Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fire Drill

Long ago, I was on my way to a job interview. This was a second in-person interview at the place, so I knew where I was going and how long it would take to get there. I arrived in plenty of time, only to find out that all the visitor's spots were taken.

This company had a severe shortage of parking, so I ended up driving all over the place trying to find somewhere to park. All the while watching the clock tick closer and closer to me being borderline late. Eventually I found a spot way in the back of an auxiliary lot and hustled towards the building.

As I got up to the door, there was a guy standing there not letting anyone in, because the company was just starting a fire drill.

Since that doomed me to being late regardless of any parking difficulties, I went over and sat on a bench across the road and patiently waited for the drill to come to an end.

As I sat there, a steady stream of people came past or sat on the bench to wait out the drill. Apparently I looked like I belonged, because all kinds of people were asking questions. Some of these were easy: "What's going on, how come we can't go in", others I didn't have a prayer of answering: "What floor is being done?" or "Didn't they just have a fire drill for that floor?".

As time went on and more people passed by, I picked up all kinds of good information about this company's fire drill policies. Eventually, I was authoritatively answering all kinds of questions: "Yes, this fire drill is only for floor 4." "No, you can't go in yet." "Yes, floor 3 was done this morning and floor 2 was last week. " "Usually they usually take about 20 minutes, so it shouldn't be too much longer."

In due time, the drill was over and we were all allowed back into the building, and I went off to my interview. The recruiter met me in a lobby, obviously distressed about the whole deal. She made a specific point to reassure me that everyone was aware that I was late because of the fire-drill. So I never had to mention that parking had been the real problem.

4 comments:

Scooter said...

This wasn't a local legal content company was it? Because that sounds exactly like what you might run into here.

Steve Eck said...

Imagine that.

Scooter said...

When I rode my bike in the other day, there was a sign in the locker room that announced that fire drills would be at 8:30 and that if you were in the shower, you would be expected to vacate just like in a real fire. I was tempted to wait until 8:20 and shower just to see what I'd do.

Steve Eck said...

Clearly your company takes their fire drills very seriously.

My company is a bit more lax, but they are still picky about exactly how far everyone stands from the building, how long it takes everyone to get out, etc.