Thursday, July 9, 2009

Evacuation Drill - Advance Notification

And there was a mail titled: "Evacuation Drill - Advance Notification" about a couple of days ago.

Since this has been about the most `happening' thing here for a while now; and since this usually involves some movement away from the well set route from the main building to the cubicle; and since it has been a long time since the last post and waiting for some divine inspiration seems like a waste of time; and since this is compilation time plus since this monitor is a CRT, and also since there is no decent room among the aisles to follow this advice... [The alt-text in the original strip reads: "'Are you stealing those LCDs?' 'Yeah, but I'm doing it while my code compiles.'"]
... I created a new virtual desktop, named it Arbits, invoked MS Word from Linux and started from - "And there was a mail...".

As the story goes, It was just another Thursday yesterday. For all practical purposes, it could have been a Tuesday, and none the wiser. This would be the direct result of all the working days mashing into one entity called the Weekday. And then there is the Weekend entity. And thus the week is constituted.
I digress. For good reason though.

As stated, it was just another Thursday yesterday. It was the compilation time again. I had decided to use it to return a library book that I had borrowed. The only purpose the book had served, for about three months, was to add about 138 gms to my bag, but since I had got a much thicker Ken Follet novel - 'A Dangerous Fortune', after serious thought, decided to let this one go.

Along the way from the library, I met with a few people who were on the way to play table tennis, and I decided to go along. We went all the way there, through the drizzle that was falling from the heavens all around us, and just as we managed to find some rackets that could be remotely identified, from a few angles, as being used to play table tennis at some point of time in their lifetimes; this guard runs up to us and says that the centre needs to be closed down as there is a Fire Drill in the main building - which is a five minutes walk away. I go that place to play after more than a month, and I get shooed away because of the fear of a fake fire spreading to an unconnected building, two furlongs way, through the now steadily falling downpour.

The best part was when, moments before we were ushered out, another guard ran into the changing rooms, and together both guards started banging on the door of this dude who was having a bath inside. It's a pity that I couldn't stay to watch the person's expression, as he was kicked off half way through his shower.

I spent the evacuated time sitting near the parking lot, under a sheet roof, watching the rain fall on the parked cars, and waiting for some guard to call me off from there, as evacuation protocol dictates, in no unclear terms, that all personnel should gather only at the front of the building. Mostly, since they were all too busy fighting invisible flames, or pasting post-it notes, all of which were scribbled with the grim message "Evacuation - Fire Alarm. Do Not Enter" on everything that can be called as doors or windows, I was left undisturbed.

Anyway.. the story ends with the guys coming back to play fifteen minutes later, under one huge umbrella, and me joining them... But that would be tagged 'digression' again.

Guess this is enough build-up to copy paste the mail that I had sent to the new hire email group, about a year ago, after a very similar fire drill exercise. The compilation should be done in another few minutes anyway.

The mail follows:
Subject: Re: Rescue Operations - Part 2
From: "P N, Aniruddha"
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2008 21:29:47 +0530
To: [all new hires]

Things learned:

0. In case of a real fire - DO NOT use the stairs immediately.
a. Sleepwalking snails cover the same distance in a shorter time period.
b. It is just a stampede waiting to happen
c. The fire alarms are really loud, and most of those seem to be concentrated near the stairs
d. The surrounding people are good conductors of fire

So, this is what you do:
Relax in your cubicle and think of a good status message along the lines of 'brb.. building in flames'; check the latest news; random xkcd, or whatever else makes you happy - till the smoke gets so thick that you can no longer see the monitor -

1. Take the lift. Feel real happy because for once at least you can look at something else except your shoes or your mobile
2. If 1 is not an option, get to the terrace and wait for a fireman with a makeshift ladder - it is way cooler to get down that way.
3. None of the above + no other creative ideas - like using ropes and imitating Tarzan, using Sharingan imitating Sasuke etc. + then give up, put on some music to shut out the sound of alarms, sigh and go to 0.
[But by now a., b., and d. are taken care off - so it's a 75% better situation]


Happy weekend ya'all,

Aniruddha P N

Statutory Warning: All described actions to be carried out at your own risk

PS: I thought of putting a J at the end of the mail, but I figured a warning would serve a better purpose.
In response to:
[undisclosed sender]
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 4:39 AM
To: [all new hires]
Subject: Rescue Operations

Can some one summarize how many people got affected due to the emergency? How many got rescued with no injuries etc


VK said...

Place: Googleplex, Monuntain View, CA
Time: 4:38pm

Techie #1: Fire on the Mountain, run-run-run!!
Techie #2: Fire evacuation drill?
Techie #1: Naah! Pink slips.

Logik said...

Ah, the benefits of compilation time... Write some more code. This kinda stuff needs to come out more often... Btw, is new hires, your batch, or your juniors?

Dha said...

Place: The company next door
Time: 3rd, this month.

Techie #1: Fire on the Mountain, run-run-run!!
Techie #2: Fire evacuation drill?
Techie #1: Naah! Swine Flu.


Dha said...

the new hire batch in the mail is the batch that I joined with.
the juniors are also here, btw.
3 from our college.
37 in all.
and last heard, they weren't even given their email ids yet.