First Impressions are Important


    Monday, my first day in a new office across town.  Leasing space in a 4 story public City operated building, namely the “Senior Center”.  It is an active bustling place where not only older folks come to spend their day, but where many agencies and programs that service this population also rent space, like me and the volunteer program that I oversee .    Long story short….. 9:30 a.m. I wandered into the break room and placed two apple strudel pop-tarts into the unfamiliar toaster oven, briefly walked away from them to allow them to toast (really, I forgot about them for a few minutes).  Wow the fire alarms are going off, flashing lights, loud sirens, announcements to leave the building… OH !#%@#!!!   My pop-tarts actually caught fire and were smoking so heavily they set off the fire alarms….. YES, the building was EVACUATED and 3 or 4 Fire Trucks came, the firemen (sexy) came in very serious with full gear and axes in hand.  Senior Citizens, Tenants, City Employees all mandated out into the cold of a New England Spring morning.  All I can be thankful for is that it was not raining or snowing.  Once we were allowed back into the lobby and the alarms were turned off the Chief questioned loudly over the sea of gray heads… “So, who needs a lesson on how to make toast?”  And there I stand, hiding in the corner, slowly raising my hand whilst everyone slowly turn to face me, the new girl in the building.  I announced my excuse, “It is my first day in the building and I wanted to make sure it is a safe place to work.  I am pleased that the alarms work well and that the WFD has an impressive response time.” <<<BLUSH>>>    I took the cremains home to document the moment.   I am considering shellacking them and mounting them like a trophy to hang in the break room to remind me never to walk away from that *!#@% toaster oven again.   Thank goodness I have a good sense of humor and can laugh at myself, I have been teased and razzed all week, in good fun of course.  I have taken to eating cold cereal and milk with fruit, far less dangerous for everyone.


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