Caution tape does not always denote a cause for concern

Today was an interesting day at work. I ventured out of the office and headed to Duane Reade to get some cash. Unfortunately the ATM in my usual Duane Reade wasn’t functioning. I managed to find another Duane Reade and by the time I made it back to the office my initial DR was blocked off and being monitored by police. Well that’s curious. I asked a police officer what happened. He had no idea but when someone else informed us that there was a package left outside the store, the cop simply commented “Welcome to New York.” Fair enough I guess. I went back into the building only to head out 20 minutes later. I thought all was said and done in the DR incident, but when I tried to leave the building I was directed to exit at the opposite side. When I made it outside I saw this:

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The entire block was blocked off. Most of the entrances to my building were blocked off. I didn’t think there was any reason to be concerned though because when I tried to go back into the building I was let right in. Clearly we hadn’t reached evacuation mode yet. I took the elevator up to my floor (in the 40’s) and was immediately met by 3 of my co-workers (2 of whom are higher up than me). They decided that they weren’t going down with the ship and who am I to argue with that logic?

After self-evacuating we headed for McDonald’s (in times of crisis…) to meet yet more people from our office. Not willing to take any chances, we took off down the street for Starbuck’s. My cell phone rang–another girl from the office–and minutes later our little caravan (up to 5) was joined by 3 more. We asked a cop if he thought we were far enough away. His response? “I hope so.” Not necessarily comforting.

So where am I going with this (other than to tell you all about my morning at work)? Nowhere really. Except to wonder if “welcome to New York, where we block off entire city blocks for packages” is the M.O., then shouldn’t the people who work in the building that you’ve blocked off get some kind of heads up? I mean, should I head for the hills or hang out in my office? I know there’s no fire, but could you ring the alarm anyway? Get a little attention brewing? It’s always better to hear from the inside that something might be happening, than to get a call from friends on the outside wondering what is happening.

Or not. All I know is that yellow tape does not always symbolize the need for alarm. Sometimes, it’s just there for a good story and a chance to get out of the office.

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