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[Jun. 28th, 2012|02:55 pm]
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[spotsofcolour]
There was a thunderstorm going on and one of the lightning strikes set off the fire alarm in our building.

A woman in my office refused to be evacuated from the building which might be on fire, because she was scared of thunderstorms.

Am I being unsympathetic, or is that just crazy?

(edited for clarification)


Got any stories of similar bizarre decision-making to share?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: reeps
2012-06-28 02:01 pm (UTC)

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When you say evacuate do you mean she wanted to stay in by herself, or she's responsible for making sure everyone leaves? If the former, well it's her decision, if the latter then she should be replaced.
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 02:05 pm (UTC)

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The former, fortunately, because she'd be f-all use in a crisis.
[User Picture]From: waitingonsunday
2012-06-28 02:13 pm (UTC)

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I can understand why it would scare her to be standing outside during a thunderstorm, but you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess. I'd rather not be stuck in a burning building, I'm thinking.

I have this really weird coworker who's incredibly argumentative and stubborn about EVERYTHING. She was using a floor cleaner to clean the floor in the garage where I work. She had just sprayed a ton of cleaner on the ground when the floor cleaner caught fire, the battery pack having burst into flames. She continued to clean the floor with it--through highly flammable cleaner--IN A GARAGE where it's against regulations to even smoke a cigarette because of fumes/flash fires/etc.--despite the flaming battery pack, which could explode and send battery acid and burning battery bits in all directions. Someone grabbed the fire extinguisher and everyone was gathered around her, shouting for her to step back so they could put the fire out, and she was screaming back, "NO, I'M GOING TO FINISH CLEANING THIS FLOOR!" A manager heard the commotion, ran out to see what was going on, and had to physically stand in the way of her and her cleaner to make her stop. And then she gave everyone the silent treatment for like a week because she was pissed at us. She argued that she was more concerned that someone would slip in some of the cleaner she had sprayed, and, yeah, that would be bad, but I'd rather deal with that than an exploding battery.
[User Picture]From: buncha_cruncha
2012-06-28 02:18 pm (UTC)

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Dude. That's just....wow.
[User Picture]From: waitingonsunday
2012-06-28 02:44 pm (UTC)

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I know, right?
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[User Picture]From: waitingonsunday
2012-06-28 03:14 pm (UTC)

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She's pretty craycray. She's extremely religious, and when she found out I was an atheist, she hid a customer's keys and was really theatrical about praying for them to turn up, so she could ~prove the power of prayer~ to me or something. We could never prove that she did this, but everyone knows this is what happened. She also thinks starvation cures cancer and AIDS (I mean, literally, no exaggeration, she believes this) and that Hurricane Katrina fucked the Gulf Coast up because no one there prayed for it not to happen. I could go on for days about all the nutty stuff she's said and done.
[User Picture]From: cocori
2012-06-28 03:27 pm (UTC)

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Should she be working or should she be in a craycray house? Hmm.. :/
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 03:06 pm (UTC)

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Oh my goodness! That's nuts!
[User Picture]From: waitingonsunday
2012-06-28 03:15 pm (UTC)

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She really, really is.
[User Picture]From: beetle_breath
2012-06-28 02:14 pm (UTC)

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I'm afraid of thunderstorms because I have an irrational fear of getting struck by lightning...but I think knowing the damn building was on fire would trump that.
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 02:59 pm (UTC)

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See that was my thought. It wasn't like it was far to go to the building we were being evacuated to.
[User Picture]From: researchme
2012-06-28 10:04 pm (UTC)

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i knew i wasnt the only one!!
im so terrified.
[User Picture]From: morrigan716
2012-06-28 02:24 pm (UTC)

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It is kind of crazy, but often fear causes people to think irrationally.
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 04:49 pm (UTC)

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I guess, it just seemed a little... bizarre. We weren't made to stand out in the rain, we were allowed to go to another building, and she decided to go sit in her car instead.
[User Picture]From: crysania4
2012-06-28 02:29 pm (UTC)

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Some people have SERIOUS phobias and thinking rationally is not part of them. I mean, if there was a tornado coming and I had to go into a small closet that had a bunch of the things I have a phobia of in it I'm not sure I'd ACTUALLY be able to do it, despite the tornado warning.
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 04:50 pm (UTC)

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I get what you mean. That said, she would've only had to walk like 100 yds through the storm to another building, with a huge group of people, so I would've thought that might've mitigated it a bit? I don't know.
[User Picture]From: crysania4
2012-06-28 04:55 pm (UTC)

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Yeah I can totally understand that too. I'm not sure I could walk 100 yards through a field of arachnids but if it were that or burn to death in a building, I'd just make a run for it!
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2012-06-28 02:34 pm (UTC)

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I think youre being unsympathetic and that can be considered a little "crazy", but its a more legitimate fear then say, a fear of balloons popping, both of which can be very real to the person with the fear.
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 02:46 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, I think the word I actually wanted was counterintuitive. Like, I understand that there is potential danger out there, but there is real danger in here which should probably be addressed first.
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2012-06-28 03:04 pm (UTC)

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People with such phobias and fears though often act irrationally out of that fear. I get your need to roll your eyes and ignore her screams but i probably wouldnt recommend just dragging her outside either :( Its a tough situation.
[User Picture]From: noachoc
2012-06-28 02:42 pm (UTC)

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It IS crazy, but that's how phobias work. If someone told me to drink poison or let fifty spiders crawl over my face for an hour, I'd go for the poison. It's not rational. It's a phobia.
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 04:57 pm (UTC)

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I just wonder, with something like Thunderstorms though, they're not really something you can avoid. At some point in your life you will probably find yourself in a middle of a thunderstorm and be required to be able to handle it - at work, driving up a motorway etc - so why get to your mid fifties (as she is) and not at least try to find coping mechanisms?

I mean, I'm terrified of jellyfish, but I've developed ways around that when I go to the beach. I bet you've worked out ways to handle it if you come across a spider (which are a bit more common than jellyfish, lol).
[User Picture]From: mr_sadhead
2012-06-28 02:49 pm (UTC)

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I think she had a point. The thunderstorm set off the fire alarms. IT has powers.

Maybe she could just stay inside or near the doors in plain sight while the rest of you evacuated the building?
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 03:02 pm (UTC)

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We all headed to a different building, so we didn't have to stand in the rain, and she went and sat by herself in her car (although I'd have thought that would be scarier!)
[User Picture]From: ilysespieces
2012-06-28 03:12 pm (UTC)

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yeah, until this part of your story i was like "well, yeah, phobias and all" but that's just ridiculous.

i'd much rather be in a building than a metal box in the middle of the storm, if that's what i'm afraid of. and i am slightly scared of thunderstorms.

Edited at 2012-06-28 03:13 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 04:51 pm (UTC)

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Haha, I did think she was rather making it worse for herself, so I lost even more sympathy for her then.
[User Picture]From: ginny_toxic
2012-06-28 11:28 pm (UTC)

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but the car has rubber tires so wouldn't that make it rather safe from lighting?
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[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 03:08 pm (UTC)

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I love thunderstorms too. I can see why people could be scared of them, but I would've thought self preservation instinct would overrule it!
[User Picture]From: 911pleasehold
2012-06-28 04:16 pm (UTC)

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I would ask her whether thunderstorms scared her more than being burned alive. If she said yes, I'd leave her in peace.
[User Picture]From: spotsofcolour
2012-06-28 04:58 pm (UTC)

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Haha, maybe I should've done!