It was a typical over-worked day when me, Ma-an and Ricky were presenting to Miss Beth a new concept proposal for an advertisement when we heard the sirens of firetrucks and ambulances gathering nine floors below us. Peering through the windows, the three of us commented on how there seems to be a shoot ongoing below, and how some people might confuse it for the real thing.
Then a security guy came up to us and told us, "Ma-am, Sir... baba na raw po kayo. Fire drill na po."
The Fire drill had begun. And we had never heard a single alarm.
I GUESS IF IT WERE A REAL ONE, PATAY NA KAMI
To their credit, we were informed as early as two weeks ago that Fire Drills will be conducted in the ABS-CBN Compound. But thanks to the overload of work, I claim innocence for forgetting it was to be done on our building that day. What I could not accept was the fact that this damn huge building worth most likely millions of pesos with its air-con systems, its wonderful office spaces and the like had fire alarms that couldn't be heard by those inside the stupid building!
Well, you can't blame me for being in a pissed off mood.
To lighten my annoyance, I grabbed my digital camera and followed the throng of other employees who, like me, would be already dead had this been a real fire. They really have to get those alarms replaced.
We walk down the ten flights of stairs (we were on the ninth floor, but some great architect thought it would be fun to add an additional flight between the ground and the second floor to make sure we exited at the OTHER end of the building.) and joined the mass of cars and irritated commuters whose travel around our compound were delayed by the sudden throng of sirens, fire engines and annoyed employees.
Click. Click. Click. Not wanting to be in a foul mood for the remainder of the day (considering it was only 10:30a.m. at that time), I began going around and getting my officemates to laugh and smile and jump around for pictures. I mean, hey, we're the group that's supposed to be already dead right? We laughed at the other non-employees who were still in the upper floors and were wondering what was going on. We cried for them to jump. We called out to them to escape certain doom. And we laughed, and laughed and laughed.
All in all, it went well I supposed, other than the point we were all dead, everything else went well I heard. The rescue team had some showing off to do and the big bosses were happy that the fire engines actually arrived in time (well, that's cause they were scheduled to show up. I'd love to see them respond to a call they don't know is a drill.) They were all smartly dressed, none in sandals or slippers. Not a single one with messy hair or unkempt and unshaven.
I guess when things have a touch of showbiz, everything really is made to look perfect.
After that, Gabby Lopez headed up the steps, which for everyone pretty much meant, "Time to head back to work." And so we did... moving back into the building like a mass of trained lemmings ready to serve until hunger, exhaustion or piracy saves us from over-worked experiences.