Thursday, January 26, 2006


There's some sort of contingency training going on this morning. The nature of the business requires that every employee is contractually obliged to be trained in how to talk down to grieving relatives in the event of a disaster. I loathe contingency training. It's just so creepy. They get the local Samaritans to ring up and pretend that they can't find their Grandma, and I always want to say "look, let's just level with each other. You haven't really lost contact with a close family member, and I couldn't care less. Let's just tick the right boxes on the sheet and say no more about it". Honestly, I once had a protracted argument with someone pretending that their mother had rung them to say she'd had a small dog in her suitcase and could someone go back for it? Talk about a waste of my time.

So anyway, there are currently about four hundred people crammed into the MD's office. It's like one of those record attempts from the eighties where they see how many students you can fit in a phone box. Naturally there aren't enough chairs to go round, so a member of the contingency planning team has taken it upon himself to be Chair Monitor. Frankly, it's terrifying. It's like one of those weird arty foreign films where you're not sure what's happening but it's horrible and you feel a bit sick but don't know why. He keeps emerging from the office (where people are sitting on each other's laps with their faces pressed against the glass) and sort of staring round the room in search of his next victim chair. He's doing ponderous blinking, like a lizard but in a pink shirt, and when he spots a likely candidate he sort of homes in on it and wheels it verrrry, verrrry sloooowly across the office. I can't bear it. The thready, haunting sound of chair wheels lazily squeaking will blow through dreams of lurking shapes and unimaginable horror tonight, you mark my words.

Brr. Carry on.


Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

We have meetings like that.

One day I'm going to suggest that we kill two birds and have it in an actual Mini and get ourselves into the record books while we're at it.

The good thing about no-room-meetings is that I like to cuddle people....

26 January, 2006 10:46  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

Why on earth do they let you speak to relatives?

For some reason I have a role which mainly involves photocopying, when what I really want to do is be abusive to journalists.

26 January, 2006 10:56  
Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

in a former work life of mine, the contingency planning days were whole weekends and saw my employers taking over minor airports and commandeering out of service 737s and mocking up hostage situations

the people on the plane weren't told before that they were actually going to be kept on board for 48 hours with minimal food

EVERYONE in my workplace wanted to be part of those sessions - sadly, i never managed to get onto one

26 January, 2006 12:10  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

we don't have what we call 'contingency planning' but we call them 'dry runs'. since I work in a large complex of chemical plants we have site wide 'pretend' emergencies which entail traffic control, fire trucks, and all manner of emergency response. I can't wait until the day they actually decide to 'dry run' a site evacuation and we'll see how we do at getting 1500 people off a fenced, locked site and down to the donut shop in the quickest amount of time.

26 January, 2006 15:33  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

what the fuck is up with blogger today? i know there was supposed to be some downtime but it's all over the place. i can't comment on anyone's blog!

or does everyone just hate me and that's why there's none on here?

26 January, 2006 15:53  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

Contingency Training?

Sounds like a good excuse to escape from your desk and sneer at the stupidity of your company and bosses.

26 January, 2006 16:20  
Blogger GreatSheElephant chimed in with...

you can abuse me if you want Kellycat. Seems to work for Dave.

26 January, 2006 16:56  
Blogger Who is this Dave? chimed in with...

I don't know whay GSE has put that comment here, but I do hope I'm not the Dave she's talking about, as I've never intentionally abused anyone in my life.

Just wanted to say that.

26 January, 2006 17:16  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

seems quiet everywhere today Surly. Must be the weather.
And Dave, I think you're handling a longish spell from a couple of quickies. Nearly had you with a couple of sparky deliveries, but you didn't let go with the bottom hand and nicked a four off the last. Makes you top scorer, Minister.

Og good. Word Ver is Gorly. Seewms appropriate for this blog.

26 January, 2006 17:47  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice chimed in with...

Office chairs are disturbing. I think they're related to shopping trolleys and those three-tiered-glass-shelf-things-on-castors-that-belong-in-bathrooms.

They can't be steered for toffee.

There should be contingency plans for when steerable chairs/trolleys are introduced, because people will naturally overcompensate for nonexistant castor drift and go careering into walls, colleagues and empty lift shafts.

26 January, 2006 18:18  
Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

I find this scenario bizarre, but like something I'd want to watch.

We occasionally have a fire drill, but that's it.

26 January, 2006 19:42  
Blogger Smat chimed in with...

the whole office thing fascinates me - the nearest I ever got to it was on the security night shift at Barclaycard when everywhere was really really empty and you could make up your own stories about the people who worked there.

26 January, 2006 22:10  
Blogger Universal Soldier chimed in with...

Isn't there a contingency plan for what to do if you get stuck doing a contingency plan and there aren't enough chairs? Sounds like shoddy planning to me.

27 January, 2006 07:06  
Blogger Pashmina chimed in with...

Contingency planning? good grief. We do have an "emergency protocol" though, does that count?

27 January, 2006 14:29  

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