approached the Cortlandt St. stop (which was inside the WTC) the conductor announced that we would be bypassing that stop due to a "smoky condition". Several people groaned, but I distinctly remember making eye contact with the woman in the seat directly across from mine, and our glance said, "Oh, well. What are you going to do? It could be worse."

I got off at Rector St. and looked up the tracks; there definitely was smoke filling up the tunnel. When I got up to street level, there were papers, some singed or charred, falling all over. People were confused. Sirens blared. I thought that it would be best to stay out of everyone's way and get to work.

Downtown NYC is built like a maze with high walls, so I had to walk a few blocks just to get my bearings. I had only been in the city for about a year, so my uptown/downtown sense was largely based on finding the WTC or the Empire State Building--if you know what street you're on, and you find either one of those, you know which way is which. So I found the right clearing of buildings and saw my office in flames.

By then, the second plane had hit, so both buildings were blazing, but I had no idea what was going on. I figured that it was just a fire--nothing so odd; sometimes there are fires in buildings, right? I thought to myself, I wonder how long it will be before we can go back to the office? Looking again, I guessed that it was pretty close to the 77th floor, but still I wasn't all that concerned. I was a bit confused as to why both buildings were burning, but I knew I'd find out soon enough.

I decided to walk to my gf's office in SoHo. I knew that news of a fire at the WTC would move quickly, but I hoped that I could get there before she heard about it. I would have called, but lines at every payphone were 10 or more people deep, and it was before everyone in the world had a cell phone. So I walked. The long way, around City Hall. I didn't want to be in any first responder's way.

The worst part, and I'm hesitant to write this, because I hate even admitting that I had to witness this, is that before I started to walk to her office, I stood watching the fire. Then someone jumped. I didn't believe what I saw, and I was still watching when two more people jumped. That's when I put my head down and left.

On the way, I walked with dedication, with purpose. I had to show my gf that I was all right. But I was sickened by the thought that people, possibly my friends and coworkers, had to make such an awful decision. I walked faster.

People on the streets were taking photos and video. I wanted to tell them to stop, that photos wouldn't do anyone any good, but I couldn't, because I knew that I'd probably think the same way if I didn't have such a close relationship with that building.

I reached her office around 10 am. I still didn't know what had happened, and I didn't fully understand the urgency with which her coworkers hurried me to her desk. When I got near her desk, where most of the people know who I was and where I worked, they broke into applause. I held her for several minutes before I learned anything about any planes.

At that point, my only priority was to call my parents. Of course, that wasn't easy because Arizona had just changed all of its area codes, and her office's phone system would not accept outgoing calls to unknown area codes. So we called everyone we knew and asked them to call my parents for me. I now have several people across the country, some of whom I've never met, that I will always cherish for making one phone call.

There were rumors about other planes and other landmarks. I heard that the Pentagon had been hit by a plane. I heard the Supreme Court building was in ruins. There was talk of gas leaks and explosions, even a troops on the ground type invasion. I heard that Tower 2, my building, had collapsed. I didn't know what to believe. Facts wouldn't be sorted out until much later. Two other friends of ours, who also lived in our Queens neighborhood, met up with us at my gf's office, and we sat there, not knowing what to do at all. By 1 pm, we decided to go to lunch. Amazingly, restaurants in SoHo were still open. I had a burger.

The trains were not yet running so we started walking uptown. The streets were frighteningly still. No cars, very few pedestrians. We walked up to 34th St when we heard that some trains were running again. We caught an F to Queens, and I talked to my parents around 4 pm. I had still heard nothing of any my coworkers. By 8, a bunch of people congregated at a friend's apartment. No one wanted to be alone. When I finally got in touch with a coworker, all but 4 from my company had been accounted for. Soon after, no one could stand watching the same footage over and over, so we put in children's movies. I fell asleep on a futon with 4 other people watching The Great Muppet Caper. The next morning, I got a parking ticket. I'm still mad about that.

