You’ve probably heard about the steam pipe explosion in New York City on Wednesday. We caught it on the evening news and got concerned when the location was identified as next to Grand Central Station. Chris was recently named manager of the Grand Central store and we knew he was there. He finally called about 8:00 PM and said he was safe but had been right there when it blew. He had just walked out of the station and was less than a small city block from the action. He said it sounded like train coming through and the ground was rumbling. He said it looked and sounded exactly like the 9-11 World Trade Center collapse and he started running with the masses. He said he was totally covered in debris and people were staring at him when he got on board the subway for home. To make it more interesting the guy across the subway from him was a middle easterner wearing a large backpack. Nobody on the train knew anything about the explosion and he said he just knew that the train was the next target.
Overall his day was exciting. As I said, he had become manager of the Grand Central store within the past few weeks. Grand Central is the highest grossing store in the New York District. For six months prior to that he had been manager of the Flatiron store, which is the largest and flagship NY store. There were some personnel changes just above his pay grade and he ended up with a new District Manager who came in from Philadelpia. The new DM brought along a store manager who took over the Flatiron store when Chris moved to Grand Central Station- a nice promotion for both of them. Managing either of these store is a big deal in the District. Chris said that he was getting frequent calls from employees at Flatiron complaining about irregularities with the new manager. It all came to a head Wednesday – about the same time the steam line was blowing – and the new guy was summarily fired. When Chris, who was still running from the explosion, managed to get a call through to the regional manager to alert them about the explosion, she told him they were in a meeting and would call him back in a few minutes. When they called, it was to tell him that he was going to manage both the Flatiron and Grand Central stores until Labor Day and that he would be acting New York District Manager for the next week – the DM was going on a long planned vacation.
The bottom line to us is that Chris’s vacation to visit Florida next month is off the table!! He said he’ll be doing seven 12’s for the next month or so.