As per the Orthopedist's instructions I have been weaning myself out of the sling this week so that I've gone whole days without it now except in the "uncontrolled environment" of the dangerous outdoors. The doctor's reasoning is that outside my controlled bubble of home and office I need something that will make people aware that I am injured and so more careful not to bump or knock me etc etc.
Our building management threw in a fire drill today so I dutifully put on the sling as I was about to enter the uncontrolled environment of the fire stairs. I would have to go down 3 floors and a basement level of stairs to get to street level in a building populated on 8 floors. I opened the firewell door and then stood, and stood and stood as people descended past me without anyone offering to "let me in". I needed to be let in so I would have the rail on my left side to hold onto. Eventually someone did allow me…. (I wish I'd counted how many people went past first).
As I am the Office Manager I'm always informed by Building Management when they are going to have a drill. I pass the information onto our Safety Director and we leave it at that so he can assess how well employees have learnt the evacuation plan and that they know where our meeting point is. So, I knew today was a drill so I was not overly stressed about it, but I was certainly annoyed.
It reminded me of an incident a couple of years ago when I was in the cast and on crutches. I was informed that there was going to be a drill and the building manager told me that I did not have to leave the building but that if there was a real fire I would have to make my way to one of the two fire escapes and wait for a hunky (or probably more) fireman to carry me down the stairs.
Anyway, the alarms went off and people rushed out past me, racing for the escapes without a second glance at me sitting forlornly in reception. As I watched people leaving I turned it into a private survey to see if anyone would stop to wonder how I was going to get down the stairs. Then the smallest lady in our office ( a few years older, not even 5 feet and less than 100 lbs) came along and asked what she could do to help me get out. I was really touched as she was the one person in our office least likely, physically, to be able to help me.
I already held great respect for those people who spend their days running into situations to help people get out of danger but I am in awe of a personality that makes them so willing to do so, when here I am, working with people who barely give a thought to helping someone out at the same time as they are going!
After a pleasant half hour in the sun today we went back in and were given a little reward for the inconvenience of having to enjoy some time in the gorgeous weather. A
chrysanthemum (oops! thanks to Cranky who is a way better horticulturist than me and noticed they are actually Gerbera daisies). The manager gave me a second one for being so good-natured about the timing of their drills.