If they tell you it’s an “upgrade,” be wary

If a REAL fire were to have broken out at that point, we probably all would have perished.

At work on Thursday night, the building folks took down the phones. They were only offline for a half hour and it was at the end of the day. Under the old system, if I got a phone call when I was away from my desk, the icon for my line would be altered. Moreover, this bright red light would show up on my phone. Now, the only way to tell is that I get an e-mail sent to me. Moreover, I used to be able to retrieve the main phones if no one was there; I can still do that, but, again, no visual cue. As usual, “upgrade” is a meaningless term.

Frankly, ever since we moved to Corporate (frickin’) Woods seven years ago this month, I have been suspicious of anything we get building-wise as an “improvement.” When we moved from downtown, we were told our old phone system was archaic, and that the new system would be modern and “1000 times better.” What we ACTUALLY got was SO bad that the phone system had to be scrapped altogether six weeks later; our phones and Internet connectivity were THAT awful.

On Thursday and Friday, they were testing the fire alarm system. The one thing I will say about it is that it is sufficiently LOUD and ANNOYING. For Thursday’s test, we were informed of only AFTER the noise from the alarm had started; I was ready to bolt. Friday, we were told it was a test and ignored that noise. But then, 10 minutes later, the alarm went off AGAIN. The folks in my section asked me, the fire marshal for our department if they should go. Heck, I don’t know, but I said to stay, which turned out to be the right decision. Others in the building DID leave but were sent right back to their offices. Of course, if a REAL fire were to have broken out at that point, we probably all would have perished.

Rumors have been floating around that we will move when our lease runs out in a year or so. The state of New York has been shrinking its workforce, and moving us from leased office space to a state-owned building makes a certain amount of sense. People who drive to work may be disappointed, but I, who need to take TWO buses each to and from work when I can’t ride my bicycle, would be thrilled.

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