My company, amazingly, lost only 4 people that day. We had the entire 77th floor and part of the 78th floor. The last people out said that they saw part of the wing in the 78th floor conference room as they left.

My immediate coworkers were already down in the 40s, taking the stairs down when the plane hit our building. They saw what happened to the north tower, and despite instructions from the building management, they decided to get out.


I had it easy. I always knew that I was fine. My gf, my parents, and tons of people all over the country knew that I worked in the WTC, and they had to spend the day worrying about me. I received hundreds of emails and phone calls over the next couple of weeks from people just saying they were happy to hear that they I was okay and that they loved me. I feel I played an important role in humanizing the whole catastrophe for those people. It's easy to brush off a number like 3,000, but it's impossible to brush off someone you know, even if that someone is just a close call.

Proof: My business card: http://i.imgur.com/C7WFlhy.jpg

My second paystub (the first was actually a check I had to deposit) http://i.imgur.com/Wu2tGpt.jpg

Comments: 1096 • Responses: 57  • Date: 

Dlegs599 karma

Have there been any stories from your coworkers who were in the building that really stuck with you?

BDMayhem1219 karma

Okay, I'll do happy, sad, and weird.

One of the data integrity managers was kind of a jerk. He was the guy who took smoke breaks in the stairwell and yelled--literally yelled--at his employees when they were late. But he was our floor's fire warden, and when the shit hit the fan, he was on his game. He personally saw that another one of his employees, who was very pregnant, made it down every step and out the building safely.

The admin team took charge of all the executives, just like they do on any other day. As they were all on their way out the door, the phone rang, and one amazing woman, Jill Campbell, turned around to answer it and told everyone she would catch up. She had a 10 month old son at home who will never know her.

My immediate coworkers noped their way down the stairs at the first sign of trouble in Tower 1, and one of them left her purse at her desk. Several months later, she got it back, or at least parts of its contents. She showed us the partially melted WTC ID card.

ChildCareEmployee376 karma

What are your thoughts about 9/11 jokes. People say "oh it's 15 years ago get over it" but is it still too soon?

BDMayhem1257 karma

I'll takes jokes over conspiracy theories any day of the week.

People process things through humor. It helps. Laughing is a good thing.

But if you're going to tell a 9/11 joke, make sure it's funny. Most aren't.

TheLegendOf19001611 karma

Knock knock

Who's there?

9/11

9/11 who?

I thought you said you'd never forget..

BDMayhem882 karma

I laughed.

jroddie4349 karma

So what happened to your workplace after the attack? Did your company switch buildings immediately or was there time?

BDMayhem785 karma

It took about a week for the upper management to get things organized, and then operations moved to the small office in Philly. For about 2-3 months, people had the choice to work from home or work in Philly. Many people choose to do that, as all expenses were covered, including a room at a 4 star hotel and meals wherever you wanted. The one time I did that, we had dinner at Morimoto, which ran about $100/person, not including drinks. After the first week, the company had to cut off paying for everyone's alcohol.

In December or January, we got a new permanent office in the West Village. 6th floor. People were very happy to be closer to the ground.

commonabond150 karma

And you're still working for the same company?

BDMayhem382 karma

I left in 2004.

My company was acquired by Thomson (now Thomson Reuters), and they ended up outsourcing my job. I quit to pursue photography before that happened.

LIGuy631319 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. One of the stories that sticks with me is from my friend Ray who worked in the South Tower (the 2nd tower to be hit). He was at work when he heard a loud explosion and felt his building shake. Then he saw debris and papers floating through the air past his windows. He was on, I think, the 50-something'th floor. He and his coworkers were at the windows trying to see what happened, but they couldn't get a good view. He had a brother in law who worked across the river in Jersey City and had a good view of the Manhattan skyline, so he gave him a call.

Hey, man, can you see what happened?

Not really, just a ton of smoke, looks like the North Tower is on fire.

