Re: Get ready to be surprised

1

Fooled you! They're actual fires!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:33 AM
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Fooled you! They're actual fires! rectums!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:35 AM
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I have the same problem with Haydn's Surprise Symphony.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:36 AM
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4

...and a second text message. And now a third email. WTF. Maybe I signed up for some alert service multiple times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:40 AM
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...and now a third text message. Got it. We're conducting fire drills.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:45 AM
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I think there's a point even to non-surprise fire drills. It makes evacuation a boring routine thing that you have a chance of accomplishing even when too panicked to think straight, out of habit. And I think the drill is sufficiently realistic if you are genuinely interrupted by the drill, even if you knew it would happen some time that day.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:48 AM
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I somehow messed up on signing up for alerts so now I get a phone call, a text, and an email whenever something happens at my son's school. I stopped getting alerts from my employer when they decided that they had to let me know about every time somebody emailed a threat to campus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:48 AM
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I think you're getting the deluxe pregnancy fire drill package. No sudden loud noises, followed by exile into vaguely coldish temperatures, for our moms-to-be!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:49 AM
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9

And right on cue, three notices that school buses are running twenty minutes earlier this afternoon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:50 AM
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We always get advanced notice when these are scheduled. And then people make their plans to leave and go get coffee during the fire drill. And then they run ahead of schedule foiling all the plans to sneak out. It's actually amazing to me how many times a year they think we need to practice walking down two flights of stairs.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:51 AM
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Also, you're probably underestimating what percentage of problems with evacuation procedure (e.g. people don't know where to go, no way for people in wheelchairs to exit, too bottlenecks) would be revealed by even an obviously fake evacuation.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:51 AM
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My building does this all the time, based on the theory in 6. It's nice to be able to warn clients, etc that there's a chance we'll be interrupted by a fire drill, and there's at least some value despite the relative lack of surprise.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:52 AM
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I suppose there's a case to be made that if drills aren't planned, people will tend to assume that unexpected fire alarms are just drills.

I used to work in a building that routinely had fire-alarm malfunctions. Even in the wake of 9/11, it became difficult to get people to leave their desks. It was very exciting the one time we all got into the stairwells and could actually smell smoke. (Turned out to be some nitwit with a poorly deployed space heater.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:57 AM
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followed by exile into vaguely coldish temperatures, for our moms-to-be!

I used the air conditioning yesterday.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:59 AM
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11: It probably depends on who is in the building. For example, hospitals have very good reasons for being worried about how an evacuation would happen and very good reasons for not doing a surprise drill. Universities, maybe not so much, but I don't know for certain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:59 AM
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13.last was my experience in grad school. When I worked the floor at the museum we had a brand new and very buggy fire alarm system so we ended up evacuating the place twice a week or more for several months. That one was taken seriously, though, as nobody wanted to be the docent who fucked up and let a kid asphyxiate.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:01 AM
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This is the first drill I can remember having in 7 years. We've had non-drills for various low-key emergencies, like a gas leak last year. And there were procedures implemented after the Va Tech shootings. But nothing for regular old fire drills.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:01 AM
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God, I forgot that we had middle-of-the-night fire alarms in my dorm, freshman year, all the goddamn time. It was kids setting it off. It was a thing to try to light various parts of the carpeting-wallpaper on fire, which lined the hallways and elevator and got scorch marks all over it.

Middle of the night, middle of winter in Michigan, multiple times a week. Lots of scheming about hiding in your bed and eluding the bed-check that had to happen before everyone could go back indoors.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:03 AM
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I did live in a smoking hall, so it wasn't that kids were just smoking in their rooms. That was allowed. OTOH, that's part of why they had lighters on them all the time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:04 AM
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18 con't: and in the second biggest dorm in the country! So it took a long time. Probably not the second biggest anymore.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:06 AM
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We used to get fires from kids dumping ashtrays down the trash chute. Those really sucked because of the getting out of bed and the stench of burning garbage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:08 AM
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22

Noah's school recently had a lock-down drill, to prepare for the crazed shooter scenario. Seriously.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:12 AM
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middle-of-the-night fire alarms in my dorm, freshman year, all the goddamn time. It was kids setting it off.

Yes. Very often caused by toast, or else steam from the showers. As we were in here, it was pretty disruptive and associated with a guaranteed response by multiple fire engines.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:12 AM
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24

You really hope they announced that one before hand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:13 AM
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24 to 22.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:13 AM
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Also, you're probably underestimating what percentage of problems with evacuation procedure (e.g. people don't know where to go, no way for people in wheelchairs to exit, too bottlenecks) would be revealed by even an obviously fake evacuation.

Or, in my former job, a stuck door at the top of the fire-escape staircase, which, after we barged it open, led to an electronically locked door at the bottom of the staircase, condemning us all to an imaginary fiery death.

It's actually amazing to me how many times a year they think we need to practice walking down two flights of stairs

I suspect most of it is insurance related.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:14 AM
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Noah's school recently had a lock-down drill, to prepare for the crazed shooter scenario. Seriously.

