Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Love The Smell Of Government In The Morning

Today at work we talked about something new, called a LOCKDOWN DRILL. 

The agency works out of two buildings, and at the other site a few weeks back there was a shooting outside of, and across the road from, that other building.  They tried to initiate an immediate LOCKDOWN, but it quickly became clear that nobody knew what to do.  The picture painted for us today at the team meeting was of a bunch of people running around like HEADLESS CHICKENS, in response to something that AFFECTED NOBODY IN THE BUILDING, all in response to an emergency that DID NOT EVEN MAKE IT INTO THEIR PARKING LOT, LET ALONE THEIR OFFICES.  This folderol continued for about half a day, I'm told, because in addition to the fact that the emergency had nothing to do with them, NOBODY KNEW FOR SEVERAL HOURS THAT IT WAS ALL OVER.  If that's not a heart-swelling image of government in action, I don't know what is.

So now, after about two and a half solid months of administrative discussion, we have a rough plan to proceed with for our first LOCKDOWN DRILL.  All personnel in our department are going to be ordered to crowd into one of the supervisory offices, while one of the supervisors locks the department door that opens onto the main throughway.

What about the other door to the department? I asked.  Shouldn't we lock that too?

Oh, that doesn't lock, I was told.  It's a fire law, I think, she said.

And we'll lock the door of the office we're in, right?  Someone asked.

Right, we were told.

Great.  Except:

The supervisors' offices don't HAVE locks.  In fact, they don't even shut unless you throw yourself against them with considerable violence.  If a maniac with a meat cleaver is stalking the halls, he will hear someone crashing against the door to try to make it secure.  And turn curiously in that direction to see what he can see...

I checked and found that the department door does, at least, have a lock on it, and you only have to turn the little knob from the inside to make it work, so there will be no scrambling around and digging through file-cabinet drawers to find the right key to get the door secured.   But does this really matter if the other door to the department doesn't lock at all?  The second door is not that obvious to the casual passerby seeking gore and massacree.  But if the maniac with a meat cleaver is a co-worker who's gone off the rails, well, WE'RE ALL DEAD, RIGHT?

They did not say who will lock the place down if there is no supervisor on hand.

We were never told what sort of situations might lead to a LOCKDOWN.

They did not say how they will alert co-workers, who are coming into the building from home visits all over the county at random times, that we are LOCKED DOWN.

They did not explain how we would be informed that the LOCKDOWN is over.


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