Then they started BSing for a few minutes and found out that it was a plane that had hit the North Tower. So now they're talking about how an accident like that can happen, etc. Suddenly, Rays BIL cuts him off. Ray said he could hear the terror in his voice.

Ray. Ray! OHMYGOD, Ray! There's another one coming! Get out of there!

At which point Ray felt his building shake and sway and heard a tremendous explosion. He had the frame of mind to tell his BIL

Call your sister. Tell her I'm OK. I'm getting out now.

and he did. Scary shit.

BDMayhem147 karma

Holy crap. I know I was really lucky to be 5 minutes late that morning. Stories like this reinforce just how lucky.

hejianyi267 karma

Are you still with your girlfriend? How did the experience affect your relationship?

BDMayhem876 karma

We broke up a couple years later, but we're still friends. I don't think it really affected our romantic relationship, but it strengthened our friendship. That's an experience we shared that will never change, and I think we'll always be glad we were there for each other at the time.

LiterallyWhiteBread259 karma

First off, I would like to thank you for doing this AMA, I know this time can get very difficult for those involved. Can you possibly give me some insight as to your emotions (and reactions) prior to, during, and after the attacks?

BDMayhem899 karma

Prior to, I was really proud to be working at the WTC. I was a quiet kid from rural Arizona, and my first job out of college was in one of the most famous landmarks in the country. I knew about the 1993 attack, but I, like virtually everyone else, couldn't imagine something of this magnitude ever happening.

During the attacks, I was oblivious. I sincerely thought there was some freak accident that caused the fire(s). It never crossed my mind that it could have been intentional.

After, though, what emotion didn't I have? Fear, hate, rage, confusion, sympathy. For a few weeks after, it wasn't uncommon to find myself crying for no apparent reason, just being overwhelmed by emotions.

The strongest reaction, and this was at least city-wide, was just being nice to people. Everyone held doors for each other, said thank you, refrained from pushing to get on a crowded subway car, moved out of the way on the sidewalk. It was like everyone suddenly realized that all the people around them were real, with feelings and loved ones waiting for them. There was a great sense of goodwill throughout the city.

That's what I wish we could capture, and I wish it didn't take thousands of people dying to make it happen.

cm_mattd62 karma

How long did that goodwill last?

BDMayhem182 karma

It's hard to judge, as it went away very slowly. I do believe that the blackout of 2003 would have been much, much worse if not for 9/11.

thesearstower26 karma

It ended about the same time people started peeling from their car windows the faded flag stickers bought on 12 Sep.

BDMayhem87 karma

I actually did a photo series in the spring of 2002 of the tattered remains of American flags, mostly on cars. Here's the one I have a digital copy of:

http://i.imgur.com/ziWIXeY.jpg

AGreekGod218 karma

What was work like immediately after the attacks? Was it normal, tense, or what?

BDMayhem482 karma

It was very weird for some time. In a lot of ways, it was simultaneously tense and extremely laid back. On the one hand, many people were clearly shaken up and clung to their coworkers who shared the experience with them. But on the other hand, everyone was extremely lenient about the job itself. People would come into the office at 10:30, take a 2 hour lunch, and leave at 4, and no one blinked at it.

AGreekGod136 karma

That sounds really strange. How long did it take for everything to return back to normal?

BDMayhem379 karma

It never really got back to the way it was before. I certainly never once sweated being late to work again, and no one ever noticed when I was. Not that it was chronic or anything, but it wasn't at all a concern to me ever again.

In general, I'd say it was about 3-4 months before there was a relative state of normalcy in the office.

DeadPrateRoberts141 karma

That's funny. Do you think the experience made everyone see what's truly valuable about life, as in not work?

BDMayhem248 karma

Absolutely! Well, to some people, working there was truly valuable, but it wasn't to me. I quit a few years later to pursue photography; one of my coworkers quit to go to culinary school. Others went into other fields, but almost no one stayed with the company long.

