satisfactory completion of my training and to be released
for the job I was hired for are my responsibility.
First and for
most: Remain calm in a crisis.
Follow the departments directions to resolve issues; when
in doubt, address the imminent needs of the person / department
/ company and ask for instructions.
No question is even if trivial to some and should ever
Do your best to complete your work on time; even if it
require work after normal business hours (un-paid, if
Just doing your job is not enough; Whom are you ultimately
with feeling and lives inside and outside of the office.
Respect the needs and wishes of others in the performance
of your duties.
Be considerate and professional to your co workers and
Everyone has a 'bad day' and it is mine and the team members
responsibility to assist them while at work.
It is the responsibility of management for disciplinary
To read the story where this bioacuity
is based; Scroll down and click
'Read More [+/-]'; OR,
here to download the PDF.
two weeks of training as an Alarms Control Specialist, I thought
I knew it all.
I recall that theory quickly changes,
and true panic set in; when my counter-part left the building
for a family emergency.
As she left, she said 'You shouldn't have any 'Stage 1' alarms.
I called the manager and someone will be here to relieve
me in about 15 to 20 minutes.'
My co worker packed her bags, shutting
the door on my sanity.
The idea that I actually had a clue about
being a specialist of alarms; or the issues I was responsible
dealing with – I thought I was comfortable with.
I figured I would enjoy working as an
alarms control specialist.
Now is the time when having a great sense
of humor comes in handy, not to mention: patience.
I started my first solo adventure by trying
to do something tame, something easy.
Log into the session as myself and wait
for an alarm to sound from the 250 locations we were monitoring
around the country.
I knew I could handle that. How hard is
it, when I had successfully completed two weeks training of the
systems in place?
My co worker had left a message of her
departure to the manager; whom was home and asleep – I knew that
help would was on its way.
30 minutes went by and no one had called,
no alarms had sounded; dead silence, with the exception of the
humming of the computers in the room.
Then a stage 1 alarm sounded on one of
the locations we were monitoring!
According to my training a 'Stage 1' alarm
is downgrade the alarm status
-To show ownership and 1st to call the
2nd call the manager of the location.
Finally, 3rd call my manager.
The location of the alarm was in another
state and time zone.
The phone system which we were trained
to use, had a dialing sequence to call '911' in any specified
These instructions were placed in a book
at every terminal of the alarms control section.
I was on it!
Step 1 was to silence the alarms, as it
shows ownership of the issue; however the steps to select the
alarms and press F9 didn't work.
The alarms continued to blare as the priority
wasn't my lack of knowledge, but the protection of the location.
Flying through the pages I found the instructions
and quickly read the sequence of digits I had to dial to make
I got in contact with the local 911 operator:
'911 Emergency: What is the nature of your call?'
My response was with a sense of urgency:
'Yes, my name is Hunter Breedlove; I'm calling from [Company],
Alarms Control – AND we've received a 'Stage 1' alarm at the following
location __ __ / ___ Entrance where more than 3 alarms have
gone off simultaneously.
Please send police, right away!
The 911 operator responded: 'What's a
'Stage 1 alarm?'
It dawned on me that the code we were
using is unique to our organization.
I explained that a 'Stage 1' alarm is
only triggered if there are more than three events that break
the circuit of the alarm system we monitor and the instructions
that I have are to immediately contact the police to investigate,
then the store manager – and I was dialing the store manager now
and conference the 911 operator in.
The store manager answered after 3 rings:
' Hello?' I woke him up from a dead sleep.
'Yes, this Hunter from Alarms Control and
we have a 'Stage 1' alarm at the ___ Entrance and now it looks
like there are motion sensors going off with in the store near
the ___ Entrance.'
The store manager; more alert now said,
'That's where the bank is!'
The 911 operator quickly responded, 'We
have officers at the location and en route.'
The store manager said, 'Thank you' and
that he was 'heading to the store now.'
The 911 operator said, 'We've got your
back. Good job!'
Both hung up as I was entering the events
of the alarms into the database and calling my manager.
This is the part that an experienced operator
would have done right from the start; but because I was new I
didn't know any better.
