Re: WORK: Bomb Scares

Subject: Re: WORK: Bomb Scares
From: Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 22:46:57 -0400

At 08:11 PM 8/1/97 -0500, Carolyn Haley wrote:
>Forgive the cross posting, but I wanted to get as broad a response as
>possible to this one.
>Has anyone worked at a company that has received bomb scares?

Unfortunately, yes.

I've worked for a couple of oil companies, and an engineering firm. All of
them have received bomb threats; a couple have actually had explosive
devices rremoved by experts. (I freelance now -- I doubt anyone is going to
threaten to bomb my house!)

>I am presently at a very pleasant long-term assignment that is allowing me
>to, simultaneously, have a steady paycheck, shuffle my schedule to take
>short-term freelance jobs, plus all the time off I need for personal
>activities. The people are great, the work is pleasant, the company -- an
>insurance company the size of a small city -- is strange and a bit scary
>but the amenities compensate. I have the assignment until I use up a
>1,000-hour budget, which, at half time, will not occur for a while yet.
>HOWEVER: In the past four months we have twice been evacuated for bomb scares!
>This disturbs me. Is it something I should take seriously? -- like, get out
>of there ASAP? Are bomb scares merely contemporary practical jokes, and
>what we should be worried about are the people who _don't_ phone in their
>threat? Does anyone have real-world experience with this subject?

Was the bomb scare targetted at your company, or just at the particular
office building? What does your management say?

I would never treat a bomb scare as anything other than a serious threat.
But then I always leave the building during fire drills, too.

Having worked in a refinery that had a couple of bomb scares and one loose
armed gunman, my recommendation is to follow whatever the official procedure
is for evacuating and meeting at a central location outside (remember fire
drills from school?). There's a valid reason for wanting to meet -- you
have to count noses during a bomb scare or a fire drill to make sure
everyone's out of the building. What if the looneytune decides to take a

The engineering firm I worked for had a bomb threat at one location (it's an
international firm, with offices all over the world). ALL the locations
stepped up security for a while.

The scariest situation I was ever in was when I worked overseas. The
refinery was sometimes used as a training site for the Marines (note: not
the US Marines)! They would run all over the place, fully armed, and we
were expected to act that day as if we were under attack. In a refinery,
where almost everything is hot, under high pressure, flammable, or even
explosive, the potential for damage by a bomber, a gunman, or a
trigger-happy Marine was frightening.

BTW, these are not recent occurrances. I worked overseas at that refinery
almost 20 years ago (gawd, I'm getting old!); I left the engineering firm in
1992. Bomb scares have been around for a long time.

Win Day
Technical Writer/Editor
mailto:winday -at- idirect -dot- com

There's a lot more to gain from his living than wealth.
There's a lesson to learn with devotion:
Be kind to all others, as well as yourself,
Or you'll drift like a boat out on the ocean.

Roving Gypsy Boy (Jimmy Rankin)

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