GentlemenPreferButts15 karma

Was that just the nature of the work and where everyone was with their life? Or do you think living through something like that put people in a position to reevaluate their lives and jobs?

BDMayhem26 karma

I think it was both. Mine was an entry level job, and I worked with mostly 23-25 year olds. They can't be expected to stay at the same company forever.

Nylund180 karma

Not, OP, but as someone else who returned to work thereafter, I'll add the things I remembered the most:

  1. Aside from the general "terror," this was thousands of personal tragedies. Everyone either knew someone who died or had a friend/co-worker that died. I have strong memories of the sounds of sobs coming from my neighbor's apartment (her boyfriend died). Or moments like when I ran into an old classmate and asked if he still kept in touch with other old classmates, only to be told one of them died on 9/11. Or having friends who were there at ground zero suffering PTSD from seeing bodies land and splatter near them. Basically, the individual details that showed up randomly some days.

  2. Parachutes. My company strongly considered getting parachutes for each employee to store under their desks. Meetings where we seriously discussed the possibility of having to base-jump / sky-dive from our office building were weird.

  3. Fire drills. The boring drills we all know became very serious, usually headed up by someone from FDNY who knew an unfathomable amount of people who died.

  4. ANTHRAX!!!! People often forget this, but the anthrax letters started being mailed just days after 9/11, many of which were mailed to NYC, and/or handled in USPS mail sorting facilities that handled mail for millions. Some of these facilities had to be shut down for long periods of time to be decontaminated. My work would regularly inform me if our mail came from a sorting facility with a known exposure. This was actually quite scary for me.

This latter thing, the anthrax, was thought by some at the time to also be the work of fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. This added to a sense that 9/11 wasn't just one attack, but stage 1 in what was still an ongoing attack. Sure, you survived that day, but maybe opening the wrong letter would kill you tomorrow. The barriers being erected around buildings throughout the city added to this sense of an on-going siege.

friend_to_all_dogs100 karma

Crazy how the Anthrax attacks turned out to be a mad scientist working for the government. You know what I remember that no one else does? There was another major American Airlines accident (actual accident) in NYC 2 months later.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Flight_587

I was 11 and this caused me to way overestimate how common this was.

BDMayhem27 karma

I had forgotten about that. I was on the phone to my parents the second I heard about that plane.

oliveinthishouse202 karma

Is there anything you left in the office that you wish you could get back?

BDMayhem483 karma

Yes! I had just bought an N64 and a lot of games off eBay. I had taken the console and Goldeneye home, but the rest of the games were still in my bottom drawer.

sicaxav161 karma

Probably a good lesson to learn from, never bring your games to work!

BDMayhem201 karma

Haha! I had all my packages delivered to the office.

i_panicked_95 karma

At least you had Goldeneye if that's any consolation.

BDMayhem94 karma

That was the main (only) reason I wanted a 64.

Assdolf_Shitler16 karma

You didn't leave Mario or Starfox in your desk, did you?

BDMayhem21 karma

I don't think so, but they weren't Goldeneye, so I don't remember what all came in the lot.

rubio-is-a-mess180 karma

I can't even imagine going through something like that, and your story really helps me get a sense of what 9/11 was like for those closest to it.

I only barely remember it from when I was about 5 years old, seeing it on the news and all. My friends and I will sometimes lightheartedly make jokes about it, as with many others from my generation. If you don't mind me asking, how do you feel about 9/11 jokes/memes, as someone who experienced it firsthand?

BDMayhem266 karma

I understand the need for jokes. Many of my friends are comedians, and we almost all use humor to work through difficult situations. I know I made plenty of tasteless jokes about the Challenger, Oklahoma city, the Unabomber, etc., etc. in my youth. I can't really blame people for making jokes.

DirtySyko153 karma

Did you initially support the war? What were your thoughts on the Bush administration at the time, and how do you feel about it all now?

