Thursday, November 22, 2007

Observations on a Rainy Day

Yesterday was the first rainy day this season and I headed out to play tennis…figure out that one! Naturally it was canceled but since I was already out I headed for Carrefore to buy an electric space heater. I guess that due to the rain a section of the road near the end of the Mecca street intersection had collapsed, causing all the traffic to be diverted up Mecca street. A huge traffic jam resulted and I found myself following an Ambulance with flashing lights, but no siren. It was impossible for him to get through and I felt badly for whomever he might be transporting. I felt even worse as I watched the driver smoke a cigarette and wondered what the patient would die from first…the injury, the smoke inhalation, or the explosion should there be an open oxygen tank.

I finally made it to Carrefore and bought my space heater but was distracted when the loudspeakers announced that there was an emergency in the building and that everyone should evacuate from the closest exit. No one took any notice even though it was announced in both English and Arabic. I stayed in my queue, paid my bill and left with the emergency message ringing in my ears.

I don’t know what that was all about but if it was a real emergency, no one was paying attention…if it were a drill, same thing. It left me wondering why everyone was treating the announcement so blasé and if it were serious, why weren’t the security, staff and Carrefore employees organizing their customers to evacuate in an orderly way? God help us if there is a REAL emergency because if people behave like they did yesterday, a great tragedy might occur.


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