13 Nov 2015 : Emergency brake

The doors of the metro closed and a little kid at the other end of the car screamed “help, somebody help me”. Several people ran towards the sound but kudos to the dude who went the other way to hit the emergency brake.

The kid was fine; someone said the doors had closed while some of his group was still outside and he was scared. I don’t know whether he would have been on the train on his own with a parent freaking out on the platform or if it was a totally minor thing. Anyway, some people scolded the emergency brake guy for potentially causing a delay (it didn’t cause a delay; he just released the brake again afterwards), but he took the action that would have actually saved the kid in a real life situation where he was stuck in the door of a moving train.

It reminds me of a story from my previous job when a machine room flooded. The water was under the raised floor and everyone was shutting stuff down cleanly. Then the CTO saw someone reaching towards the water to unplug something and he smacked the EPO before asking questions. High stakes call for decisive action and sometimes the decisive action is expensive and turns out to not have been necessary, but it’s not the wrong call.

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