Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Subject: The building is on fire; please evacuate.

One summer, myself and a couple hundred others were working on a AAA title in our dimly lit, stinky basement.  This basement was also known as QA.

The basement was constantly overlooked by the custodial staff.  I’m not sure this was intentional or not, but we were seriously lacking in regular trash bin changes, vacuuming, and overall cleanliness.  Oh, and we also were short on a few fire alarms…okay we didn’t have any fire alarms.

The testers in the basement were all console testers and did not have regular access to a computer.  They would occasionally get up to write bugs, but for the most part, you are pretty unaware as to what’s in your email until lunch or break time.

Due to the secrecy of the project I was on, my team was located in a locked room.  So here we are, in a dark, dirty basement, with no alarms and no real communication with the outside world.  Cell phones didn’t even work.

So, one day, we hear a big commotion outside the door.  We get up to see what’s going on, and before I can reach the handle, the door explodes open with one of my co-workers saying,

“The building’s on fire!  It has been for a while and no one’s told us!”

Oh, but we all did receive an emergency email to our rarely looked at accounts.  By the time we reached the outdoors, the entire building had already been evacuated.