I was peering into the pool room, and checking the status of the pool towels. “Smells funny in here, like burnt plastic; the pump doesn’t sound right either. Maybe I should write a note, ‘Your pool room smells weird,’ No that’s silly, I’m sure they’ll figure it out…”
I am walking back to the desk when an ear peircing alarm starts going off, and I scream and jump a foot into the air. I gasp for air and tell myself I got this and walk over to the smoke alarm panel, half trying to go through in my head what I am going to do if I have to help everyone evacuate!
And that’s when I realize. I am having trouble reading the directions when I am in panic mode. I don’t even have enough attention span for my eyes to follow the dotted line to the second button I need to push. I panic more and call my manager. Luckily there are two more managers there working to remodel the rooms at that time and they turn the smoke alarm off as well as the defective pump motor.
All is back to normal. Except my realization: how am I going to function in a real emergency if I am unable to understand symbols for more than 3 seconds?