Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fire Drill

Quite apt given the event earlier in the week (see "Boya" below), we had our annual fire drill on Friday morning. Standard stuff- "This is the Disaster Coordination Center. There has been an earthquake, do not leave the building as it is dangerous. Please wait for further instructions." "A fire has been reported between buildings six and eight. Please evacuate the building..." Then all the employees at this location filed out (some wearing white safety helmets) into the parking lot near Gate #1 which was barely big enough to hold all of 500 or so of us.

Then the employees of nearby buildings peeked out at us while we tried to listen to the explanation of the use of fire extinguishers and the progress with determining the cause of the fire on the 14th. Way in the back, I could barely hear the man with the megaphone.

Later that afternoon I was surprised to be asked, along with everyone else in my group, for the time we left work on the day of the fire. Since I left about four hours before it was found, I shoudn't think I would have anything to worry about.

I forgot to mention it, but yesterday I was introduced to an American employee of Pioneer Research of America for the first time. During my year working at this location I've seen other Caucasians on about five different occasions, but I'd never had more than a passing word. There are a few Chinese nationals and at least one Korean guy on the staff but as far as I know, no native English speakers. During the meeting with this guy from PRA I also got to hear my boss speak in English, something he hasn't done since the first week I was at this office.

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