Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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False Alarm
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The lobby of my office building had a distinct burning smell when I walked in this morning. I went into fire warden mode for a moment, thinking, that can't be good.

Wandered up stairs with my chai. I'd been at my desk barely two minutes when one of receptionists came over and said several people could also smell burning on our floor. She called the building management, and I tried calling the chief fire warden.

While I was leaving a message on his voicemail, the "alert" alarm went off - briefly. Shit, I thought, this might be for real! I grabbed my helmet and ran out to the warden intercom point.

Either I was using it wrong, or they were, but we couldn't hear each other. Not sure what I was doing wrong - I should find out, I think I might have been pressing the button when I shouldn't. Anyway, after a frustrating two minutes I made a "command decision" to head down stairs and see if I could work what was going on. Hopped in the lift - like you're not supposed to in an emergency, but I thought I'd risk it - and headed down to the lobby, still carrying my helmet.

There was a dude in the fire control room. He said that he'd hit the wrong switch (he was testing the doors) and had accidentally triggered the alarm. And that the building nestled next to ours - it's one of those office buildings wrapped partly around another building - was having work done on it which involved cutting metal. Hence the burning smell.

So it was really two false alarms, the smells from next door and the dude pushing the wrong button.

I headed up stairs to discover in my absence someone had managed to chat on the warden intercom, and they'd got through to the building management about the work taking place next door. So calm had returned.

For a second there I thought it was for real. My chai was cold by the time I got back :-)

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I'm sorry for the cold chai!

Thanks for you concern. The chai was cold, but at least no one was hurt ;-)

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