Monday, April 06, 2009

Alarms and excursions

At 8:23 this morning the fire alarms at work sounded, not for a scheduled test. Grab the purse, the coat and the gloves and herd everyone out to the parking lot, giving thanks that I hadn't yet thought to replace the commuter tennis shoes with the thin-soled leather dress pumps I keep in the office, but cursing the fact I still hadn't even had one cup of coffee.

While we never did get the four to six inches of snow that was forecast for yesterday, it's only thirty-four degrees today with a steady wind around twenty miles an hour. It was a bit nippy standing out in the open for fifteen minutes.

But not quite as nippy as it was for the students. Our office is attached to an eighteen floor residence hall and one of the two campus recreation centers. While the kids who were in the swimming pool were allowed to stay just inside the back door to the parking lot, all of the students in the residence tower were required to evacuate. Heh. No one likes early classes on Mondays, so a substantial segment of the population of the tower ended up on the street in their pajamas.

Although, come to think of it, they go to class in their p.j.s, so this was really nothing new for them.

All I could hear of the fire marshal's explanation when we were allowed back in was something about the loading dock for the cafeteria and a sensor. I've often seen the cafeteria help having a smoke outside the loading dock area - I'm willing to bet that with the colder weather today, they retreated just a bit too close to the doors, and the wind blew the smoke up into the alarm sensor.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I really need that cup of coffee.

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