I was lucky that my day didn't turn out too busy after all. People were still reeling over the Tawau tragedy that just transpired the day before. It was only the 1st day, of the 2nd month of 2013. And this was the day after.
As the day progressed I was feeling better, except that my room in the office felt strangely hot. My room usually feels like a walk-in freezer for me to function normally. No, I kid. What's that they say in those weather forecasts? It's actually 18 C, but it feels like 8! Yea, that. But that whole day, it was uncomfortably hot. Ah well, time to call the air-con maintenance people.
So I had taken off slightly early on the pretext that I wasn't feeling 100%. One of the staff commented that I was looking a bit pale. So yea, I had an excuse.
Then the Whatsapp pictures came in. What? A fire drill? After working hours? Are you kidding me? Why would they go to great lengths to fake the smoke just for the sake of a drill, especially when no-one was going to be there? But this was no drill. There was indeed a fire, in my block, right by my room. Oh shucks! From the pictures the fire didn't seem that big at all. At least I didn't think the damage would be too bad.
|And so I thought.....|
Thankfully nobody was hurt, as most of us had already left by the time it happened and luckily the Fire Services & Rescue Department was just a stone's throw away. However, one of my colleagues who was still there was one of the first to see the smoke. And his room was at the opposite end of the fire. Mine was right next to it! Ironically though, my room was virtually unaffected, except for smoke stains on the ceiling and wall. So I assumed, I guess it's business as usual then on Monday!
I couldn't have been more wrong. There was obviously no electricity and repairs would involve the entire block. It was expected to take 1 month to complete. It's now been three weeks. And we're still counting. After the first few days of cleaning up, wrapping up and moving stuff out of our rooms, we have had to work out logistics on where to actually work. We're playing "musical chairs" at the moment, taking up rooms wherever and whenever available to keep the services going. It's going to take a while to get some form of normality going on again. We just hope the public understands and be patient while all of this is in progress.
So yes, it has been an interesting year so far. To say the least. Let's just hope the rest of the year has better things in store for us. Amin!