I just started a new job. It’s OK, nothing really stunning. The coworkers are friendly, the benefits are OK, and the basement is absolutely off-limits. This was made excessively clear to me in training, as it was repeated something like eight times in the first day. Since then, I’ve seen smoke pouring out from beneath the basement door, lights that flash, and a sound like cinderblocks being dragged across the floor. Should I be concerned?

Nosy in Sydney



No, because the coworkers are friendly and the benefits are OK. In this age and economy, that’s reason enough to ignore any number of smoke-emitting, light-flashing, noise-making basements. Seriously, all three of those issues can be caused by nothing more concerning than the building being heated by an old-fashioned furnace – an old-fashioned furnace that runs on cinder blocks. What you don’t know might hurt you but might not. Get back to me if you notice anything actually worrying, like a really strong whiff of bananas for no apparent reason. If there’s smoke, lights, dragging noises and inexplicable banana smells, get the hell out of there.