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How I ruined the fire drill...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

So, today I managed to single-handedly ruin the time record for my school's fire drill. At the time, I was mortified, but now I am finding it somewhat funny.

Last week, I got warned that a surprise fire drill was coming up, supposedly that week. Although it didn't happen last week, I did review what I would need to do if/when one happened. Most of the employees, including teachers, just need to get themselves and their classes out of the building as quickly and efficiently as possible. I, otoh, have certain other responsibilities. So when the alarm rang, I knew exactly what I needed to do. What I didn't do was think logically about *how* I should do those things.

I am responsible for making sure all the doors in a certain area of the building are locked when the fire alarm rings, plus checking the bathrooms to make sure no students are lingering in them. (Good grief! What student would even *want* to hang out in the restroom when the whole school is evacuating?)

So I got up from where I was working, grabbed my purse (first stupid mistake, because it doesn't look good to have your purse when everyone else rushed out without such things), and also my cup of coffee (second *really* stupid mistake, for the same reason), because I just wasn't thinking about rushing, only about what I had to do.

The very first door I tried wasn't locked. I opened it to see if I could lock it from the other side, but it wasn't that kind of door. However, the teacher who had just rushed out of that room, hadn't left the corridor yet, and was apparently wondering why I was messing with his door. So I told him I had to check all the doors and make sure they were locked. He said he thought he had locked it. I told him it wasn't, and he came back and locked it.

Why on earth all the doors must be locked during a fire drill I have no idea. But I went along the corridor trying all the doors (but not rushing, as I should have been). I even stuck my head in the ladies' room and asked if anyone was in there, but it so clearly was unnecessary that I didn't bother for the men's room. Continued along checking doors, while everyone else was already outside. Came to another unlocked door, but this one I was able to lock by opening it and turning the thingie in the middle of the knob. (I knew who had left it unlocked, too - it was a substitute teacher, who wouldn't know to lock it, and wouldn't have a key to get back in if she did.)

As I turned the last corner of the square that encompassed my little area of responsibility, I saw the principal heading the opposite way. It didn't bother me at the time, but later I realized that I should have been running, or at least walking hurriedly, and I wasn't. All the rest of the doors were locked, and I finally headed outside. I was, of course, the very last person out. I saw the assistant principal checking his stop watch, and suddenly realised that I had ruined the fire drill. Oh dear! Next time, I'll run for sure. Lesson learned. (And hey, I did do my job correctly at least.)

Edited to add: My son suggested that *I* should have ducked into the Ladies' Room and waited till the drill was over to emerge. I never thought of that, lol!

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