My manager called the Alarms Control office
group line, as I was entering the last number of his home phone.
I answered, 'Alarms Control; this is Hunter.'
He responded, 'Why are you answering this
'Why hasn't the Stage 1 alarm been silenced?'
'From my 'pager' the alarm has been going
for over 2 minutes – somebody's gonna get their ass chewed and
in a sling on this; possibly fired.'
'Let me talk to [my coworker], NOW!'
I was a upset in the tone of voice and
the comments he made;
however, it did not deter me from the mission
and duties I had agreed to perform:
Just doing my job.
The only thing that I could do was to
let him know that the logs of the alarm events were and how actions
to respond were performed.
I said, 'Sir, a 'Stage 1' alarm came through
at 03:40:25 hours on the [Company] / ___ Entrance in __ __.
I reviewed the instruction manual (03:41:15)
and found the sequence to dial 911 outside our area and contacted
(03:41:17) the store manager (03:41:25) near the same moment.
When I was explaining to the 911 operator
a number of motion sensors were going off near the ___ Entrance
(03:41:55) and that's when the store manager said those were near
The 911 operator said that officers were
on location and en route.
The store manager was leaving for the store
then they both hung up (03:42:05) I was entering the information
into the database and calling you when you called the group line
He responded, 'That's fine, where's [co-worker]?'
I informed him, she left the building
for a family emergency at approximately 02:55; she said she' called
He seemed frustrated, when he said, 'And
you've been there all by yourself – you handled this alarm; ALL
With some sense of satisfaction in myself,
I said: 'Yes sir.'
He was a little calmer now and asked:
'Can you please silence those alarms from that location – else,
it will wake up the entire executive staff!'
I respectfully said, 'I wasn't trained
on how to silence a 'Stage 1' alarm; as the normal steps to downgrade
alarms didn't work – I had tried earlier. Can you tell me how?'
He patiently instructed me to silence
the blaring 'Stage 1' alarms and said that he would be at the
office in 20 minutes.
I figured that I was going to have the
first and shortest shift in my 3rd week as an Alarms Control Specialist
in the history of the department.
Only minor alarms were sounded, as I awaited
his arrival and I addressed them with the same calm and level
handedness as I was instructed to do from my earlier training.
My manager arrived with another co worker,
30 minutes later and the other co worker manned the post as the
manager requested me to accompany him into his closed door office
away from the group area.
I walked in and sat down on the chair
in front of his desk.
He closed the door and sat down on his
desk, facing me with no obvious emotion in his face.
He said, 'Do you realize what you just
I said, 'Yes sir. I handled a 'Stage 1'
alarm to the best of my abilities.'
This is when some emotion leaked out on
his face as he smiled and said,
'No YOU handled a 'Stage 1' alarm, by
yourself with the most basic of training;
AND you handled it successfully.
I knew hiring you would be good for the
department and the company. Congratulations!'
He offered me his hand to shake.
I took his hand and said, 'Thank you,
can I go back to work now?'
I was tired and a little bit irked that
I put myself though the ringer in anticipation that I would be
reprimanded over this, somehow.
He smiled again and said, 'Because this
was your first day of a graveyard shift, you must be tired?'
I said, 'Yes sir; however I'm a little
excited from that alarm; and I can complete my shift.'
He said, 'I'll give you a choice: You
can stay and complete your shift;
OR, you can get paid for the remainder
of your shift and go home?'
The opportunity to go home was appealing
and get paid for it to boot was just as exciting;
however, I wanted to show that I was dependable.
I said, 'Thank you for the offer; just
doing my job. I would like to complete my shift.'
He leaned back on the desk, smiled again
and said, 'Very well, I'll note your decision.
Carry on. Good Job!'
He then opened the door and I returned
to complete my shift and learn from the new co-worker that had
Working together we can achieve great things.
It is my hope that the person reading this story can glean the
message which it was designed to relate. I am the best candidate
for the position I've applied for. I possess skills that go beyond
the positions requirements for the posted vacancy.
Further demonstrations of my skills 'I
bring to the table' can be found on this web site. I can
be reached via email at the top of this page;
OR by clicking Contact.