Friday, April 18, 2008

In the line of fire

The only thing about gloating about a new office like this is when there is a fire drill, or worse a fire, you have to climb down 16 flights of stairs. The positive side, of course, is that it's a drill and not a fire and no one is really going to trample on you in a bid to get out of the building. And most importantly, you're taking the stairs down and not up.
The weirdest thing, however, was that not a lot of people seemed to be taking it seriously. The building management told everyone the exact time of the drill, which meant that certain people (who would prefer to get cooked in an office fire to taking 16 flights of stairs down) happily took the lift down 5 minutes before the drill. So when the alarm rang and the lifts shut down, these people were already downstairs. The worst thing is my boss actually took half of my team with her in the lift! Obviously, if the boss' boss is saying so, it must be okay. My team members did feel guilty though and sent me an sms later to tell me they were gone, and I was tempted to tell them that as a penalty, they would just have to climb up the stairs back into the office. However, true to my geeky nature when it comes to things like this, I remembered that during a real fire, people do not (and should not) pause to send silly sms messages to their teams.

However, I was happy to see that there were a handful of us still in the office when the actual alarm went off. Even the fact that two of the handful were fire wardens who HAD to take the stairs down did not shake my faith in the human spirit. There we were, for lack of a better adjective, the fiery folks (also known as 'The Fools' in many groups of homo sapiens), who were willing to go down the road not taken.

As we headed for the stairs, one of them said to me, "Sayesha, you're in heels!" Everyone in the company had turned up in running shoes like they were going for the vertical (downward) marathon or something.

"Yes. I am." I grinned. "If this were indeed a real fire, I would be more likely to be wearing heels, isn't it? I am trying to make the drill as close as possible to reality." I got some polite smiles, which translated in my head went something like "Sheesh! Geek!" As for the others, ahem, let's just say that several heads shook themselves at me in perfect unison.

The walk down the 16 flights took us not more than 5 minutes, mainly because we were the only conscientious people in the stairway - everyone else had already taken the lift. It was no wonder that the narrow stairway of such a giantass building was not crowded during a fire drill.

So we went downstairs and joined our other colleagues in the open field besides the building for attendance. After they had stopped complaining about the hot sun, they turned to us.

"You guys actually look the stairs??" they asked us.

"Of course. We didn't cheat. Like some people." I looked at my boss. She grinned. Others just shook their heads at us. Now that I think about it, we got a lot of heads shaken at us today. Some even sported dirty looks.

But the dirtiest looks were invited by this American guy who, after the drill, got into the lift, smiled at everyone and said, "Oh this was fun! We should do it again sometime!"



18 comments:

manju said...

Am I so jobless that I am hitting gold so often ;o)

satish said...

SILVER. and i have worked hard to get it. i deserve a standing ovation.

Maryum said...

before silver and gold,,, u shud have platinum and diamond .. and then when the bar is closed we can open a jewelry shop:D

mathew said...

In my office...folks used to grab a coffee before taking the stairs down!!

venkatesan said...

yes Sayesha, you did well to follow the rule. At times of disaster there will be no lift, no electricity. It is foolish to take these drills as jokes and these people will be clueless when actual fire takes place.

GPS said...

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Urv said...

Here's what happened at my workplace. Sometime back we had a fire drill which went out ok types. As u also experienced, a lot of people did not take it seriously. The next day, again the alarm went off. Again, people did not take it seriously. This time though it was for the actual fire. Luckily, it was a very minor one and no damages were done.
To Bhai, aap ne thik hi kiya. Aag ko lightly nai lene ka. coz aag koi bhi roop mein aati hai. woh gaana suna hai na 'tip tip barsa pani, pani ne aag lagayi' .
I know I am going to get the thwack for that one :)

Sanchit said...

we had a similar fire drill in office and ppl (knowing its a practice drill) kept on continuing work with a deaf ear to the alarms.. the floor secs had to literally drag ppl away from their PCs

# urv..
THWACK.. :D (meri taraf se bhi ek)
kya mast socha hain, apun ur fan again

Sayesha said...

#Manju,
Hehehe... I should have a quota system for the gold, yeah? :P

#Satish,
*standing ovation*
*rotten-tomato-throwing-session*
*sitting-down ceremony*
:P

#Maryum,
Hahahaha! Good idea! :D

#Mathew,
Hehe! At least they took the stairs! :)

#Mr. Venkatesan,
Thank you. :)

#GPS,
Ack! Spammer gives me "a hug"?! :/

#Urv,
Oh my goodness! It's like the boy who cried wolf!

//To Bhai, aap ne thik hi kiya. Aag ko lightly nai lene ka. coz aag koi bhi roop mein aati hai. woh gaana suna hai na 'tip tip barsa pani, pani ne aag lagayi' .
I know I am going to get the thwack for that one :)

If I hadn't laughed as hard as I did when I read that, you were SO in for a thwack - woh bhi weekend edition se! :D

#Sanchit,
//the floor secs had to literally drag ppl away from their PCs

Hahahaha! Poor floor secs! :P

//kya mast socha hain, apun ur fan again

Tum dona ka pyaar dekhkar apun ko Ramanand Sagar ki Ramayan ka woh episode yaad aa gaya - saakshaat Ram aur Bharat ki jodi hai. Ab Ram kaun aur Bharat kaun yeh tum log thwacking karke decide kar lo. :P

mythalez said...

well, atleast its jus a drill and not 'false' fire alarms that we keep having every few weeks! (due to faulty wiring of the alarms i think!)

and everyone takes them seriously since we had a building burnt down 2 1/2 yrs ago ...

anyway i shudnt be complaining against these false alarms ... saved me frm critical meetings quite a few times :D

Urv said...

~Sayesha
:) .. Speaking of Ramayan, just couple of days back saw the ad of the new Ramayan serial. It seemed as if Ekta Kapoor was involved with the direction.

Sayesha said...

#Mythalez,
Every few weeks?? No wonder they're not taken seriously!

//saved me frm critical meetings quite a few times :D

Hahaha! :D

#Urv,
Nooooooo! You're kidding, right?? :O I'm horrified at the thought of Ekta Kapoor directing Ramayana! :O
On the other hand, you may have given me inspiration for another Sayesha Smitten showbiz kitten post! ;)

Urv said...

Well, I was kidding but just to make sure, I googled it up and found that she is going to make Mahabharat!! (I didn't know that)I think she will call it Kahani Kurukshetra ki :) and the battle will go on for 18 years.. and after the battle, the character of 'baa' will finally be allowed to rest in peace..

rt said...

in my earlier office it was around 15-20 minutes for the people to come down by stairs(3 floors max) during such drills...guess that was the time when people wud catch up with friends staying at diff floors...

manju said...

quota system for this also ??? No, yaar... No reservations on this, please...

Bivas said...

Our buildinghas this weird alarm system...goes off on its own at times and as we get ready to move out...an announcement over the PA system comes..."Dear Employees...thr is no open fire...please continue ur work"...that too with the alarm still ringing!!!
When they had the actual drill...ppl thot this was one of those alarm failures and took their own sweet time to move out...anticipating the announcement!

Vaijayanta Chattoraj said...

Accorning to the American guy the FIRE was like: -

F - Fun
I - In
R - Rushing with
E - Everyone

Was it not so?

LOL.

Sayesha said...

#Urv,
My goodness!! That would be soooooo funny! :D :D :D

#rt,
Haha... that's true... my office spans two floors and we met the other floor wale people when we went downstairs. :)

#Manju,
Hehehehe! :P

#Bivas,
Oh man... that's dangerous! :O

#Vaijayanta,
Oh gawwwd! Somebody bash up this guy!