Today, the shit went down at work... literally. In the early morning, thankfully after I left, and before the site opened up to the public, a brief-yet-torrential downpour hit the area. The site is in the valley of a minor tributary of the mighty Hudson, the vicinity basically acts as a funnel, with our site near the bottom. The building is mid 20th Century vintage, and apparently the storm sewers for the building and the town come together in such a manner that our pipes get overwhelmed during heavy storms. This also throws our sewage line out of whack.
Needless to say, the basement was flooded with some not-too-clean water... very not-too-clean water. My first indication that something was amiss when I arrived a five in the afternoon was the amount of sediment and debris deposited in our parking lot- sand, gravel, twigs, trash forming a small embankment against the curb. The second indication was the fact that our shop staff wasn't looking too happy. Luckily, our weekend cleaning contractors were doing yeomen's work- our two usual cleaners were working hard, and the owner of the company, to his credit, was downstairs running a wet-vac, spraying disinfectant, and setting up large industrial fans to dry the basement. The last time I saw him was under similar circumstances, a previous flood, after which he stayed until midnight doing clean-up duty. This afternoon, I joked, "We've got to stop meeting like this."
These occurrences are taking place about twice a year now. My boss, who is an architect, pored over the plans of the building and figured that running new sewer lines would have a six-figure price tag. Reading between the lines, I figured that nothing is going to be done about this situation. My office (such as it is, I am pretty much all over the place, indoors and out) is on the ground floor, so I can deal with the aftermath of these unpleasant episodes, but certain co-workers of mine have basement offices. As is usual, I can't complain about my work situation, I don't have it as shitty as others do.