How Can You Tell When Your Heart Explodes

Title courtesy of some curious Internetter who Googled the question and ended up here. I’m positive that I didn’t provide an answer, although I do hope they stayed awhile and learned a few other things (like how to say “fuck” a whole lot, I don’t know). If I were to impart any hokey piece of advice to someone who is younger than me, I would tell them to never stop learning things. Always be open to new information, new experiences, and new ways to live. Allowing yourself to learn from every possible source will make you a better person, I’m sure of it.

Today I learned about my company’s Health and Safety Policy, which was a fancy Powerpoint presentation designed to keep the company from being sued in the event that some dumbass is sprinting through the office during a fire drill and trips over an open drawer. There was also information about what to do in the event of an evacuation alarm versus a “shelter in place” alarm, though I can’t say I learned that stuff because I already knew it. Because I am not an idiot is why.

Any time the alarms go on, it becomes clear that there are three kinds of people in my office building:

1. The Survivors, who immediately hang up the phone, grab their shit, and get the fuck out of there (using the stairs instead of the elevator, because yes, there are quite a few people who wait for the lift, as the British say).

2. The Dead, who sit at their desks and look puzzled by the loud noises and flashing lights, and wonder aloud if this is a fire alarm or a tornado alarm (seemingly indifferent to the strobe effect of the fire alarm and completely clear weather outside), and who invariably choose the wrong alarm, which leads me to believe that when the fire department excavates the basement, it will find a heap of charred corpses who spent their last moments hiding out from a non-existent tornado.

3. The Lemmings, who wait to see what everyone else is doing before they follow suit. These are the people who usually make it outside but can be found wandering aimlessly around the parking lot for at least 20 minutes after the drill.

I am a Survivor. I don’t wait for instructions during an alarm. If the weather looks like the Apocalypse and the news has warned us about tornadoes all day, then I head to the basement. If the weather seems fine but I’ve been smelling burning wiring for the past few minutes, then I leave the building. I don’t have time for someone else to tell me what to do, nor do I have time to explain this to my coworkers. Call me cold if you want, but the bottom line is that I don’t want to die at work. You can sit around and burn/get sucked into the sky to death all you want, but meantime, I’m like


I appreciate Work’s concern for my well-being, and it sure is heartwarming that they consider me a person instead of an insurance liability, but seriously. I don’t need to spend 20 minutes learning about what to do in the event of an alarm. I’ve got it covered. I am the fuck up out of here.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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