Stop me if you´ve heard this one before...

“We need to talk to you now,” says this usually mild-mannered fellow at this Vendor who handles facilities administration for the company. It´s not the almost visible italics in his voice that give off his need for my immediate attention, but the two security guards in dark suits by his side. “Come with us.”

So I cross the large hall, passing the aisles with the cubicles with due escort until we get to this small, ill-lit (don´t ask) room that the security people keep their suits and fill out reports about god knows what, and probably browse for p*rn and stuff too.
They close the door behind me and I get the distinct feeling they are just about to kick the living crap out of myself.

“You´re the guy who handles that business c*ntinuity thing, right?,” asks the facilities administrator.
“It´s more of a part-time thing, see,” I smile. “Like, it´s all a bunch of spreadsheets and stuff. But how can I help you guys?”
“Building administration just called,” he tells me with a wavering voice. “Seems they just got this call from someone claiming that there´s a b*mb in this building.”
“You gotta be kidding, right?” I ask. He says no, it´s for real.

Then we get to repeat that last exchange about four times over until I´m actually convinced it´s no prank and we´re dealing with an actual b*mb threat situation.

I rest my hands on my waist, bow my head down and take a deep breath as I realize I´m the first person in the company to be actually informed of this—and that whatever happens next is a direct consequence of this very instant: Okay, first things first, I tell myself in the back of my head. Keep your cool and think things through.

Right off the bat, then, all the usual questions: Has the Police been called in yet? What did they say? How many people know of this? Are there talks of evacuation? And so on, and so forth. Gather information, stick to the basics.

Then I leave the room, call in by boss—who´s also, and very conveniently, the escalation point for all emergency situations like this. Getting him up to speed takes a little less time, since I did my homework and asked all the right questions.

Once we escalate the issue, though, we´ve just arrived halfway through this meeting between the site Director and the visiting CEO of this huge commercial prospect of ours from the US.
It´s then & there that I´m thrown what´s possibly the biggest curve ball I´ve ever been given in my life: “Whatever happens next, whatever you guys do,” he tells us, “Buy me at least twenty more minutes so I´m finished with this guy.”

I look at my boss, mister numero dos, and he looks at me, mister number four hundred and twenty-three, I guess, or thereabouts, both of us trying just to figure out what the hell to do next.
Then we remember that the clock is ticking in more ways than one, probably, and that we still got lots of ground to cover.

The main difference between being 19 and 29 years old is, I guess, being confident enough that once some idiotic situation crashes in your party like that— say, a b*mb threat at work—you understand the whole mechanics of what´s really required of you.

Kids panic, that´s a given.
Kids panic mostly because they´ll get into their own heads and try as hard as they can to remember everything they´ve crammed up so far about how the best way to deal with the office being threatened with a b*mb and stuff, and coming up with nothing either specific or doable—panic´s the only way out.

Adults, on the other hand—and you have no idea how much I´ve been enjoying this whole “adult” thing lately—Adults will automatically trust their experience to provide them with all the adequate course of action they need. And that´s exactly where all the books and movies and flunking College classes then having bad breakups with girls and stuff come into play.
We are, after all, the sum of all our experiences.

The rest of it, for the sake of a shorter post on a Sunday night, is best covered itemized:

>> We don´t spread the word so as not to panic people: Only about five or six persons in the company get to be aware of what´s going on.

>> We go over our contract SLAs with the Client, to be sure of the financial consequences of evacuating (Okay, I know that people come first, but let´s get a little practical too, right).

>> Building administration has touched base with the larger companies in the building and everyone decided it´s safer to wait for the Police before ordering an all-out evacuation.

>> We touch base with this other department from out Company, based on the fifth floor and to whom we have so little direct contact with, and it seems they also agree with the idea of not evacuating, of not doing anything drastic until the proper Authorities say-so.

>> Paranoia sinks in and of the few people involved, one or two start recalling “suspicious” events from earlier in the day, maybe that was when the b*mb was planted, that kind of crap.

>> The Police come in, eventually, and even though I never get to see them, they allegedly even brought in one of those b*mb-sniffing dogs.

>> Building administration confirms to the Police they´ve already swept all common areas of the building and came out empty-handed. Each Company in the building, including us, confirms the same thing for our respective interiors.

>> The Police dismisses the whole thing as a crank call and says no evacuation is needed, nor is another investigation of the premises. Then they leave.

By then we´re all breathing a lot lighter, it´s maybe an hour later into the gameplay, and not only we´ve given the Director his twenty minutes, but we´ve also managed to keep the crisis and bay with no harm to our people and our operations.


It got a little worse.

That´s when we get the word that our cousins on the fifth floor (remember them?) have just jumped the gun and made the call as to actually order their own evacuation. Swear to god: About a hundred people droning down the stairways, every one of them talking about the building being threatened by a b*mb, and stuff—and that was like, ten minutes after the Police´d cleared the stuation!

Once we get to their offices they´ve all vacated the place and even the Directors to whom we´d talked previously and agreed upon the no-evac option seem to have disappeared the planet. Not answering their mobiles, either.

We get close to freaking out, then: How long until the word spreads out to our two floors and all hell breaks loose?

We do damage-control then, and we dot it fairly quick: we split our team between the third and fourth floor, each one braced by a Director, and we call in each Manager and Team Leader on site: Explain the whole situation to them and tell them to relay the full story to their respective teams—fifteen minutes later, tops, work´s still going on as in a regular day, except people are making jokes about how they almost got to leave earlier on a Friday over a crank call...

My boss looks at me and all things considered, despite our overeager cousins above, things could have gone a lot worse. We laugh but then before we´re able to go for a cup of coffee, I tell him only half-seriously how much I pity the guy who gets to notify Corporate Security at the US.
He says nothing for about half a minute, then looks at me and says, “You know, that´s a great point.” Then points me to the phone.