When the lights go out

So we had a "planned" power outage in our newsroom this morning ...

When I walked into the building this morning, the security guard actually pointed to a collection of lanterns set up on the front desk and he asked if I wanted one to help me see ...

My friend Liz was the second person to arrive and brought a cooler for soda and assorted drinks. That's right, no vending machines, either ... I had stopped at a downtown convenience store on the way in to get some goodies for myself. Although, as a lunch treat, the company did have Subway sandwiches delivered for us.

The entire newsroom was dark and devoid of the usual buzz, except for the shine of our computer screens -- which were running on a generator and limited for use. In fact, only one corner of the newsroom had power, which meant most of us were assigned to computers other than our own. That also meant many of us had to work without the various settings, programs and software each of us uses to do our individual jobs each day. I'm also a pretty clean/organized person who was assigned to a desk where a co-worker has stacked decades/ mountains worth of ... stuff.

As one of my co-workers put it, we were running on about 10 percent of our usual capacity ... But then again, if there's any certainty in our business, it's that we'll publish the newspaper -- wind or rain, snow or sleet, every day of the year.

Knowing the troubles of the media industry these days, you might think the outage stemmed from budget cuts. Actually, it was only done so the local electric company could replace an old underground cable.

It wasn't fun, but it wasn't terrible either ... Just another quirky day in my quirky work.

Update 08.07.2009: ... Oh yeah, Facebook and Twitter were down, too.

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