Thursday, January 8, 2015

Safety First

This week's book, No Easy Way Out, is the second in a series (started by No Safety in Numbers) about being trapped in a mall because reasons (terrorism, viruses, government quarantine, pick a few). And the other day, when I had just picked this book up, I found myself at a mall. And I thought, what would I do if, right this moment, they locked down the mall for a similar situation? It was less legitimate-anxiety and more what-a-fun-thought-experiment, but I do actually make a habit of having an escape plan from any location I find myself in.

I didn't notice that I have this habit until I started working in a library. I was at that early point in my career (known as "the very beginning of it") where I had impostor syndrome (when you think, "you actually trust ME with this? But I don't know anything!!!") and I was in charge of the reference desk, and therefore, I was the go-to person in case of an emergency in the library. So I started coming up with imaginary scenarios that I would have to handle. I was inspired by the old xkcd comic about planning for velociraptor attacks.

So I still do this. I think it's fun. And it could possibly come in handy some day. It's part of my job to know the emergency evacuation procedures at work, but it's nice to be a competent customer or visitor in other places (schools, stores, hospitals, offices, other people's homes) in case of emergency. Or even in case of mild inconvenience. You see someone you don't want to talk to standing outside the normal exit? Be aware of other available exits. Pretend they're a raptor.

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