Passing The Test.

To: All Employees, Braeburn Building

From: Building Management

Subject: Emergency Drill.

Hello Everyone,

First of all we’d like to thank you for your understanding while participating in the emergency drill earlier this week. This is our first test of the emergency notification system or ENS, which is required annually, since we began managing the building seventeen months ago. We know there were some mistakes made and we’d like to address some of those now. We’d also like to offer assurance that we are reviewing the procedures and will be making adjustments based on both our own conclusions and feedback from you. We’ve already received a great deal of constructive feedback from you as well as from the police and fire departments and we really appreciate it.

First of all we’d like to defend the decision not to inform building employees that we would be conducting a test of the building’s ENS. We felt that it would be a more effective test if people were not given advance warning. This decision is currently under review. Going forward, however, it will always be our policy to notify the police and fire departments in advance that we’ll be conducting a test. On the bright side we found that if there had been a real emergency we can count on first responders to get here within minutes.

We also made several changes to our plans before conducting the test. For example it was suggested that someone from building management run down the hallway of each floor screaming unintelligibly just before or during the activation of the emergency notification system. We didn’t want to cause too much alarm by having the person scream something specific and we can all agree that this was the right decision. Abandoning this plan before we conducted the test, we can all agree, was also the right decision.

We apologize to employees who work on the 9th Floor that Kevin was not informed that we decided not to implement this part of the test.

Second, it is standard procedure for the elevators to shut down automatically when the ENS is activated. We apologize to those who were in the elevators at the time and will be making adjustments to make sure the elevators don’t stop between floors, and that the doors open.

Third, and speaking of doors, we are very glad to see that almost everyone used the stairwells and proceeded to the emergency exits at the ground floor, as instructed. We apologize for the fact that the emergency exits were locked. In our defense the building goes on automatic lockdown between 7:00PM and 7:00AM for security reasons.

The ENS was activated at 8:30AM, but after careful review we realized Kevin had failed to adjust the building clocks correctly, due to confusion over time zones and Daylight Savings Time. Since we’d received several complaints about the building not being open or going into lockdown at odd hours we should have noticed this sooner. We promise this will be fixed immediately even if we have to work overtime.

You can take some comfort in knowing that in the future all tests of the ENS will be conducted between 7:00AM and 7:00PM, so if the alarm goes off outside of those hours it’s probably a real emergency. Ha ha.

Finally there’s been a lot of confusion and misinformation about the wasps. We’d like to make it absolutely clearly that we were testing the ENS and that there was no emergency prior to that. The accidental release of the wasps at the same time was purely coincidental. Fun fact: the wasps are not native to this area but in Japan are known as “the yak-killer wasp”. We’ve consulted local naturalists who assure us the wasps will “probably” not survive the winter and are not an environmental threat unless a queen was also released. We’re checking on that, how they were brought into the country, and why Kevin had them at work.

As an added act of good faith and retribution on our parts we’ll be giving each floor a tin of butter, cheese, and caramel flavored popcorn, as well as sending around a collection of get well cards for those employees who sustained injuries during the test of the ENS but which, for legal reasons, we can’t currently acknowledge had anything to do with the test.

Please feel free to sign the cards and enjoy the popcorn which will be delivered to you by Kevin.

Thank you again for your understanding and acting appropriately during the test of the ENS.

-Braeburn Building Management

Facebook Comments


  1. M.L. James

    Just saying…Kevin needs a raise and/or needs to be fired; but not until he successfully delivers the popcorn. LOL. I’m still laughing! Mona
    M.L. James recently posted…What’s Wrong With This…Bar Shelf?My Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Mona, thank you–you’re so right. More specifically you’re right Kevin needs to be fired, but not until he delivers the popcorn.

  2. Ann Koplow

    You passed the test with this post, Chris. I enjoyed the popcorn and everything else and I hope my admiration is not unintelligible.
    Ann Koplow recently posted…Day 2498: On the verge of tearsMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Your admiration is always as clear as the newly washed windows–one of the few things Kevin managed to get taken care of.

  3. mydangblog

    Not unlike many emergency drills I’ve experienced (but without the wasps, thank god). This was hilarious!
    mydangblog recently posted…My Week 262: All Along The WatchtowerMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It won’t surprise you then that this was more than slightly based on real life experience. We didn’t have an emergency drill but some genius in the building decided it would be a good idea to lock the stairwell doors, among other things. I won’t say whether the wasps are true or not.

  4. Arionis

    Damn it Kevin!
    Arionis recently posted…Off The Road AgainMy Profile

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I know some perfectly nice guys named Kevin. One of these days one of them is going to punch me and all I will say is, “I deserved that.”


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