This seems to be really common, across the country.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:18 AM
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They're drilling the alert system, not your response. Does the alarm system work? Do the text messages for the alert and all clear work? Etc. I recall that at my last place of employment it was a local fire regulation that the systems had to be tested 4 times per year.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:18 AM
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Based on mommy-blogs/FB feed/RL friends.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:18 AM
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22: Nia's school does lockdown drills and did pre-December, though I don't think it's been explained to the kids what exactly they're practicing. It's a K-2 school, so the oldest kids are only 8 or so.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:28 AM
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Noah's school recently had a lock-down drill, to prepare for the crazed shooter scenario. Seriously.

We had those when I was in middle school.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:33 AM
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The advantage of being warned about a fire drill is people will actually leave. As opposed to the surprise kind, when everyone spends twenty minutes asking each other if there's a real fire or it's a drill before either grudgingly going outside or noticing that the alarm has stopped.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:34 AM
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My dorm actually had a fire! In my second year of college. The carpet right outside my room burned and left lots of soot all over all my stuff. No one ever repaired the carpet because they were tearing down the building later that year anyway and we were all moving out in a few months. It sure was charming to come home to a burned hallway every day for the next several weeks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:35 AM
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34

I used the air conditioning yesterday.

This is me giving you the stinkeye: [stinkeye].


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:40 AM
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35

We had a real fire, set by a real arsonist, here at Last Chance Community College. The campus smelled like melted plastic for months, and the business building was closed for a semester to decontaminate it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:42 AM
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In the research building I used to work in, the fire alarms were faulty and spontaneously went off so often that everyone ignored them.

If there had ever been a real fire, half of the faculty and students in the place would be dead.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:43 AM
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22: Yeah, they do those at Rory's school, too. And I'm pretty sure the drill is to huddle together in the corner in terror.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:55 AM
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You know what's annoying?

In I think my junior year of high school we had a series of quickly successive evacuations due to bomb threats. Apparently it was widely known who was doing them, and they stopped quickly after a reward was offered for turning them in.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:56 AM
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39

I have fond memories of the Bourgeois Pig in Chicago.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 11:15 AM
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40

I love the phrase stink-eye.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 11:21 AM
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THERE IS A BOMB IN THE BILDING IF YOU DO NOT EVACATUE THE HIGH SKOOL BY NOON THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT BUT SCROCHED CORPSES. THIS IS NOT A JOKE AND I WILL NOT DEIGN TO TELL YOU WHERE I PUT IT YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO FIND OUT YURSELF IM SERIOUS GET THE FUCK OUT


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 11:22 AM
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At my last workplace there had been an actual fire, which closed the building for a few months (Two electrical workers were killed in the explosion that started the fire; beyond that, just minor smoke inhalation and some escape-related PTSD, I believe.) As a result, they took the drills very seriously after that, and didn't pay any attention to the "wait for your floor tone" nonsense this state has, either.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 11:57 AM
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At my last workplace there had been an actual fire, which closed the building for a few months (Two electrical workers were killed in the explosion that started the fire; beyond that, just minor smoke inhalation and some escape-related PTSD, I believe.) As a result, they took the drills very seriously after that, and didn't pay any attention to the "wait for your floor tone" nonsense this state has, either.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 11:57 AM
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44

"This man has death, minor smoke inhalation, and PTSD. We can treat up to two of those."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 12:01 PM
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45

41: oh dear. When I was in high school I wrote an article for the "underground" magazine I edited that contained detailed instructions of various scenarios leading to the school's evacuation for variously lengthy intervals. I styled it as a primer for those who would otherwise be pulling the fire alarm, which was of course uncreative and not a little gauche. I'm glad nobody ever took my advice and broke the water main.

I also wrote a fiction piece for the same mag about kids sneaking into the school and putting plastic explosive in the PA loudspeakers so it would go off when morning announcements came on. I would have been so expelled if I went to high school ten years later than I did.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 12:17 PM
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re: 45.last

Expelled, and jailed, I expect. People have been jailed here for much less.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 12:39 PM
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Possibly! And that's the stuff I was doing publicly, under my own name!

Also, I wore a black trenchcoat!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 12:43 PM
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48

Near the end of Far From the Tree, he interviews Dylan Klebold's mom, and it's one of the very best parts of the book. It's an amazing interview.

His parents - it turns out - are just super wise and accepting of all the vast contradictions in their lives. That their son coldly murdered lots of people and yet he's their son. Etc. His mom just speaks eloquently about her sorrow and the horror of the facts on the table, and her place in the scheme of things. It's remarkable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 12:49 PM
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49

I just found out that one my co-workers is the author of FFTT's stepsister. Small world.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 12:52 PM
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50

Why does FFTT's stepsister have an author?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:02 PM
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51

It's a mixed book/human marriage.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:05 PM
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52

In any marriage there are four: the couple, and their books.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:09 PM
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business building was closed for a semester to decontaminate it.

I wouldn't have thought that was possible...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:18 PM
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I have fond memories of the Bourgeois Pig in Chicago.

As do I, that place and Filter.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:43 PM
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52: riffing off Bierce?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:47 PM
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55: Yup.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:52 PM
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