Real Fake Fire

I went to work as usual. I arrived at 8.15 am, as usual. I started work drinking my third coffee of the day, as usual. I say hello to my boss at 9.05 am, she’s always late, as usual. Suddenly, around 9.15, just before our morning meeting a fire alarm started…and of course, this was very unusual for me…the noise was annoying.

I thought it was a kind of exercise, I was expecting a voice on the speakers saying “This is a sound test, employees should remain at their workstations and blah, blah, blah.” But no message. People were going outside. Me? I was at my office, finishing to type an email. An old employee told me to leave and take the stairs. I was still looking at my screen when blue eyes came and said aloud something I don’t remember but by her tone I imagined she was unI happy to see me sat on my chair. I left and was heading the stairs and she said to go to closer exit…I followed because I was totally lost, as usual.

We were outside and I stood but she moved away saying our concentration point was at the opposite side. There, all the clerks’ group were talking to each other and I found the girl I was finishing to send the email I was typing on. Firefighters and fire trucks were outside the building. The responsables were wearing yellow helmets as if they were supervising a construction. I was sat feeling lost, as usual, with cold because it was windy and then, one of the managers, a francophone librarian sat beside me trying to read a book and explaining about the benefits of magnesium…well, obviously the book was about magnesium. She was saying the book was excellent…yes, and I’m Batman. That kind of literature is quite best seller for love heath carers and hate antibiotics fans. And I don’t know why she asked me about my background, my studies etc. I said I was a historian, that I worked at the National Library in Montreal and that I was reading Andre Agassi’s biography. I talked a bit what I was doing in my country, reasearch and other things. Well, she thought I’ve always been support or assistant. We were chatting for a while, she was telling me about her background, she wanted to be kindergarten school teacher, that she wanted to be a doctor but her family hadn’t money to afford it, that’s why she loved the book about magnesium, that she worked as a librarian in many cities, like Dallas, Bruxelles and many others, that her sister’s husband sold his fossil collection for almost 1$ million and that sister died by cancer, the guy married another young women and had 4 kids…she was shocked, and it was more than obvious she was still in pain, I’d say more in anger.

Finally, the fire exercise was over and the yellow helmets ordered us to came in. When we were inside it was almost 9.50 am. I asked blue eyes if we would have our meeting and she agreed. We were talking about my accomplished duties and new ones….and I don’t know why she said: “Marcelle told me you got a history degree”…yes, I said and again I explained my background. She asked me if I was applying to higher positions inside the government, I replied her saying I didn’t have that experience. And then she dropped the bomb. She said she knows a guy who works in research, and he has connections in other departments, she told me if I wanted, she could ask people around her and probably have a contract directly with the government. I was playing the cool gal in this meeting, but I admit I was surprised by her offer, at the same time I wasn’t so enthusiastic, good intentions are always filled with illusions. She gave the phone number of her contact.

I called the guy after three times falling in his voicemail, a busy manager, as usual. I talked to him about blue eyes’ conversation and he said: “Well, most of the researchers have master degree and Ph. degree…” I felt a right jab on my stomach and he added “but it doesn’t mean other people can’t do the job”. As a good functionary he told “send me an email about your interests about research”. I say yes… I don’t know, it’s just so weird but I’m very conscious about illusions…

Everything seems so strange, new and unknown for me…as usual.


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