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By ReallyEvilCanine (Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 03:37:08 AM EST) A Day in the Life, WTF, kindergarten, fire, nerds, not runts, fuckwits, pie (all tags)
Kindergarten: Day 4

I still remember some of my year in Kindergarten. My teacher was Miss Rath. My girlfriend was Audrey Keys. I sucked at colouring (and still do) despite a box of 64 Crayolas (with the built-in sharpener) but kicked ass in finger-painting. Our first day was spent meeting each other since half the kids hadn't been in pre-kindergarten the year before. We coloured and sang some songs. I didn't sleep at naptime and to this day I don't sleep much.

On the playground during the second day is where my then best friend Kenny E. and I came up with our alter-egos "Kunky" and "Roggy", a skunk and a frog with speech impediments: Kunky couldn't say his esses and Roggy (me) couldn't say his effs. It was to be another two years before I learned how to say, "Uck you" at summer camp. These speech impediments were pretend and the "loser" was whoever said the letter he shouldn't be able to say.

On day three we met Señora Maldonado (de Argentina), our Spanish teacher, and Miss Fry, the music teacher. I loved singing time. I injured myself on the playground and not 72 hours after starting the school year I was back in the nurse's office being tended to by Mrs. Hadley. Unlike my mother, Mrs. Hadley never put mercurochrome on wounds. That shit stung.

On day four we had our first fire drill.

x-posted to da brog, sans poll

The fire drill was pretty cool, actually. We got stop all the hard work (colouring... fire engines, coincidentally) and walk out to the playground. I quickly came to love the fire drill as it got me out of horrible classes taught by increasingly more horrible teachers all the way through high school, where the Gang of Three would pull the alarm at least once a week. Everyone knew who they were but they never got caught.

The routine was the same from grammar through secondary school: safety patrols would strap on their day-glo orange belts, go to their stations and act like junior fire marshals. It was usually the nerds, and those whose were nerdier than I if such a thing was possible.

The fire alarm went off a couple days ago. I saw no smoke from the adjacent buildings nor in the reflections of ours. I smelled no smoke. I was in the midst of dealing with a Prio-1 problem for a very large customer. Most people started shuffling out. I stayed, as did Steve. Fuck it, I'm close enough to an exit if there's really a fire.

Along came a pretend fire marshal. Nerd. Dressed up with his little day-glo orange vest and a walkie-talkie he was actually strutting.

Nerd: You must leave ze building.
REC: I'm busy.
Nerd: Do you not hear ze alarm
REC: Of course I hear it. Do you not see I'm on the phone with an important customer problem?
Nerd: But you HEFF to leave ze building.
REC: As soon as it gets dangerous.
Nerd: It is alvays dangerous. Hyuu must leave before ze exits is blocked.
REC: We're one storey up and I'm right next to a huge window. The exit ain't blocked
Nerd: But zat could injure you.
REC: Dude, it's not three meters. I've fallen farther accidentally and been fine.
Nerd: But you HEFF to leave!
REC: Why? There's no fire, this is a drill, and a 10,000-user center isdown. I'm not in grade school anymore.
Nerd: But I am ze Fire Custodian Marshal end you heff to listen to me.

And it was then that my manager walked by and I was informed in no uncertain terms that I had to play, too -- tough shit for the customer. The twat in orange beamed a triumphant grin and waited for me, pointing the way I had to leave.

REC: I'm sorry but I'm going to have to call you back.
Cust.: What?
REC: I'm sorry. There's a fire drill.
Cust.: A fire?
REC: No, just a fire drill. A pretend fire.
Cust.: You're joking!
REC: I wish I was.
Cust.: How long will this take?
REC: I don't know. Ten minutes? Half an hour?

Manager: Move it, REC!

Cust.: We can't wait for games!
REC: I feel the same way. My manager's standing here yelling at me to leave.
Cust.: I'm going to complain!
REC: Please, for the love of all that does not suck, complain. Complain to management and escalate it! Complain as much as you possibly can!
Cust.: You call back immediately when the game is over?
REC: Promise.

And out I went. Into the cold. At least it wasn't raining like the day before. But being outside wasn't enough. Nosiree, we had allotted positions to take, ostensibly "in order to make sure everyone is out". And how the fuck do we do that? We don't punch a clock or log in or sign an attendance sheet. How the fuck would anyone know that someone's missing? I wasn't the only one asking this, but it was clear that the $MegaCorp employees grumbled less than we acquired $BigCorpers. They're used to it.

Fifteen minutes later we were allowed back in. The safety patrols at the doors weren't informed of this decision and tried to block the masses from returning while chattering away on their walkie-talkies. Since each mook at each entrance was trying to talk at the same time, all the messages were stomping on each other so that no one understood a thing.

We finally got in and I called the customer back. We found the source of his problem and had a resolution in six minutes. More than 56 man-hours of call-center time were wasted so some nerdy Krauts could dress up and play fire marshal. Figure a calculated loss of at least €15,000 for this company alone.

I'm an adult. I make my own decisions. I am ultimately responsible for my decisions, including those affecting my safety. I will determine whether a 3-meter drop is excessive. I lost time, my colleagues lost time, our customers lost time and money, all so that some twats you want to punch in the face before they even open their mouths could play dress-up and feel superior.


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A Day in the Life | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Stop being a selfish dick by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 03:49:48 AM EST
certainly in the UK and I imagine the fatherland too, it's a legal requirement to practise evacuations from large office building once a year. Otherwise all sorts of unpleasant fines and lawsuits will occur.