I was a Sophmore in high school when it happened. The following weeks our school was basically taken hostage as a military recruiting grounds. Every day walking the halls recruiters would be talking to kids. There was so much anger and these kids basically got manipulated by it. Friends of mine went on to join the Army or Marines, a couple even dropped out of high school for it. Everyone I knew who joined made it back, but one was shot a few times and another now suffers from PTSD.

BDMayhem367 karma

I was initially conflicted about the war. Of course, I didn't want any civilians to go through anything like what we did, which was inevitable, but I also wanted the people who planned the attacks to be brought to justice. I supported seeking Bin Laden in Afghanistan, and by the time Iraq came around, it seemed like a mistake to divert attention away from that mission. I really wanted to believe that Iraq was involved, that they had weapons intended to harm us, that the Bush administration wasn't lying to us.

But I hated that so much of the rhetoric was based on anger and fear. The goal of terrorism is to make you act while you're afraid, and we seemed to be playing right into their hands there.

LiquidMedicine152 karma

Looking back on it, do you consider yourself lucky?

BDMayhem418 karma

I consider myself phenomenally lucky. I was lucky to get the job in the first place, to have been able to experience working in such an amazing building. I was lucky to dodge any real danger. I was lucky to have such good friends and coworkers to get through the time afterward with.

zippytaco143 karma

So you ever hear people talk about it and they say things that make you angry?

BDMayhem485 karma

These days it's mostly politicians, using it for political purposes. That makes me angry.

TheLegendOf1900305 karma

I keep hearing this on the radio: "9/11 was an American tragedy, we here at bob dunham chevrolet would like to offer you 2.9% apr financing on all 2017 model year trucks blah blah blah" It seriously shocks me that this is ok.

BDMayhem360 karma

It's not.

bmxin209131 karma

Are you serious? Like that's really an ad? I'm a car salesman and if my dealership ever published an ad like that I'd quit my job...

BDMayhem276 karma

Did you see the mattress store's 9/11 sale ad?

https://youtu.be/2ZmM-2gj5Gc

BoltmanLocke106 karma

What did the inside of the WTC look like? The only way I have of finding out is effectively by googling, but you only find pictures of the attack and aftermath.

BDMayhem162 karma

My office was boring as hell. It was a sea of grey seated privacy cubicles, which means the walls were about 4 feet high. When you walked into the office, you couldn't see any people or effects, just cubes. My side of the building didn't have offices along the walls, but the Windows overlooked New Jersey. Data managers had offices along the north wall, so they got views of midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building. Sales had offices on the south, so they saw the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Programmers looked out at Brooklyn. On overcast days, no one saw anything, just cloud cover.

The lobby was more interesting, with marble and high ceilings. The express elevators went to the 78th floor, where our reception and executive offices were, and there was an escalator down to 77. On 78, there were also local elevators for anyone going to 79-110.

mispeltussrname97 karma

This may or may not be a silly question, but seeing how every person reacts differently to traumatic events, did you get formally diagnosed with PTSD? If so, how did you cope?

Also, in the months following, did you feel America wrapped a warm blanket of love and support around you and your coworkers/fellow NYC residents? Or was it out of sight, out of mind?

BDMayhem292 karma

No, I never saw a professional. My company did bring in a team of counselors who we could see, but I didn't feel a need.

But I did take action to cope. I gave my friends and family the attention and love they deserved. I smiled to strangers. I gave blood. I empathized with my fellow humans.

I think a lot of NY did the same. Remember the blackout in 2003? I honestly don't think that would have gone over so peacefully before 9/11. For a while, New Yorkers acted as nicely as Southerners, except they actually meant the niceness.

We felt the warm blanket of love. The outpouring was amazing.

rollcyclones93 karma

I started to cry reading this, I'm not sure why... I think it's because my subconcious felt for the 3,000 people's families that wouldn't be getting that phone call saying they were safe. The agony of trying to move on with such a senseless act of violence impacting your life.

It's just hard to belive it's been 15 years and we still haven't solved the problems facing our world. Terrorist attacks are becoming all too routine.

