The power went out a couple of hours ago. We were all droning away at our computers, click/click/click, when everything went dark. Everything, including the final report I was knee-deep in but hadn’t bothered to save. Damn, damn, damn! This outage lasted for a good 30 minutes. I spent the latter half of that time in my friend Abby’s office. She’s the other playwright at work.
(side note: every office should have at least one playwright so, in times of ridiculousness and/or crisis, a coworker can lean over and whisper, “You should write a play about this,” not realizing that every office has its drama, drama that is not very interesting to people outside of the office including spouses, parents and best friends) (what I’m saying is, no one would come see that play and rightfully so) (what I’m also saying is that it seems to bring the afflicted slight comfort to think that their tale of workplace woe might some day be shared in an effort to not repeat the mistakes of the past) (even though those mistakes will most certainly be repeated, over and over again, with increasing crapitude)
There was a total lack of communication about what was causing the power to stay off, so we were left to try to figure it out on our own as the air grew thin. Abby and I, like any writers worth their damaged livers, starting discussing various disaster scenarios that might have led to the outage. We tried to check our email accounts on our cellphones but couldn’t get connected to our phones’ networks. Odd. I called her cellphone to make sure that at least that mode of communication was still open. The call went through, but we were left wondering if that was what the aliens (or the Chinese or the Tea Baggers or the fill-in-the-blank) intended to happen, to lull us into a false sense of security because we were able to call other people within the building. What if we couldn’t reach anyone on the outside? What if everything was going bat shit crazy all around us, only we didn’t know it because we couldn’t check our email or get online or turn on the television? What if the electronic locks on the doors wouldn’t let us exit and we were trapped here for days? Who would we eat first?
This conversation naturally segued into our shared appreciation for a good Armageddon story. We discussed various ways we think it all might come to an end – computers/robots, the environment, people eating themselves first into irrelevance and then extinction. So many possibilities…and then the power was restored. Sigh. Back to the click/click/click. We had just enough time to recover what documents we could when BLAMMO, off again. Now that we’re so tied to computers, at least at my place of employment, there was literally no work that could be accomplished with no power and no network connection.
Obviously the power is back again. I was able to heat up my leftovers for lunch and write this post. Maybe it was just a test run to see how long it would take an office full of people with no power, no internet distractions and – worst yet – no air conditioning to freak the fuck out. They totally didn’t make us suffer long enough. I didn’t even break out in a sweat and was actually enjoying spending time talking to my coworkers. So there, potential overlords. Nice try.