The power cut
It was just another day, like most days, following the same routine. Nothing seemed special about it, but nothing strange either. The drive to work was the same with the traffic in the same places as usual. The car park had the same cars parked in their normal spaces. There weren’t reserved spaces but people parked in the same space out of habit.
The sun had almost finished rising over the horizon, shining into his eyes as he climbed out the car and shut the door behind him. The walk to the office was short but the air felt fresh with the winter well on its way.
He boiled the kettle and made a cup of tea and walked to his desk, sitting in his comfy office chair, ready to see what emails had been sent overnight. He pressed the spacebar on the computer to wake it up, logged in and then opened his emails, skim reading through them looking for anything interesting. He sipped his tea as he read warming him up.
He found an interesting email to read and went to open it. Just before he clicked the link the screen went blank, then the lights turned off and the air conditioning went quiet. The room was suddenly filled with silence. No more computer fans whirring, phones ringing, air conditioning blowing or kettles boiling. Just quiet.
“Maybe the power would come on again soon” he thought to himself, “I’m sure it’s just temporary”.
He checked his watch, 8:55am. At least he had a cup of tea to drink. He enjoyed it even more than normal without the distraction of emails and phone calls, savouring every sip of the warm milky liquid, but sadly it was soon gone. At least he could drink it before it cooled as sometimes he inadvertently took a mouthful of the drink before he realised that it had already gone cold, resisting the urge to spit it out back into the mug.
He checked his watch again, 8:59am. He got his phone out of his pocket and checked for notifications out of habit. No notifications, so he went to check for news of the source of the power cut. No signal and, of course, no wifi. The power cut must be affecting the phone signal too.
No phone, no computer, but worst of all no tea.
The power had been off for 5 minutes now. How could people live like this? He had important things to do, like reading and sending emails and making important phone calls. He was cut off from the online world of twitter and facebook. He couldn’t even tweet and spread his misery that he was stuck with no power and no technology.
He thought of what hashtag he could use to sum up the situation. Maybe #backToTheStoneAge or #powerlessWithoutPower. That last one was good. He got his phone out of his pocket again to send the tweet, before he caught himself and thought, right, no signal.
9:01am. Come on, how long is this going to take.
What could he do to pass the time? He got his notepad out of his drawer. It was buried at the bottom of the drawer. He had to brush the dust off the cover. It had been so long since it was last used.
Next he had to find a pen. He had one somewhere but hadn’t used it for a long time. Who uses pens these days when you can write a note on your notes app or send a message to someone sat next to you using slack? He found the pen in the drawer and clicked the top to get the pen ready to write, hoping it still had ink left in it.
He looked at the pen in his hand. It was a present from before he started university. Back then tablets and smartphones didn’t exist, notepads and pens were the kings. PowerPoint presentations were printed onto transparent plastic sheets and projected onto the classroom walls using Overhead Projectors so you had to write down your own notes from the lesson and not just download the file later.
He thought back to that time, when he used to write so much everyday and use real words instead of three letter acronyms like LOL, OMG and WTF. Writing was a chore sometimes but it was also a wonderful way of unleashing creativity and telling stories.
He opened the notepad but what should he write?
He started with:
“It was just another day, like most days, following the same routine.”