Of Fire and Men, Partie Deux

January 4. Sunny. “Dear all, a fire drill will be conducted on Monday, January 7,” so says a mass email.

January 7. Rain. “Dear all, today’s scheduled fire drill will be postponed due to rain,” so says another mass email.

“Can you confirm with security the fire drill has been rescheduled for next Monday?” G asked.

And when I duly reported the same message that was already circulated, twice, via email — first by the Floor Warden (the appointed staff responsible for ensuring the entire floor evacuates in a fire, both real and simulated), then the Office Warden — G ejaculated, “Aiyoh, so close to the on-sale date! Timeline already so short still come up with such things!”

January 14. Clear Skies. 940am. G, “Can you make sure security deactivates the lock on the emergency door during the fire drill?”

“I will.”

G walks over, squeak squeak squeak, looks me in the eye, “Department-closest-to-emergency-door said they will only exit by the emergency door, and will return to their seats if the lock isn’t deactivated! Sigh.”

I mustered a sympathetic shrug.

Squeak squeak squeak.

I peered down at her feet. Cushioned sole, neon stripes and pink mesh panels, the very same pair of sneakers she had bought when she made the resolution to hit the treadmill during lunchtime — six months ago — but had hung up after two visits.

“Eh, fire drill today! E, can you make sure your side empties before you head down to the assembly area? Remember ah, if we don’t make it within eight minutes, we’ll have to repeat until we can make that time,” G hollers towards the right, where the monthlies sit.

Squeak squeak squeak. G walks to the left, where the weeklies sit.

“This side also ah, evacuate the building in seven minutes.”

“I thought I heard you say eight?”

“Well, let’s not cut it too close. Let’s try to challenge ourselves.”


140pm. “Are they going to conduct the fire drill afterall? If it’s cancelled, can you ask security to send out an official cancellation email?”

I don’t think I have seen such anyone who could care more about a fire drill.


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