Power to the people

The power went out at work yesterday. Well, partly out. They have a generator that runs some of the circuits, so many of us could still use our computers. I also sit near a window, so I had light enough to see. I could at least work. But there are so many other things that require power I’ve come to take for granted.

Like lights in the bathrooms. Oddly enough, while we didn’t have lights, the automatic toilets still flushed. But the hand dryers didn’t work. And there was no ventilation, of course.

I’ve never realized just how much white noise the HVAC system provides. Without it, I could suddenly hear every conversation on our floor. And plenty of people didn’t have computers on the generator line, so they had nothing to do but talk. It also got warm rather quickly.

Our team was supposed to have a meeting, but it would have been dark in the conference room, and the projector wouldn’t have worked. However, since we could still use our desk computers and the phone, we were able to have a teleconference that worked just as well (better, actually, since there was less chatter to slow things down).

I noted the security system on the doors still worked. I guess that’s good to know. No one can cut our power and then come into our area and take a chainsaw to us–at least not without a keycard or duping someone into opening the door.

It’s amazing how much we use electricity for. Take that away, and much of what we consider normal goes with it. In my line of work entire companies can be brought to a standstill. I can’t help but wonder how long it would take for our society to go Jurassic Park if we lost our electricity for any length of time.