Lightening never strikes twice in the same place. Heard that one?
Well, I’ll let you on in a little secret.
It does. It really, totally, mind-bogglingly does!! Take the cases listed here (Some of them are rather bizarre and NSFW. Just saying).
Forces of nature are random, they cannot be predicted. They follow their own chart, picking their own targets. Some people are lucky, never falling prey to these forces.
And some, like me, fall for them head over heels every single time 😦
To cut a long story short, a couple of years back, while I was deputed to work from the client side, this happened to me. It was a planned fire-drill.
(Old time readers of this blog will already be sniggering at this point)
Now I have a love-hate relationship with fire-drills (anyone in my situation would have the same). I love it because I like the safety angle, getting people to evacuate at a short notice, taking a head count, making sure all are safe and sound, getting to demonstrate how to use a fire-extinguisher, etc !
I was an ERT (Emergency Response Team) member once and was quite capable of handling a crowd. I also know that a lot of ERT members are cursed under breath for disrupting work, disturbing meetings, disallowing coffee on the stairways and also for preventing people from talking on the phone during evacuation.
I understand their plight. Been there, done that.
B-U-T. one thing I’ve never done as an ERT member, is to target an innocent 😐
But, before I further my tale, let me tell you what happened with me first.
So there I was, my first day at the client side, talking to my manager, taking in the surroundings and the silence (used to a loud, boisterous work-culture at my company), getting spooked at the eerie way people were glued to their monitors , with not a whisper from anywhere, when suddenly, a voice pips up.
“You need to go down right now”.
I turned to see a young lad (may be older, but the stray whiskers on his upper lip indicated otherwise) with a notepad and pen in his hand.
“Excuse me”, he repeated, “You need to go down right now”.
I looked at my manager. She looked at me, both puzzled deeply. It was my first day on the job there and I don’t think I had a run-in with the law or something!
“Err…why”, I asked politely.
“Because we are having a..”, he straightened up considerably,”…fire drill”.
I looked around. Everyone else was seated, quietly doing their business.
I was specifically being asked to go down first in a fire drill.
Déjà vu much??
The ignominy, the irony, the sheer lighting on my head was enough to set a blaze in my eyes. My entire body stiffened with indignation, at which, the astute lad (he must be astute, to be an ERT member) immediately changed his track – “Is there any pregnant or unwell member in your team ? If yes, they need to evacuate immediately before we can start the fire-drill”.
Quick thinking, I must say. He realized, within a fraction of a second, that the woman he had assumed to be much pregnant, was indeed, not!
Without a backward glance, the lad quickly made his exit, no doubt exhilarated at the thought of escaping my wrath.
I looked at my manager, who, by now was a helpless mass of giggles, clutching her stomach and almost doubled over her seat.
“Yeah yeah, laugh away!!”, I lamented, “YOU were seated, that’s why he didn’t target you!!”.
My manager couldn’t reply to that. She was still busy laughing her guts out.
Me, I made my way to my seat, cursing for the umpteenth time, the extra fat clinging on to me .
Of course I was furious, of course my face was burning with humiliation and of course I had to share this news with the BF.
Trrring trring……I called him later that day.
“Hello, whats up”, says the BF.
“We had a fire drill today”, I started.
“WHAT?!! OH NO!! DON’T TELL ME!!! I THINK I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT”, saying which the dear husband started guffawing as loudly as the international lines would allow him!
And therein, dear friends, lies my sad tale.
I am struck again and again and again 😦