On Tuesday we had a fire drill at school. The fire alarm went off for 15 minutes or so, just to the point where I was inwardly saying oh god please make it stop.
An explanation. I've always had very sensitive hearing. Watching tv? I'll probably leave the room. Eating in a quiet room? Every chew is audible, forks scraping on plates (eee!), the clock ticking. If the oven is accidentally left on, I know because I can hear it, for heaven's sake. You get the picture.
We came back in the building and there was an announcement that people were going to be testing the fire alarms. They might go off occasionally, but we didn't need to evacuate. Don't pay any attention to them, the assistant principal said.
Three minutes later, the alarm went off. Two minutes after that, the alarm went off. A couple of minutes later, yeah, again. And so on. I started writing down the times when it went off. The alarm on the wall is about 20 feet from where I sit and I jumped every time.
After an hour, I was edgy and mad. After another hour of it I was extremely agitated. At 11:00, I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I'm not kidding. I was raving at my coworkers by then, threatening to go to the office if we hit 50 alarms.
The alarm went off 10 more times in the next 17 minutes. FIFTY. I marched to the office.
Me: DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES THE FIRE ALARM HAS GONE OFF THIS MORNING?
Receptionist: I know! It's been pretty crazy.
Me: NO, YOU DON'T KNOW. YOU DON'T KNOW BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T BEEN COUNTING. BUT I HAVE. THE ALARM HAS GONE OFF FIFTY TIMES SINCE 8:35. FIFTY. TIMES.
Receptionist: Really? That's a lot. It's really annoying.
ME: ANNOYING? IT'S RIDICULOUS. IT'S ABSURD. AM I TALKING REALLY REALLY LOUDLY? BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE I AM. BUT I CAN'T EXPRESS HOW THIS IS MAKING ME FEEL. I'M LOSING IT, HERE.
By now she was edging away from me, a nervous look in her eye. The principal came out of her office. Did I mention that we have a brand new principal?
Brand New Principal: Is everything alright?
Me: NO. NO, EVERYTHING IS NOT ALRIGHT. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THE FIRE ALARM?
BNP: They have to test every one in the building.
Me: DURING THE SCHOOL DAY? OH REALLY?
BNP: You don't look so good. Are you ok?
So I went balistic in the office, with the principal wondering, I'm sure, just what kind of a lunatic she had working in the library.
BNP: Where is J (assistant principal)?
Receptionist: He's in his office with the door shut. He said he couldn't stand it anymore.
The fire alarm didn't go off any more that day. I'm not sure if my gibbering fit had anything to do with it, or if they found the assitant principal curled in a ball under his desk, or if they just happened to be finished. But later, a guy from the alarm company came into the library. He was, oh, maybe 12.
Me: I NEED TO TALK TO YOUR BOSS.
Alarm boy: I am the boss.
Me: OK, I NEED TO TALK TO YOU THEN.
Alarm boy: Um, I have to go take care of something...
Me: YOU'D BETTER COME BACK HERE, JUNIOR. WE NEED TO HAVE A DISCUSSION.
I never saw him again.
Within an hour or so I'd started to feel better. By late afternoon I was back to normal but I think people are still talking about my "episode". Moral is, if you ever want to torture me--and you probably will--loud sounds will do it.
Please, Weather, don't make me come out there. I'm very disappointed in you, but it's never too late to make amends. A 50 degree day just might do it.
EDIT: 4:30 pm, 38 degrees
Much obliged, Weather. Keep this up and you'll be back in my good graces soon.
A colleague at school had a family member pass away suddenly this week. The funeral was today. All the teachers who worked closely with her wanted to go to the funeral, so those of us who were free at that time were asked to cover their classes. I had been scheduled to do booktalks for a class, but that teacher was going, too, so I offered to cover her classes.
( The rest... )