Remember when you were in grammar school, sitting in class, listening to your teacher drone on about some useless bit of knowledge you would never use in real life except for possibly a round of pub quiz trivia (scalactite: dripstone found on ceilings of caves, stalagmite: dripstone found on ground of caves). Your mind wanders far into oblivion as you’ve lost all hope of even the slightest distraction when suddenly, like a trumpet from the heavens, a loud blaring alarm sounds, jolting you awake.
Oh how I loved the random fire drills! 20 minutes of blissful chaos when your whole class had to scramble out the door, into the halls and out to the parking lot to your designated spot where the teacher would run around counting heads while you got to see your friends in other classrooms and waved frantically to them as if you’ve just boarded the same refugee boat out of a war torn country. It could have been 75 degrees and sunny, yet for some reason you were always cold and crossing your arms in a shivering position because it seemed to be the appropriate stance. Fire drills were the best escape from school because they were unplanned and never expected. The best ones were of course when they happened during an exam, but few of us were ever lucky enough to experience this perfect miracle.
Once, when I was very young, around the age where I thought turtles only lived in sewers, a fireman came to our class and told us that sometimes when the school had fire drills the firemen would occasionally take a kid out when the teacher wasn’t looking and have them wait with them to test the teacher and see if they realized they were missing a kid. I wanted nothing more than to be that kid. I thought it was THE-COOLEST job ever. Hanging out with a firefighter while trying to stump the teacher? Sign me up! I’d even try to lag around my desk so I could be last in line just in case any firefighters wanted to snatch me up and have me hide out in the office. This was probably the wrong reaction of how I should have responded to a fire alarm, but it was a small price to pay to increase the chances of getting my dream gig.
Sadly, I was never chosen. I never got the opportunity to be a firefighter’s helper and scare my teacher silly. Which is why after all these years I still crave the chance to be called to duty and it is probably why at work I am now apart of the FIRE SAFETY TEAM!
That’s right, not only am I a world-famous (ha) blogger, but I am also a professional “searcher” on Team Fire Safety at my office. My duties? To put on a neon-orange trucker hat, tell everyone to get their butts down the stairs, and check offices on my way out, putting post-its on the doors once I’ve checked them. Yes, I’ve wondered if there’s a fire on the floor won’t the post-its burn off and the firefighters won’t know- but I think I’m getting ahead of myself and will save those questions for when I am Fire Captain (dare I dream?).
Today was my first fire drill as a searcher. They warned us a week in advance it was coming which is why I had my hat and post-its out and ready. I did well, I stared down my cube worker as she moseyed down the aisle, giving her the stern stare while donning my orange cap. If she had taken any longer I would have used the fireman lift and hoisted her over my shoulder, but thankfully it did not come to that.
Everyone was moving along nicely but I think I may have over did it with the post-its. I thought we were supposed to put one on each desk down the aisle so you could tell everyone was out, but looking back that doesn’t make sense since you can simply look over the very low cube walls. So while all the other searchers were in the lobby I was wandering around my office putting stupid yellow post-its everywhere. Opps.
God help me if there is ever an actual real disaster, because I’m pretty sure you’re going to hear on the evening news : “Girl torched in office fire. Sources say she could have survived hadn’t she been looking for her trucker hat and surrounded by post-its which served as kindling for the flames.”
But as silly as it was, I am finally living out my dream and sense of duty to help those in need during a time of emergency.
Ok, no, I lied. I totally just did it for the hat: