Color-coded panic modes

April 11, 2008

I’m sitting in my office answering emails and trying to tie things up for the weekend. I look up, thinking, “Did I hear that overhead page correctly?” I could have sworn they called a “Code Black!”

Ok let me initiate you in the color coded panic modes…hmmmp…I did just finish another 8 hours of boring orientation again today, 16 hours of enlightenment. For example, “Code Red” means there’s a fire, panic but don’t be too obvious. “Code Green” means there’s violence and we need muscle (security) and “Code Black” is a subtle way of announcing that there is a bomb threat.

I jumped out of my chair and ran out of my office. I asked the first person I saw, “Did I hear a code black? Is it a drill?” Affirmative, a code black was called and Negative, don’t know if it’s a drill. Here I am panicked to the tips of my natural, black dyed hair. As the senior supervisor on the premises, (Actually I was the only one left, everyone had gone home early. It’s a Friday!) I was supposed to know what to do. Yeah right! I know what it means but I haven’t read the safety manual yet on what steps I’m supposed to take.

After a few confusing, cross-eyed seconds I found the manual and read in a blur the steps to take. Simple! Lockdown your area, no one in and no one out. Then do a walk thru of the immediate surroundings, checking for suspicious boxes, containers, etc. In short, I did a brisk walk around the department and looked for anything that could be ticking. If I found anything with the potential to go BOOM!, I had on my backpack, my cellphone in my hand and I was gonna make a run for it. And how was your week?

Oh yeah! Code black was called off after 20 mins. It was a prank call!


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