spikey eye bw

hawkida


Day2Day

Musings, questions and brief essays. The normal.


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Silence!
spikey eye bw
hawkida
As a mark of respect, tomorrow I have been invited to join in two minutes' silence in remembrance of the Queen Mother. And this "invitation" is kind of compulsory, seeing as it's come from the owners of the building we work in.

The best bit, though, is the way they're going to mark the beginning and end of the two minutes. They're going to sound the fire alarm. The most irritating, high pitched, deafening, wailing siren you can imagine. I bet they can't stop it once they start it. They always have trouble handling it when they do the weekly tests and we all sit around wincing with our hands over our ears.

Maybe they're being ironic. I hope so.

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You've perhaps already read Christopher Hitchens' summary of the old dear's life. If not, it might be a worthwhile distraction during those two minutes.

Ouch. Fire alarms have to be loud, to get your attention--because it can be a matter of life and death. Running them for something like this is not only painful, it can encourage people to ignore a real emergency. (That someone died a week ago is not an emergency, regardless of your feelings about that person.)

The fire alarms are completely devalued in our place already. The weekly test happens at 4.45pm on a Wednesday and involves short and long blasts of the siren going off randomly over the course of up to ten minutes. Then there's the fact that the damn thing randomly goes off for a short blast every now and then, followed five minutes later by an apology informing us it was a false alarm.

And I know it needs to be loud and catch attention, but the constant ringing bell we had at school was fine for that. This is overly piercing and loud. It is painful on the ears, not just attention grabbing and loud.

Devalued in *your* place. At least once a week we are stood outside the building for half-an-hour because someone in chemistry forgot to put an extractor fan on.

Don't even talk to me about glass-blowers.

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