Some days are just more exciting than others. Today was one of the exciting days. Exciting isn’t always good, of course. But today was not just exciting, but fun, too.

I work in one of the historic buildings in town. It is over 100 years old and has some issues. It wasn’t built with central heating and air conditioning for one thing. For another, it is old and has settled. This means the floors are a bit canted and walls aren’t always perfectly plumb – if they ever were.

I’m not sure if it was always offices or if these offices were part of some previous renovation – perhaps when they added central heating. I only know this is an old building and venerated because of it (oh, if only people were given the same respect).

I’ve been working here for over a year now, so today I wasn’t nearly as excited as I was last year about this time. It seems we not only are an old building, but we aren’t air tight. We have dust. I don’t know if it is more or less dust than other buildings of similar age, but I know we have our share.

Fire engine approaching

The dust settles on the pipes or ducts or whatever it is that works to transmit heat in the building. When we turn on our heat, we get that lovely burnt smell. I actually got a bit of the same smell at home when I fired up the furnace last week. I assume everyone gets a bit of this “fall scent” when they start up the heating system after months of no use.

But because we are an old building or maybe because we are a public building – some reason anyway – this burning of the dust bunnies makes the fire alarms go off. They are those really nice industrial strength fire alarms. They also have the migraine or seizure inducing flashing lights to go with the eardrum bursting noise.

I suppose I could have ignored the whole thing. Some people, some entire offices, did just that. Seems really stupid to me. We believe we know what’s happening, but wouldn’t it be ironic to have an actual fire happen and all this light and noise, and there you sit until you are burnt up? That and it’s like a paid mini-vacation. Also, it is really loud inside the building.

I went outside. It is essential that I lock the doors when no one is in the office. We have personal information here that is not supposed to be unguarded. So I lock the doors which seems like it would make a fire fighters job more difficult, but it is what I’m supposed to do. It is, actually, the law. I locked the door and went outside.

Last year, this took over an hour to resolve. This year, I grabbed my purse and my tea (I was done with coffee for a short time and drinking vanilla tea) and went outside. Most of the building’s occupants were also out there, waiting patiently for the fire department to arrive. It’s rather a bit of a social time.

Fire fighter in the office making sure there is no fire

They arrived, went in, and we soon followed. I met one fire fighter in the hall and asked if we were permitted back inside and he said yes. As I was unlocking the door, another fire fighter followed me into the office to make sure I hadn’t lit the curtains on fire. I asked for permission to take a picture and did so. How fun is this?

All it was, was dust. But it was exciting. It broke up the routine of the morning. And it is giving me something quite exciting to talk about here in my blog. No dieting or exercise. But real exciting stuff going on.

I’m glad it wasn’t a real fire for many reasons. First, my lunch was still inside. That and there were people who were ignoring the alarm in the spirit of the boy-who-cried-wolf and I would have hated them to be injured.

And if the building burned down, all the files I spent all summer cleaning up would be ruined. That would be a real problem. We are mostly paper type businesses. Lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, financial people. All with paper trails. It would have made for a spectacular blaze, probably really difficult to put out. Horrifying actually.

So, since this was really nothing, it is exciting. Much better than being a tragedy.

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