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    Wake Up And Smell The Fumes

    | Orange County, CA, USA | Top

    (I’m a public safety officer in charge of the entire campus over the weekend. A large building has been locked, secured, and the key card access has been turned off because the building is being fumigated. I get a call on my work phone.)

    Me: “Campus safety, how can I help you?”

    Faculty: “Hi, I need to get into [building].”

    Me: “Sorry, that building is closed for fumigation.”

    Faculty: “I know, I left something in my office that’s really important. I need to go up and get it.”

    Me: “I understand, but the entire building is locked up so no one can get in.”

    Faculty: “I know, I have been trying to get in. They must have shut off the keycard readers.”

    Me: “You’re trying to get in? You can’t sir. The entire building is filled with toxic fumes.”

    Faculty: “I know that! I just need to get in real fast and grab something.”

    (His office is actually on the 4th floor. Even running and taking the elevator could be a 6-10 minute round trip in poisonous gas.)

    Me: “Sir, I can’t let you in. You could become seriously ill from the fumes. I can’t take that responsibility.”

    Faculty: “What if I wrote you a note saying it was okay?”

    Me: “That likely wouldn’t protect me from much if I let you in and you collapse. Then I would have to go in and get you and compromise my health and safety.”

    Faculty: “But you’re Campus Safety! Isn’t it your job to do that?”

    Me: “I’m ensuring your safety by not letting you in a poison-filled death trap.”

    Faculty: “Fine, then!” *hangs up*