What do you have to say to conspiracy theory people saying it was the government behind the towers coming down?

BDMayhem89 karma

I don't have anything to say to those people. People are going to think what they want, regardless of facts and evidence.

commonabond79 karma

I think the lack of cell phone issue is going to be a hard thing to explain to kids in the future. Thanks for sharing your story OP.

You said that your company moved to Philly. How have your feelings of NYC changed since the attack?

BDMayhem19 karma

The Philly office was temporary, just until they got a permanent office in the West Village (6th floor).

I still love the city. I live in Connecticut now, and I like having the space for my kid to run and play. But we visit friends in the city regularly. It would be cool to still be there, but it's gotten crazy expensive--even more than it was just a few years ago when I left.

wishywashywonka73 karma

How did you get a parking ticket if you took subway trains the whole time? Or is it just something unrelated that made you angry the next day?

BDMayhem150 karma

I drove from my apartment in Queens to my friend's place, where we spent the night watching Muppet movies. The car had to be moved for street cleaning by 8am. I got the ticket at 8:06.

wishywashywonka70 karma

Didn't mean to come across accusatory, it sounds like you train to/from work but still drive around in the neighborhood. Seems reasonable enough, and the city probably should have been a bit more lenient about ticket writing the day after.

BDMayhem197 karma

That's how I felt. You'd think every city employee would have had SOMETHING better to do that morning than hand out parking tickets.

doctormon71 karma

Have you been back to the memorial? If so, what was that experience like?

BDMayhem155 karma

No, I haven't gone. But I know that some day I'm going to have to take my son. From what I can tell, it's been very tastefully done.

carolina_snowglobe9 karma

My recommendation is to take him when he's in middle school. Supposedly the things we learn during that time stick with us into adulthood more intensely. For example, I still feel strong, sad emotions about the Holocaust and attribute it to visiting a memorial where a survivor gave his testimony to us when I was in 7th grade. Then in college I went to the museum in DC and was completely broken inside. Just a thought. Thank you for taking time to do this. I was in 8th grade on 9/11.

BDMayhem7 karma

That may be a good time. I visited London when I was 13, and I still remember how sick I felt at the Imperial War Museum.

TeamGameOfJones56 karma

Were you or your coworkers paranoid about another attack?

Thank you so much for this AMA and your perspective.

BDMayhem132 karma

A little bit. After a while, the FAA reopened plane routes right over Manhattan, and that always made me uneasy. In fact, the first time I saw ground zero was from a plane. That was disconcerting.

I don't have a problem flying, but I do get worried every time I see a low-flying plane.

justdiver53 karma

I was 16 and 700 miles away from NYC on 9/11. In history class when the first plane hit, in anatomy when the second hit and the towers fell. There was a girl in my class, Abby. We'd known each other for some years, having had band together, but weren't close in anyway. As the second plane hit, and we all realized that this was no accident (there was still confusion up to that point) she started to cry. I sat down next to her and held her hand. I cried too. Jason, this jerkoff that sat in the back of the class and drank vodka from a sprite bottle, began making jokes. Him and another idiot acted like they were planes, arms out soaring around the room, randomly crashing into things and laughing. I yelled at them because the teacher didn't say a word. She was staring at the TV like everyone else. She cried too.

The rest of the day is a blur. I think I had band next. The teacher made us play, trying to keep some semblance of normalcy. Thanks for trying, Jim.

I think about Abby and Jason every year. I wonder how Abby is. We haven't spoken since we graduated. I don't think Jason ever did graduate. I heard a while back that Abby had a kid, maybe more by now. I'd like to reach out to her, see if she even remembers that, but it seems weird. "Hey remember that time we held hands in Anatomy while the towers were falling?"

Somebody told me that 9/11 is my generation's Kennedy assassination. Everyone remembers where they were, what they were doing when JFK was killed. My generation knows where they were when the towers fell.

I guess I don't have a question. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you're still here to tell it.

