Going through the motions

posted Oct 16, 2013, 3:48 PM by Paul Halliday   [ updated Oct 30, 2013, 2:23 PM ]
I had a meeting offsite today. When I arrived at my destination I was early; the room slated for the meeting was occupied, so I took a seat in the hallway and decided to use the time to catch up on a backlog of email.

So, here I was, sitting in a large public building, when I hear: "Lockdown... Lockdown... Lockdown..." by the time I looked up from my tablet; the hallway (which was bustling seconds ago) was now empty and doors were slamming like dominos fall. A moment ago I was semi-aware of the people around me, the background noise of being in a public place, and now there was nothing. I was alone.

My first thought: "this has got to be a test..." which was closely followed by "How do I know that?". What a dilemma. What the hell should I do? I headed for the closet restroom. Why?

1) As I did look down the empty hallways I imagined a lunatic with (insert WMD here) coming around the corner. I was a sitting duck

2) Doors were closed and locked everywhere but the bathroom would likely be open

3) Bathrooms usually have ceiling/wall access panels or even drop ceilings which could give me access to a place to hide

That was the best I could come up with. Was I being irrational? Crazy? I mean this is Canada. Eastern Canada man! ;)

Anyway, as I made my way down the hall I noticed a woman testing the doors to see if they were locked. When she found an open one, she peered inside and scolded the occupants. The door must be locked, she said before moving on to the next. 

I returned to my seat. Shortly after an RCMP officer accompanied by another official walked past me. They stopped and asked: "didn't you hear the lockdown announcement" I told them that I just entered the building and didn't hear a thing. 

They continued on down the hallway and I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about just how awkward this situation could have been.