Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Darkness falls

Isn't it always the way that when you're at your very busiest, when the very slightest distraction could throw your well-laid plans into disarray, when the smallest sneeze could send the Earth spiralling off its axis and plunging into the fiery depths of the sun, that something *always* goes wrong.

And so it was this morning, as I laughed in the face my deadlines while racing to complete two issues before taking next week off, that there was a mysterious whine and all of a sudden the office was plunged into utter and complete darkness.

Ooo! I thought. Was this the initial stage of an alien invasion, or some natural disaster? I've seen Hollywood movies; natural disasters are just an excuse for awesome dudes like me to save the day. It was kind of like 'The Towering Inferno', except my office isn't in a tower and there wasn't an inferno. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that as our neighbours' power was still on it was just the result of some shabby electrical thingy. Nevertheless, it's quite startling what a bit of power outage can do. The food situation was foremost on ours minds; would we have to start eating the weaker members of staff before help arrived? The ol' blitz spirit soon kicked in, however, and someone mentioned about popping out to get bacon sandwiches. That soon put an end to the murderous glances that had been spreading like wildfire. Eyes off the thighs, people!

The mere act of loosing power does kind of leave you feeling pretty helpless, though. I think everyone, at some point, said something along the lines of "I can go work at home. I just need to email some files to myse- oh." So we stood there in darkness. The whole thing reminded me of that bit in Star Trek, episode number 003: 'The Corbomite Maneuver' when the Enterprise is left adrift in space, and Kirk has to threaten to blow it up in order to save the day. I suggested we should blow the office up, but no one seemed too keen on the idea, so I just stood around for a while ready to fireman's lift anyone out of the danger zone if they needed it. Most people were quite happy just to use the door though.

Eventually, with main engineering unable to give me a repair estimate on the warp dri- er, I mean with the electrickery still off, I decided to head down to Starbucks to do some proof-reading; at least there it would be warm, well-lit, and with a ready supply of hot beverages.

An hour or so later I wandered back to the office, which was still listing helplessly in space. But in short order a bloke from the electrickery board turned up and set to work. I thought about offering him a drink, but obviously our facilities were greatly impaired. Neither cold coffee nor the offer of a teabag to suck on sounded particularly inviting in my mind, so I just left him alone to get on with the job. Twenty minutes later main power was restored and, bugger it, I had to crack my knuckles and get back to work. A horrifically burnt-through piece of cabling was revealed to be the villain of this particular piece, I might add. But we vanquished it, we totally did!



Tara said...

I like the fact that you decided to head to good ole Starbucks during the mini-blackout. I was going to my apartment one day a few years back when I noticed the whole building was dark. There was a guy in the work area who told me there was a fire in the boiler room. It didn't register in my head as a panic situation. Instead, I went shopping. :D

Dinah said...

Ugh! I hate when the power is off. I would make such a bad pioneer person. Last summer we had a bad storm and the power was off for like, three days. We still had to work, though, even though pretty much everything local was closed. we did a lot of filing, as long as it was small and we could do it by a window.

Tim said...

Tara - Ha ha!! That's brilliant! Not the fire, I mean, the fact that you went shopping! That's totally what I would do too!!

Dinah - Three days!? Good grief! Did society descend into a ''everyone for themselves'-style chaos, or were you all dutifully filing too much to notice? I'm sort of imagining you filing by candlelight, like Florence Nightingale. I expect she had to file occasionally.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

This really cheered me up - even though it was at your expense (and those weaker members of staff).
I've had a particularly craptastic couple of days at work, and fitful sleep last night, so thank you.
I'm smiling again now!

skillz said...

"We need to finish off the two issues Tim"

"I cannit do it sur, WE DON'T HAVE THE POWER!!!"

I'm probably horrendously misquoting Scottie (easy to do as I've mever seem Star Trek) but that's how I imagine things going.

Tim said...

Inexplicable Device - Glad to hear it cheered you up! (I was going to write that in rhyming couplets but decided against it). Hope the work situation has improved - if not, just hex the bastards.

Skillz - No, you're pretty much spot on with the quote, although you lose points for the spelling Scotty incorrectly. Overall: A- for effort.

Have a gold star.

T-Bird said...

Gah! I hope the Borg attack didn't last too long!

Tim said...

It didn't T-Bird! Resistance was NOT futile!