If you were staying at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel and were in your room last night at around 8:15 like I was (starting to come down with a bad cold), you were startled out of your perusing of e-mail by the fire alarm.My entire floor had to evacuate as two engines from the Boston Fire Dept. came roaring to the hotel. Fortunately, the drama didn't last much more than a half hour, if that. Turns out there was a leak-a water leak (at least that's what the girl at the front desk told me). Well, it's good to know they take something like that so seriously. But a water leak? OK, I am not at all familiar with engineering and plumbing, so you'll have to forgive my ignorance. What would warrant such an urgent response related to water? Maybe there was a leak in the sprinkler system. I guess that wouldn't be a good thing. Still, if you were feeling as lousy as I was last night, it was quite unwanted.
That said, to the uninitiated like me, this would seem like an overreaction, an inconvenience to evacuate over a water leak that was fixed in less than 10 minutes (but I'm not complaining about their looking after their guests' well being!). Still, it reminds me of some security measures in certain operating systems or in some banks' customer facing systems. Security versus convenience. It's a tricky thing to master. Personally, I think deep down people ultimately care more about the safety of their money than the extra step or two required to log in to pay a bill or check a balance. Would I have liked to have stayed in my nice, warm room uninterrupted? Yes. But it's good to know someone's looking out for us.