Monday, 20 June 2022

'Fire Drill' by Lynda McMahon

During fire drills we are encouraged to locate our positions depending on how we are experiencing the event. If all is going well then we are to attend the mustering point. There we check in with our supervisor and are marked off on the list. Any missing workers must be located causing delays and problems. I always try to muster.

There was an unexpected drill this morning. Not all the information we needed was available so we were less organised than usual. We began to wonder if it wasn’t a drill at all. I arrived at mustering but was denied access. Biometric testing discovered high levels of adrenaline and I was referred to the next station. This had never happened to me before but I tried to calm myself.

I presented myself at the next station. This is for those of us who require medical attention. Usually for a slight physical impairment caused by moving too quickly and colliding with objects or other workers. After treatment we are returned to mustering. For the first time I was referred to the last station.

I considered protesting but there are no proper channels for this so I refrained from comment. I’d heard stories about this situation. I could feel my heart beating very fast. The doors hissed open and I saw rows of glass fronted cubicles each with a screaming occupant. An automatic voice: Welcome to Panic Stations. May your stay be very short. I began to scream.

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