Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fire Drills Can Be Scary

Usually, when we are going to have a fire drill at work, they tell us ahead of time. So we all sit around at 9:15 a.m. waiting for the buzzer to sound so we can all file out and stand around for...ever. Until they finally radio over that we can all go back. This wastes approximately 1.5 hours of our day.

Today, while I was contemplating having a snack. (I wanted to have something before a meeting that could go into my regular lunch time - because, frankly, I tend to get hungry when I have low blood sugar. shuddup!) So, I'm getting some change to head to the vending machine, when the alarm goes off. And I'm like, "whoa!" because no one mentioned a drill.

So I grab my purse (but not my car keys - duh!) and I grab S and I'm all, "let's go! I don't want to burn to death!" and she agrees and we head out (while everyone else sits looking around trying to decide if they are going to evacuate). I pass by our floor monitor's cube and I ask, "did you know about this?" and he said he hadn't, so we definitely started to hightail it out (read: I didn't stop to change into my sneakers. lol)

S and I are among the first to reach the park that is like 3 block away. There are about 25 people total that left and got to the park at the same time we did. Everyone else trickled behind. For about 30 minutes (at least).

S and I discussed this. She said, "if there is something we learned from 9-11, it's get the hell out as quickly as possible!" and I agreed. We also agreed that our coworkers evacuate like they work...SLOWLY.

My suggestion of giving them a time limit went over well with S, though. As did my idea of using a THICK BLACK MARKER to make GIANT Xs on the foreheads of everyone who didn't get out quickly enough. I'm all about the learning curve here, people.


Speaking of fire drills. Did I tell you about our excitement last week? On Friday, I came back from a training meeting and was greeted with 3 missed calls - the alarm company, my dad, and my mom. Plus an email from Mark that said, "I told you that your mom overcooks her popcorn." To which I say, "huh?" and go check the voicemails.

Apparently, mom was cooking popcorn in the microwave. And she kind of forgot about it. And smoke was billowing out of the microwave. And the smoke alarm went off. And the alarm company got a signal and called the fire department. Mom called me to tell me that it wasn't an emergency and she had just burnt the popcorn (and totally stunk up the house!) and when a fire truck drove past - she gave a sigh of relief. Only....nope! They came back. And my mom shook her head, indicating that it wasn't necessary to jump off the truck with their giant hoses poised.

The firemen did stay long enough to show her how to shut off the fire alarm (she had propped a box full of towels around it to muffle the sound) - the cats and Chance were very happy when it stopped though! And mom, well, she's not allowed to make popcorn in the microwave. ever.


alyndabear said...

Argh I KNOW fire drills are a pain, but you've got to imagine every one of them as the real thing.. you did good getting out. (You should see it with the kidlets involved, it's manic.)

And your poor mum! The smell of burnt popcorn can be really nasty.. but at least the house wasn't burnt down!

B. Good said...

Awww, the joys of mom! LOL Burnt popcorn is the WORST! Poor thing, I'm sure that fire alarm was workin her last nerve.

I'm usually one of the first out of the building during a fire drill (after I grab ALL of my belongings, just in case). I know they say drop everything and run, but best believe I'm grabbing my purse, cell phone, glasses, backpack, and umbrella (if I have it) before I bounce. The company laptop can stay and burn for all I care!

Nicole P. said...

We stopped going outside for fire drills in college because people were always burning popcorn or thinking that a fog machine wouldn't set off the alarm. We'd just stay in bed and watch out the window for fire trucks. If we saw those, then we'd hightail it outside.

Your mom is smart. Burning popcorn = hunky firemen coming to the house to fix it. I'll have to keep that in mind...

L Sass said...

At my office, we just gather round the fire stairs and imagine ourselves actually exiting the building. It's pretty casual.

God help us if we ever have a REAL emergency!

slinger said...

We just got a memo that a surprise fire drill is planned here soon. Why did they have to wait till the weatehr is in the 50's? They could have doen it last week when it was 80!

Julie said...

When I was an RA in college and we had a fire alarm go off... I would get out of the building as quickly as possible and stand outside the doors yelling at people that they were on fire and to MOVE IT FASTER!!

After a few minutes if you came downstairs late, you would go into a separate group and be ostricized from your peers and written up. Ha!

Marianne said...

Our smoke alarm vociferously forbids us to make pizza. BIATCH...