Word of the day: invacuation

Here's an email from Gareth regarding a great work-related portmanteau he has encountered:

Alarming signs have recently gone up in our office informing us of the procedures we need to follow in the event of an Invacuation.

An Invacuation – presumably the unloved offspring of the words "evacuation"and, erm, "in" – apparently involves workers sheltering within their office building rather than being kicked out onto the streets to fend for themselves. In our state-of-the-art Canary Wharf tower, that basically means hiding in the stairwells until it's safe to come out again, and is designed principally as the process to be followed in the event of a terrorist attack. None of this, sadly, is clear from the signs, which seem to have led to general confusion.

This raises two points. Firstly, I don't care what you've called your new emergency procedure: if someone attacks my workplace then I want to get as far away from there as possible, not huddle in a stairwell. Secondly, how safe can an emergency procedure be if you've given it a name that ensures no-one knows what it means?

We were hoping to get you a photo of the Invacuation signs, but due to technical problems – neither of us being able to work our mobiles properly – this has been put on hold...

Update 28/06/08: Finally, finally managed to get the photos off my phone and on to my computer. So here are Gareth's invacuation shots (click for a larger version):


6 comments:

JD said...

Where Apus and I work, there is a proper evacuation procedure but this involves us trooping out into the car park and standing in the shadow of our rather tall building. Should there ever be a terrorist attack, it is quite likely to land on our heads.

TootsNYC said...

You'll all be easy to hit, huddling there in that stairwell, when the disgruntled employee shows up w/ a shotgun.

Like ducks in a barrel (maybe we need a new cliché--like saps in a stairwell?).

But then, there are far fewer guns in the UK than the U.S., right? You don't have as many instances of people going postal.

Here in the U.S., people go into individual offices and barricade the doors.

JD said...

Yes, we have fewer guns so we are more inventive in our choice of weapon - knives and samurai swords are two of the options.

Gareth said...

We're British. We don't "go postal", we tut in mild irritation and then moan about the weather. If anyone decided to take anyone else out, they'd probably do it with paperwork.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Whether you should leave or not really depends on the type of attack, doesn't it? But "invacuation" sounds extremely weird.

Anonymous said...

Thanks but I will stay in the stairwell when you go outside and are hit with giant blocks of stone falling off the building.