Nope by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:03:31 AM EST
There is no law requiring fire drills. This was something dreamt up by Betriebsrat. I asked. Everyone hates it... except for the safety patrols who get to trot out their nifty, day-glo orange vests and a little construction worker flag each year.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
I hear what you're saying, but . . . by slozo (4.00 / 2) #3 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:35:02 AM EST
. . . it sounds as if you haven't thought about where the "other side" is coming fom. Your manager told you to leave like everyone else knew to, because it's something he has to enforce. It's his job to follow those guidelines, and as an employee, it's your job to follow his orders. I wonder how many other stragglers like you he had to round up, just because they thought their work was more important? Do you think that might have had something to do with the fire drill be so lengthy? If you were allowed to stay because of your "importance", who else would have stayed? What use would the drill be then?

Drills are a way of practising safety in case of an emergency, and most people don't take them seriously, and they complain about what a waste of time they are. Can you guess how many people would sue company x if they had no fire drills and people were injured or hurt in a fire?

I predict more "useless drills" in the future . . . all because a few smart guys can't take the hint when the alarm goes off and leave the building as they've been told to do . . .

I wasn't the last one out. by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:46:41 AM EST
This is Germany. Frivolous lawsuits are rare. Fire drills are not mandatory, not even in factories. Not even in factories which emply fire, such as the brick factory I worked in more than a decade ago. Were it mandatory I wouldn't be bitching about anything other than their doing it on a day with shitty weather just to be cunts ("You veren't expecting zat, vere you?").

In the self-congratulatory mail they sent around afterwards they gushed about how they finally got 100% compliance this year and how wonderful they were. I found out that the Betriebsrat went pissing and moaning to all the managers to get compliance.

I'm 30 feet from the main stairway and four feet from a window with a very short drop. Next year when they pretend there's a fire maybe I'll pretend to not be here by putting up a big sign reading "REC has already left the building."

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
Heh by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:58:07 AM EST

This is Germany. Frivolous lawsuits are rare.

Give them fifteen years. They used to be rare here too.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Nope by komet (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:17:56 AM EST
USia and UKia are both case law countries; Germany is not.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
[ Parent ]
Case Law? by squigs (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:31:46 AM EST
What does that mean?  That if I sue you in Germany, the case will be treated entirely on its merits and the law, and no reference at all would be made to an identical case by the same court a few days earlier? 

And if so, does it work?  I assumed precedent existed for a good reason.

[ Parent ]
yes by komet (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:39:29 AM EST
precedents do exist, but they are much, much less important than they are in British-influenced jurisdictions. The vast majority of countries work this way; British-style common law systems are very much in the minority.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
[ Parent ]
it worked for the romans by martingale (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 01:15:00 PM EST
And the Roman Empire lasted a thousand years (two thousand if you count the bastard neighbours who took over the furniture that fateful day). How old is the British monarchy again?

$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

[ Parent ]
940 years by squigs (2.00 / 0) #19 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 11:32:41 PM EST
But Common Law dates back to Henry VIII less than 500 years ago.

[ Parent ]
Hrm... Wrong henry by squigs (2.00 / 0) #20 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 11:41:41 PM EST
Or wrong reform.  Turns out that Henry VIII simply changed the legislative process.  Henry II set up the basic common legal system.  I'll have to read up on this.

[ Parent ]
LOL by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 06:10:10 AM EST

Like that'll save them.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
do you work with YT's mom? by R343L (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 05:07:15 AM EST
I guess you can't be, being in non-USia, but all you need now are excessively detailed rules on bathroom breaks and you're all set.


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

company policy by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:35:51 AM EST
Only fire wardens are informed if it is a drill.
Get the fuck out of the building already;)

we have drills by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:44:03 AM EST
all 2000 people out of the building, to designated polls. they always take at least 30 minutes. last time there was a big to do because some people refused to leave the building. they're going to wait until it's freezing to do it again i bet.

yea there's an army of people that get paid to do this type of stuff. i think it actually is the law here. i just try to make sure i have a jacket i can wear.

I learned the hard way, by garlic (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 01:10:53 PM EST
in college to take my time to leave when the alarm goes off. going out barefoot in shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of winter by lake michigan is a bad idea.

[ Parent ]
coloring by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:27:20 AM EST
I know I color (as in, between the lines and everything) better than aethucyn, but I cannot draw one tenth as well. So instead, I reckon my coloring skill is roughly one bo, who doodles way better than I can, though I've never seen anything he's done in color. Unless you're employing that usage of "to color" that means "draw things with colored implements," in which case, forget it.

Obviously, I use my colored pencils for something other than the visual arts.

"If we build it, will they come, and what will they do when they get here?" -- iGrrrl

Sadly by debacle (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 01:05:33 PM EST
We don't have fire drills, and none of the second story windows open. Not to mention the fact that the building is sinking because the two gigantic AC units on top of it are overstressing the foundation.

It's only a matter of time before my next of kin get a huge settlement.


we have these. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 02:43:52 PM EST
and earthquake drills.

in theory, in an earthquake drill, we're all supposed to assemble somewhere and be counted.

because, in a real earthquake, it's not the case that everyone's going to be rushing off to make sure their house||spouse||kiddies are all right.

roll eyes

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

I'm with REC on this one by creo (4.00 / 1) #18 Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 04:22:49 PM EST
I have been responsible for systems where downtime costs are measured in thousands of dollars per minute of downtime when the system is down in peak time. If I went out on a fire drill during one of these times, we almost certainly would have been sued, or worse, not met SLAs and had to pay thousands in broken contract fees.

One time on the last shopping day before christmas I told our senior manager to "Fuck Off and let me fix the problem" - he later apologised for bothering me, as he realised that short of a real emergency, when the system was down, everything was pushed aside until things were back online - and you left the point man to do his goddamn job.

When you are responsible for a system like this, and it's sick, nothing gets in the way of getting it back online, least of all some stupid waste of time fire drill.

"I shall do what I believe to be right and honourable" - Guderian

A Day in the Life | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback