RealNetworks HQ. Wikipedia photo

We’ve heard about companies being on life support, but this is a new one on us.

With flatlining revenues and a moribund stock price, RealNetworks certainly needs resuscitation. Is it time to call in the paramedics? Here’s a memo sent to employees of the Seattle company today by its facilities manager, asking staffers to revisit the RealNetworks’ 911 policy in light of recent hang-up calls originating from the building.

Subject: Calling 911 guidance

All- RN Facilities has been contacted by the Seattle Police Dept. due to multiple 911 calls from RN HQ in which the 911 number was dialed but the person hangs up before the operator can find out the problem.  When this happens (someone calls and hangs-up without acknowledging the operator), it will be treated as an “event” demanding SPD follow-up with a possible on-site visit by the authorities.  Reason being, they do not know if someone tried to call for help and potentially passed out before the operator was able to speak to the person.

Additionally, if you call 911 (intentionally or in error) and do not let the front desk staff know, we then have no idea who to call when the authorities show-up when help is truly needed or can’t advise them there was a call made in error.   In several instances, we have had to do a full building walk-through to ensure the safety and security of RN staff.

Therefore, we ask everyone to take a moment right now and please review/follow the steps below in event you dial 911 (intentionally or accidentally):


·         Do not hang up.

·         Do stay on the line and relay the misdial info to the operator. 


·         Please let the front desk or security know you called 911

·         If you can make it on your own to the lobby to meet 911, please do so.  If you cannot, please request security or HR assist you.

We appreciate your support in this matter and remind all staff, in the event of an emergency, do dial 911 and again, contact RN reception or security by dialing “0”.

Thank you.

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  • Guest

    99 times out of 100 this is somebody trying to make an international long distance call from a corporate PBX, dial 9 to get an outside line, then 011-(country-code)-(area code)-number, but they forget the “0” – Hilarity ensues.

  • Anon

    Problem will be solved if they make 8 the number to dial to get an outside line.

  • protectedstatic

    Guest beat me to it… It’s gotta be a PBX issue.

  • Steven Thompson

    It would help if RN would implement a system to patch in their internal security anytime a company phone dials 9-911. At my prior employers, anytime a company phone dialed 911, it would immediately patch in our building security with the callers name & cube/office number and building security could listen to the call in case immediate response was necessary.

  • Iowamatt

    It is very possible someone just doesn’t know how to use the phone there, for example they may be hitting 9 to dial out, then 1 for long distance and then erroneously hitting 1 for the first digit in the area code… I don’t think there are any area codes that start with 1. So they just hang up.

  • Leif Espelund

    The accidentally hitting 1 twice after dialing 9 out is probably the problem. When I managed the phone system at my last company this happened constantly and the police showed up a couple times before I figured out how to set an email alert to myself any time 911 called. I’d walk to the persons cube and of course they would be okay and usually had no idea what they had done.

  • Mrjr

    How is this newsworthy?

    • johnhcook

      I just thought it was kind of odd. We like weird, offbeat and silly things here at GeekWire. 

    • Dan Anderson

      I thought it was an interesting story. I like that Geekwire covers these quirky stories about corporate life in Seattle. Lighten up.

  • Guest

    Tomorrow’s memo of the day: “Who leaked yesterday’s internal memo to a news site?”

  • Solveig Whittle

    Maybe its related to their recent job postings for an Executive Assistant to the CEO.

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