It wasn’t because the lift wasn’t working. It wasn’t to help me prepare for the Great North Run later this year. It wasn’t even for a charity, for a bet or some random act of insanity either.
I ran down forty four flights of stairs to save my life.
The thing is I needn’t have bothered. The fire alarm I’d heard on the 22nd floor of the hotel in Qatar I was staying in turned out to be nothing but a false alarm.
When I assembled myself at the assembly point outside the hotel I soon began to realise I was very much alone. No one else had escaped! Could it be that I was the sole survivor? Eventually, after quite a bit of time, I began to accept that maybe there hadn’t actually been a fire. People were coming and going as normal, so I tentatively re-entered the building and headed for reception.
The receptionist told me they’d been “having a few problems” with the fire alarm. When I explained what had happened and that I’d actually descended all twenty two floors on foot, with legs like jelly, they apologised. However, when I then asked why I had been the only person to evacuate, all I got was a few blank looks. No one it seemed could explain this.
The box of chocolates I then received from the hotel made me feel quite a bit better. But to be honest, I remain confused.
I’ve often wondered what kind of person on being instructed to leave a smoke-filled aircraft would go back for their personal belongings. I’ve wondered what kind of person would carry on working despite news of a bomb threat in their building. What kind of person would refuse to wear a seat-belt, a hard-hat on a construction site or a pair of ear-defenders in a noisy environment.
Well if recent experience is anything to go by it would seem that’s most people. Thank heavens for health and safety then!
- Teresa Budworth: See! Health and safety saves lives - Wednesday, July 17, 2013
- Teresa Budworth: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry - Wednesday, May 29, 2013
- Teresa Budworth: Permit to work, not to fall ill - Thursday, April 11, 2013
- Teresa Budworth: Feeling a bit awkward? Help is on its way! - Wednesday, March 13, 2013
- Teresa Budworth: Check your waste, it may contain a life - Thursday, December 20, 2012
- Teresa Budworth: Warned twice, and then look what happened! - Monday, October 22, 2012
- Teresa Budworth: When you need a break, take a proper one! - Wednesday, September 19, 2012
- Teresa Budworth: I’m a survivor! - Monday, July 30, 2012
- Teresa Budworth: The stuff of champions! - Tuesday, July 24, 2012
- Teresa Budworth: Don’t ever rely on good fortune! - Thursday, May 31, 2012