Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

All Those Fire Drills In School Were A Waste, Apparently

, , , , , | Working | March 16, 2023

I work for Facilities Management in a multi-storey NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) office of around 400 staff. Part of my job is to be Fire Marshal and ensure swift and safe evacuations. There are unannounced drills, and as staff leaves, the marshals sweep each floor to ensure they are clear. All drills are evaluated with a target time to clear the building.

One day during a drill, I have to deal with an employee in Human Resources, recently transferred from the head office, who has other priorities. I find her locked in her office on the top floor and knock on the door.

Me: “[Colleague], you have to leave.”

Colleague: “I can’t.” 

Me: “Why? Do you need help?”

Colleague: “I’m waiting for a phone call.”

Me: “Never mind, you can deal with it later. We’ll only be about twenty minutes.”

Colleague: “No, no, I rang the head office and I’m waiting to hear back about what to do.”

Me: “Right, I’m a Fire Marshal and can tell you that: you need to leave. Now.”

Colleague: “No, you don’t understand. It’s Governance.”

Me: “Governance?”

Colleague: “Governance. I’m responsible for all the records—” *waves her hand around indicating file cabinets, etc.* “—and I can’t leave them. I can’t risk anyone seeing them.”

Me: “It doesn’t matter; there’s nobody here. We need to go — now.”

Colleague: “But I’m waiting to hear from the head of Human Resources about what I should do.”

Me: “Have you been through a drill at head office?”

Colleague: “Oh, yes.”

Me: “And what did you do?”

Colleague: “I left the building.”

Me: “Well, it’s exactly the same here. Let’s go.”

Colleague: “But Governance…”

I’m conscious that the clock is ticking on evacuation time. 

Me: “Look, the whole building is empty so no one can see them, and if there was a fire, you couldn’t do anything anyway, so it makes no difference. We really have to go…”

Just then, her phone rings. She grabs it in a panic and speaks to her boss at the head office.

Colleague: “There’s a fire alarm! What should I do?”

After a very brief pause, she hangs up the phone. 

Me: “What did they say?”

Colleague: “He said I should leave.”

Question of the Week

What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

I have a story to share!