To relieve the company of any undue "liability burdens," the legal department has determined that employees should at least be made aware of the following building safety policies:
Fire Alarms and Drills: The Company will periodically set off loud sirens, accompanied by flashing strobes, during the middle of the workday for no apparent reason. Every effort will be made to schedule these during major deadlines. In certain cases, managers (as well as their children) may use the fire alarm and/or sprinkler system as a means of road-blocking productive employees.
Emergency Stairways: In the event of a building emergency, employees must exit through a designated stairway. These are not exits per se, but should, under the right circumstances, lead to one. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS. They have been outfitted as luxury survival pods to ensure that the executive team can continue with "business as usual." Please note that newly implanted employee-tracking chips are equipped to prevent unauthorized pod access.
Fire Wardens: Each floor must appoint two fire wardens. In exchange for the position's inherent unpopularity, fire wardens receive a red plastic fireman's hat, a "Lil' Lifesavers" badge, and the right to rummage through abandoned desks once coworkers reach the nearest exit. "Kind of a loner" types preferred.
Worker Whistles: To ensure workers' complete personal safety, the company will be distributing the Worker Whistle(R) to every employee. The whistle is to be blown only in the event of emergencies and must be visibly worn at all times while on the premises. Inappropriate whistle usage and/or unsatisfactory display of the whistle will result in harsh disciplinary action.
A version of this article appeared in the September 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.