Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fire Fire Run Away!

Our team settled down to work after the award ceremony was over. The Project Team of the month award reacted as a tonic and we passionately started working to meet the tight deadline.

Hardly few minutes passed peacefully, that we heard a fire alarm. I was extremely lethargic and did not want to budge from my place since I sensed nothing serious. Evacuation drills are common and happens frequently, and my previous experiences had taught me well how to react.

But no, I cannot have the luxury of sitting and working when the whole floor is making an effort to abide by the our Admin Officer’s words, who was making a conscious effort to make us believe whatever he said. Our emergency exit door was opened, solving the mystery where it leads.

The drill was for the entire office lobby, and we were happy to find that the employees of another organization were already on their way down, walking nonchalantly, and some were very keen to peep into the interiors of our office as this is the only chance they would get to see it. Seeing new crowd made us happy and I was searching for some known faces in the new crowd, only in vain.

Someone was taking photographs and I just wanted to know about the roots of that person, for which I hardly had time. When we came to Parking lot, we saw few firemen vigorously using the huge water pipes to pacify the invisible fire. One employee was too curious to find the fire, that he could not control himself and ran behind the firemen who were trying their best to make the water reach a window, which was just a jump ahead for a tall man.

We enjoyed the scene thoroughly and even thought of mocking the whole process and to resume work. But to our misfortune, my Asst. Manager was closely following us and would not leave us to revert.

By this time, it was pretty clear to the office mates that it was nothing more than a mock drill. For the first time we used the stairs for getting down and came to know how pathetically it was maintained. I could hardly control myself from comparing Raheja and Spencers. Rahaja is the good old place where we used to have our office. It is the best place for office use with least diversions, surrounded only by the official crowd. I hate spencers for more than one reason. One for its non formal looks, and other, for tempting me so often, that I end up paying half of my salary to Food court shops and Landmark and Music world owners.

Talking all these we finally reached the ground floor and witnessed a huge crane moving unwearyingly. Again we saw few firemen running too seriously, shouting at the crowd to give way, carrying the huge water tubes. I could not stop wondering their immense acting skills and admired their confidence, which made them to underestimate the commonsense of the crowd gathered.

We were standing at a safer distance from the crane and were eagerly watching the happenings. I noticed few young girls with scribbling pads, carrying just out of college looks, seriously taking note of the happenings. They introduced themselves as Hindu reporters and started asking us questions and our Asst Manager was dutiful enough to entertain them. Everything went on fine till that uncouth looking lean girl, thought of opening her mouth. Imagining herself covering a hottest incident, and assuming herself to be a prudent journalist, she asked “You work for a Call Center Right?”. That interruption was unpleasant, as she plunged in the middle of the conversation with an unrelated question.

We found it least important to correct her and to boast about the superiority of the analysis we perform and tones of data we use to arrive at a conclusion. It is an irritating fact that any person working for a BPO is seen as someone working as a voice transcriptor or as a data entry operator. There is an immediate need to educate public about it.

Turning my attention towards the crane, I watched it moving slowly, so slowly, that I wondered what would happen in case of a real calamity. The time it took to reach the top floor was sufficiently more than 5minutes, by which time; the survivors would have already become extinct.

Someone was already waiting in the top floor, and bravely dislodged himself from the building to the crane, and landed on the earth after a good 3 minutes. That was an enjoyable different scenario and we all remained as eagerly watching bystanders.

The rest of the happenings were usual. Someone came to give us a big lecture, which hardly reached our ears. We just spent a few minutes there, and were waiting for the crowd to disperse. The fire extinguisher wasted well over few gallons of water, making a vain attempt to drench most of the crowd, making a ceremonial end to the whole occasion.

Having shared a wonderful experience, we refreshingly climbed the stairs, to attend to our work.


Blogger thennavan said...

Hi Vasumathy:

You are on camera at Chennai Central's weekend post (sorry to use a canned comment for all the bloggers for informing about that post since I don't have time to write individually to each). That post itself was many hours in the making :-)

Friday, May 27, 2005 4:58:00 PM  
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