Friday at work was a rather crazy day. It was my first day back after three off, and definitely not a fun way to end a weekend. We first had weather hit at one of our east coast hubs...I had a plane start holding before I even sat down, and they ultimately had to divert to an alternate airport. Then the captain complained I had planned the diversion recovery flight with too much fuel, so I reduced his fuel slightly. Of course, once he took off for his original destination, he ended up holding again, and almost had to divert a second time, but he finally made it in.
During that whole fiasco we had weather and storms hit our main hub in Texas, and I had two more flights on my desk end up diverting. One of them had a maintenance problem and I was worried it would be stuck when they landed at the airport they diverted to, but it turned out not to be a serious issue. Needless to say, I was pretty busy for several hours dealing with all of my flights and the weather.
Towards the end of my shift the fire alarm started sounding on our floor. Since false alarms aren't unheard of in my building, we all kept working (if we leave, the airline tends to shut down within a couple hours.) However, someone from upstairs came down to report there was indeed a fire on the floor above ours. A few people kept working a bit longer, but I decided to go ahead and leave at that point (along with many other people) and walked downstairs and outside.
I must admit our local fire department took this alarm seriously.
I called my sister and her husband, who live here also, to assure them I was okay just in case this ended up making the news. Some people on the overnight shift reported to work at our backup facility because we weren't sure when the situation would be resolved. Ultimately, about an hour later, we were cleared to go back inside, and a fire department supervisor escorted us back in.
Whatever the problem was, it had been contained on the floor above ours. Aside from an acrid odor, we couldn't tell anything had ever happened. I ended up staying two hours past the end of my shift while things sort of got back to normal. A news truck did show up right before I went back upstairs, but the incident was minor enough that as far as I can tell, it never made any of the local broadcasts.
Some people I work with said that the problem was never so serious we needed to evacuate (and in fact, some people didn't evacuate.) But I'd rather err on the side of safety, personally. At any rate, it made for a fun return to work day. I do have to admit...in all my years of working in the airline industry, this was the first time I've ever had to evacuate a building during my shift.