June 06, 2007


Occurring so close in time to our little episode in Joan Crawford-style mania and given the regularity of similar events, it amazes me more with every day that passes that anyone in this country manages to get a damned thing done:
ASHLAND -- In a scene reminiscent of the Cartoon Network bomb scare that paralyzed the Boston area in January, police shut down a strip mall yesterday in this small western suburb after employees at a Bank of America branch mistook a botched fax for a bomb threat.

Frustrated shop owners said the branch overreacted to the strange fax, which turned out to be an in-house marketing document sent by the bank's corporate office.

"The women at the bank should have handled it a little better," said Nick Markos, owner of Townhouse Pizza and Roast Beef, who estimated that he had lost $1,000 to $1,200 because of the lunch-hour evacuation. "She blew it all out of proportion, and all of us business owners had to pay for it."

A day-care center with about 30 children and more than a dozen small businesses in Ledgemere Plaza on Eliot Street were evacuated for about three hours after bank branch managers received a fax with images of a crude timer and a hand lighting a bomb, Ashland police Chief Scott Rohmer said. Bank employees told police a suspicious package had arrived around the same time, elevating their fears.

Bank security personnel later determined that a fax machine at the corporate office left off the text alerting employees to Small Business Commitment Week in June, including the words, "The Countdown Begins," above the bomb.

"It was not a communication that was ever meant to be distributed to customers or anyone externally, and the fax machine malfunctioned, so when it came out of the fax machine, it looked suspicious," Bank of America spokesman Ernesto Anguilla said.

Anguilla said that branches across the Northeast received the distorted fax and that while other branches also evacuated, none saw law enforcement response as extensive as in Ashland.
Via, and speaking of getting things done, the same site also points to this very useful productivity blog.

I second that. Just make sure that whatever it is you do, it isn't GETTING HYSTERICAL.

Thank you for your attention.