Today we had a fire drill. the first one in all of my years of working there - if we except another in a different Faculty that was scheduled to start 15 minutes into one of our exams.
Fire drills are only to be expected in a public building, with numerous students and members of the public milling about. Thank heavens that (by pure coincidence!) the smoke detectors had been checked two weeks previously and that we had been given a course in autoprotección -or self protection/preservation last Friday. And I had always thought that self protection meant always wearing a condom (even to class!) just in case. Since last week I have taken to carrying one round with me in case of fire - or at least that's the excuse I give my Dark Lady!
A word on last Friday's course. It was all very interesting. we were shown the chain of command and taught how the disabled were to be left at the top of the stairwell to roast until the firebobbies arrived. The highlight was when the ruggedly handsome fireman, er sorry, firefighter arrived to show us how to use extinguishers and other assorted hoses etc. All of our female colleagues went weak at the knees. Yet who can blame them? He arrived in all of his toggery including a pair of really impressive boots. Later the more valiant (mainly the ladies - those less attracted to firemen were able to sneak off and have a coffee) took turns in extinguishing what looked like an enormous gas cooker filled with water through which bottled gas bubbled and burned until they put it out with powder fire extinguishers. For the Spanish speakers among us there is a rather naughty joke to be made here about echar polvos con el bombero. There's also the equally bad English Joke about what to call two Spanish firemen: José and hose B
Part of the talk involved how, when the alarm sounded, the first teacher out of class had to put on a green hi-viz jacket and direct operations. Today, when the alarm sounded, I suspect that I was not the only one who stayed in class doing a Corporal Jones "don't panic" routine just to avoid this rather dubious honour.
Anyhow, we all got outside safely and were then regaled with the sight of our Teutonic Director with his red hi-viz jacket (the only piece of clothing he wore that didn't smell of crusty armpits) ordering us about with a bullhorn, enjoying immensely his newly-given powers. Unfortunately, it reminded me of the famous saying "Give someone a uniform and they think they're H*tl*r".
Soon, however, we were back in class and enjoying a listening on now-illegal squatters in GB. Well, wasn't that exciting? I'll soon be getting yet another certificate from the University accrediting my attendance on the course. I'll be sure to put it on my CV.