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It dawns on me that I have a number of life experiences that are unique. I really should write a book. If I could come up with a viable plot, I would do so. I love writing. I just don’t have anything unique to say at the moment. Most of the ideas I come up with have already been done. Too bad I can’t use something from my own life. Let me give you a few examples.

We had a firm meeting the other day. As part of that meeting they brought in a Lieutenant from the local Police Department’s SWAT team. He ran through a very lengthy (and grim) discussion on what employees should do when there is an active killer in the workplace. This is a presentation he does for companies to get them thinking about how they would handle an emergency situation. We watched a video that gave people in this situation (facing a killer) three choices – run, hide or fight.

Sadly, I have already faced a similar situation. It wasn’t a killer, though; it was rioters. In 1972 (7th grade), I experienced a race riot. We were locked down in our classrooms while the rioters ran loose through the high school hallways, breaking the glass in the doors. The teacher made us hide under our desks. The rioters did come into our room, and they slapped around one boy who had long, past his shoulder length hair (unfortunately, he stood out). Apparently, there were worse situations going on in other rooms and areas of the school. The Police came and arrested the rioters. The teacher drove us home that day. I am here to confess that hiding does work rather well in a terrifying emergency situation.

Today my firm rolled out a revised emergency preparedness plan. As part of that plan, they put a bomb threat report document on our desktops. It is a form that details what we are supposed to do in the event we receive a bomb threat phone call.

Yes, sadly, I have already faced this situation, too! It was my senior year of high school (1977). I worked a co-op job during the afternoon in the main office at my old grammar school. I was answering the switchboard one afternoon when a bomb threat phone call came in. The caller said he’d planted a bomb in the school. Of course, I passed the call along to someone else. I can’t remember now if it was the Principal or the senior secretary. Either way, the entire school was evacuated and the students were sent home early. There was no bomb. Too bad I didn’t have the helpful bomb threat form back then.

On a humorous note, this form tells me that I’m supposed to ask the caller their name and their address. I couldn’t stop laughing at that one. They’d have to be one of the world’s dumbest criminals if they readily gave that information up. “Yes, and if you could just give me your address, sir, I’ll send a policeman around to arrest you shortly.” Oh, brother! The form was obviously created by someone out of touch with reality and with no real world, real life experience.

Other experiences include four automobile accidents; three when I was driving (they weren’t my fault). I’ve had three cars broken into, and one was nearly stolen. I’ve had two major surgeries. I’ve had to make life-ending decisions for a loved one (my mother). I’ve been in love with and married to the love of my life for half of my life. And these are just a few things I thought of, off of the top of my head. With all of these experiences that have happened to me over the years, you would think I’d have a treasure trove of things to write about.

They always say to write what you know. I just wish that magical storyline would pop into my head. If and when that happens, I’ll let you know.

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