BDMayhem39 karma

Reach out to her. Let her know that she was, even for just a few minutes, important to you.

teriyakisoup43 karma

How old were you when this happened?

Thank you for sharing your story. This is a perspective I'd never read before.

BDMayhem66 karma

I was 23.

fembot200042 karma

This is amazing, thank you for sharing your story. Sorry if this has been answered before, but do you still work/live in NYC? Lately I've been thinking how much the world has changed since 9/11 with all of the security measures, what is your opinion on how everything has changed with security measures and really overall everything lol

BDMayhem96 karma

I think it's largely pointless. There's risk everywhere, and the relative risk of terrorism is pretty low. And things like the TSA at airports have proven to be highly ineffective at finding threats.

I have to say, the dirtiest thing I've ever done was to submit to a search before getting on the subway. I had a couple of bags of camera equipment, and I was in a hurry, so I didn't protest, but I absolutely feel like my 4th Amendment rights were violated.

fathqua39 karma

I imagine you feel grateful and lucky to be alive. Aside from that, did you ever struggle with guilt knowing that you could have just as easily been one of the people in that building that didn't make it out alive?

BDMayhem102 karma

No, I don't think I ever experienced guilt. I certainly thought about the randomness, how chance could have changed so many things for better or worse for so many people, including me. But then you think, there's risk all around us. It's a miracle we aren't all killed in car crashes. All we can do is cherish the time we have and the people we have to spend it with. Because you never know what's going to happen.

ratshack34 karma

Hello, 77th.

78-81st floor checking in here. Former Fujibank NA says hello.

I always wondered: did the other floors have an open floor plan as well or did they build offices with walls? I was never sure if that was just a japanese thing.

Do you remember the "high winds" days with the signs in the lobby and slow elevators?

Now i'm trying to remember if the skylobby was on 77 or 78. I think 77? Memory is wierd.

Glad you made it.

BDMayhem31 karma

Yeah, the skylobby was on 78, and in our reception area, there was an escalator down to 77. We had the entire floor.

There were offices along the north and south walls, so the managers got nice views. Lower level managers had offices against the elevator banks in the center. The rest of the space was all cubicles.

The thing I remember most about high wind days was how the water in the toilets would slosh around, like the pressure in the pipes was changing. And if you were still, you could feel the swaying of the building. Not much, but just enough that you were aware of it happening.

TheUglyBarnacle4234 karma

Don't know if you'll be back to answer, but here goes.

What would/have you said to people who believe in the various conspiracies?

BDMayhem86 karma

I don't engage with them. The people who believe them won't change their minds, so it's pointless to try.

transc3nder22 karma

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm not American but watched the second plane hit live on news. Like many others, I was initially concerned & intrigued by the claims of conspiracy, but after researching online it quickly became apparent that the claims were misconstrued & best, & outright utter bunkum in most cases.

My q... How do you deal with people who after 15 years still believe in controlled demo etc? Do you ignore or attempt to educate them (I myself lost patience of trying to use logic, science & reasoning to combat disinfo on this subject a few years ago).

BDMayhem34 karma

I can't get into it with them. It's pointless.

Owen_M417 karma

My Dad was a FDNY fireman at the time and was on duty when 9/11 was happening so naturally he helped. Anyway he has a whole scrapbook with a bunch of pictures of rubble and people covered in dust and just the general clean up effort I was wondering since you're into photography if you have something like that?

BDMayhem29 karma

I don't. I wasn't so serious about photography at the time, but also, I didn't go back to the site for some time, at least a couple years. For a while after, you had to prove that you lived or worked down there in order to go downtown. I didn't have a reason or desire to see what was down there.

I hope your dad is well. Thank him for me.

RubberSoul199813 karma

Did you know any of the 4 people that passed away?

