Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Crippled by a Thunderstorm

It was a really, really hot day today. I know I said that yesterday but today had to have been the hottest day we've had all summer. It was supposedly 96 degrees but felt like 112 degrees with the humidity. I can attest to the fact that there was definitely some nasty humidity out there.

We also had what our local weathermen like to call, a "pop up thunderstorm." This means that the sun suddenly goes away, the clouds roll in, the wind picks up and the thunder starts to rumble. Today's storm lasted about 15 minutes. It was long enough to take the power out at work.

Being that we're a software company and most our of products are web-based, there's not a whole lot we can do when the power goes out. Most people in our area have laptops. I do not. This usually means that I have to twiddle my thumbs while everyone who has a battery backup can keep working.

That didn't happen today since the internet was down and so were the phones. It essentially translated into about an hour of twiddling our thumbs until my boss decided it was close enough to the end of the day that we should just leave, especially since it didn't look like our power company was going to get to us in time.

Normally, this would be a moment of, "yay! I get to go home early." Unfortunately, in my case, he made the decision at the time I normally leave for the day so it wasn't so much a reward in my case as the end of a normal working day.

Still, there's something nice about sitting in the semi-darkness with your coworkers with nothing to do. It would have been darker if our emergency lights hadn't kicked on but it was still pretty dark in our area. We all ended up sitting around chatting because there wasn't much else to do. Without our computers, we're slightly crippled.

Of course, while we were sitting around, waiting for the power to come back on, we did realize something. The power was out which meant our phones were off. This may not seem like a realization as much as a "duh!" moment but it really was. You see, we've recently been practicing our office 'emergency drills.' In our case, this means a fire and a tornado drill. For the fire, we meet outside, the tornado, we head to the basement.

When we have a real tornado, the policy is that our HR manager will inform everyone that we all have to get to safety over our intercom system.

Our intercom system is our telephones.

When a tornado comes through, chances are, the power won't work. Thus, our phones won't work. The only way we'd know if there was going to be a tornado is if our HR manager ran around yelling and we all managed to hear her.

Of course, this is also in addition to the fact that the basement to which we must flee in refuge requires a key to get into it. We still only have one key for the basement and it's still on the HR Manager's key chain.

I think the conclusion we all came to was that if there's a tornado, we really hope we're not in the office. Otherwise, we might be in trouble.

Still, all in all, the power outage made things fun. I found it amusing that enough people in the office have read my book that my demon gets blamed for things like power outages. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read my book. It's now available in most electronic formats, including the iPad. You can also order a hardcopy through Amazon or through my website.

Yes, that's a shameless plug.

The best part of the whole thing was that even though my neighbourhood is close to the office, we still had power and it appeared to not even have gone out. Of course, by the time I got home, the storm was over and the humidity was even heavier.

I'm really hoping for another storm, to cool the air. Is it so wrong I sort of hope it happens again tomorrow while we're at work and takes the power out?

That's probably a little greedy, really but it does make for an interesting day. And sometimes, we just need those.

Happy Wednesday

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