Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Your Attention Please!

When we hear those words at work, it's usually nothing, but yesterday was different. The message following those words was this: "A fire in the building has been reported. Please stand by while we investigate."

Okay, usually after about 30 seconds they come back on telling us the matter has been investigated and it is all clear. However, yesterday, they kept repeating the above message and each time, we are thinking, we need to get out of here! I am on the 29th floor of our building, and it takes awhile to walk down all those stairs. I think my boss was going to the elevator at this point while he could still use it to get out. This message, telling us to "stand by" kept repeating over and over for at least five minutes. We are thinking, what? We are supposed to just stand here and wait while our building is burning? I began packing up my things in my bag and put on my coat. I grabbed my purse and library book and shoved them into my bag.

Then we heard, "leave immediately" followed by the stand by message. But once I heard the leave part, I was out of there! I moved quickly to the stairs and went down as fast as I could. The next message told Everyone to leave the building immediately. I was on my way down and got all the way to the 22nd floor before seeing any other people ahead of me. The flights are split in half with a landing so you are pretty much going in circles on the way down. I was going so fast, I was beginning to get a little dizzy so I slowed down some. I was happy my legs and knees were working so well!

Then the lower floors started coming too and my descent was slowed considerably. Thoughts of 9/11 came to my mind and the book, Thunder Dog. I wished I had brought my camera thinking this could make a good blog post (yes, I did). I was optimistic that I would get out and wondered where my attorneys were. I felt some relief when I got to floor 17 and realized I was over halfway down and my legs were still doing well. I was grateful I wasn't still on floor 33 because that saved me four flights of stairs. I kept thinking on the way down, lets go. It was kind of scary that our building might actually burn down.

After about 15 minutes, I finally reached the bottom and the security guard told us it was a false alarm and we could all use the elevators to go back up. The lobby was mobbed with people, I did spot one of my attorneys and a few of my co-workers, but some had gone outside. I was happy to get back to my desk and know that everything was okay. I emailed all my attorneys to let them know they could come back in case they had actually left the building and hadn't heard that it was a false alarm.

This certainly helped the morning go by and I actually shook me up a little bit. Then it was time for break! I am relieved that my legs are not sore this morning like they were when we had a fire drill while I was on floor 33 years ago.

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Anonymous said...

What an experience! Yes, I can see thinking it is a good post.

Sandee said...

Double yikes. Scary stuff.

Have a terrific day. ☺

BeadedTail said...

Glad it turned out okay! That would have been a scarier 15 minutes if there really was a fire but hope you never experience an emergency like that ever!

Kara said...

Oh my goodness Karen! How scary. I'm so thankful it was a false alarm, but your poor heart must have been pounding so hard.

Isn't it funny what goes through our minds in a crisis? I think sometimes it must just be a defense mechanism to help us cope better or something.

Junk Drawer Kathy said...

Karen -- I was on the edge of my seat reading this post! How scary. I'm just like you, like to be prepared and ready to go. Like Lin said in another post, fitness is important for a lot of things and it can matter in an emergency if you have to act quickly. Who knew it took that long to walk down steps?! Glad it turned out to be nothing after all. Whew!

Mrs4444 said...

Aren't you glad you didn't have to walk back up? You might be writing a different post, then!haha

I think it's cute how you call them "my attorneys".

Glad it turned out to be nothing...

Kay said...

Holy cow, 9/11 is exactly what popped into my mind when you mentioned this post!! How crazy is that?

Good for you moving out quickly!!! I am so glad your knees handled that so well! My knees would not have been happy with me after so many steps :-(

And for the record, I would have also been thinking about how to blog that experience ;-)

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