BDMayhem35 karma

I only knew one of them, Jill Campbell, who was an admin.

menomenaa12 karma

Man, I don't know if I didn't get enough sleep last night or what but reading your account made me cry so much. Cathartically, in a way. My dad was in the city when it happened and we only just talked about his experience recently (I was 12 at the time, and he never told me at the time what it was like being in the city that day) The little details about your friends calling your parents for you are really heartwarming. I'm glad you're okay.

My question is whether you would work in the World Trade Center - the new one - ever again? I have friends at the New Yorker over there and I'm scared for them, though I keep it to myself. I know it's irrational, but it's a nagging fear of mine.

Again, glad you're safe.

BDMayhem19 karma

Honestly, I don't know. I'd like to say I would work there again, if nothing else as an FU to terrorists. But I might not be able to be around there all the time again. I've only been around the area a handful of times since then, so maybe the emotional resonance would wear down over time.

thedaddysaur12 karma

Don't know if you're still here, but have there been any instances in the past 10~ years where you thought you might be close to/part of another terrorist attack?

Also, do you worry about the state of the world for your son?

BDMayhem23 karma

Every time something out of the ordinary happens, that thought runs through my mind. The worst was on New Year's 2002. I was at my friend's apartment, which had a distant view of the Empire State Building. I was looking at it right when they turned the decorative lights out for the night. I was drunk and scared for while there.

I am concerned for my son, though I'm less scared than I was when I was a kid. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, we were drilled to be afraid of stuff at home, primarily gangs and drugs. When I was 12, I really thought I'd get shot if I wore a red t-shirt in the wrong neighborhood.

Since then I've come to understand how much the US has changed, and how overexaggerated some of those claims were. I'm pretty sure my kid will be okay.

hollysglad11 karma

Are you able to watch documentaries or anything on 9/11? My dad was supposed to be on one of the planes that hit the towers but he was called out the day before because his company needed him sooner. He remembers flying by the towers and how beautiful they were in the sunset. None of our family is able to watch anything about 9/11 because of the thought of him being on that plane still sickens us.

BDMayhem11 karma

I try not to watch footage. I hate seeing it, though I do feel like I need to learn more and remember the people who were there, the first responders especially.

Alecrizzle9 karma

How long was the elevator ride to your floor?

BDMayhem23 karma

It took just under a minute to get from the lobby to 78. It was really terrible to ride if you had a cold, because your ears would be messed up all day--right up to the point when you had to go back down to go home.

I3raxton7 karma

What floor did the plane hit? Did people see it coming or did it all happen too fast? I hope this isn't insensitive.

BDMayhem10 karma

It hit from the 78th to the 84th floors. I don't know if anyone saw it coming.

MjrMjr5 karma

What was the frequency of your pay? Even if you got paid weekly, that seems low for NYC in finance.

BDMayhem21 karma

I was an entry level research editor with a degree in creative writing. They wanted people to write and edit company bios, and as a 23 year old kid who desperately needed a job, I jumped at the chance to make $32k/year.

Brodusgus1 karma

[deleted]

BDMayhem8 karma

No, I was underground when both planes hit, and I was inside about a mile away by the time they collapsed.

Brodusgus-27 karma

[deleted]

BDMayhem14 karma

I was underground on a subway train. The train stopped underneath the building.

Brodusgus0 karma

[deleted]

BDMayhem10 karma

Sadly, no. I didn't get my first digital camera for another 2 years or so, and I didn't think to bring in a film camera to take any pictures of my cubicle. It was grey and boring. There was a plant on the partition, though.

[deleted]-2 karma

[deleted]

BDMayhem16 karma

I sincerely doubt it.

Edit: The question was "Was it an inside job?"

[deleted]-4 karma

[deleted]

BDMayhem6 karma

I haven't heard anything about that. As far as I could tell, everything was perfectly normal on the 10th.

TorontoMiked-16 karma

Why did it take you so long to figure out what happened? It must have been all over twitter, instagram, and beme.

BDMayhem12 karma

Lolz

69ingchimpmuncks-24 karma

Do you smoke weed?

BDMayhem11 karma

No.