At various times since I’ve been at The Post-Journal, I’ve been without working email or phones for short periods of time. It’s inconvenient when we temporarily lose a line of communication, but we can work through it fairly easily.
However, I’ve never had to go without electricity at work until Sunday night, and I hadn’t given much thought to how problematic that might be.
When the lights went out shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday, I was in the middle of laying out the weather page. I can usually finish this page in short order. This time, though, it took more like three hours.
Sunday is normally a pretty quiet night both inside and outside the office. After our reporters went to find out more on the power outage, it was just me here – sitting at my desk in the dark.
I used my cellphone to call my boss and our information technology manager to try to make a plan of attack.
We more or less decided we would have to sit tight and hope the power came back on soon. That way, I could lay out the rest of the paper on time. If it took too much longer, however, we would have to consider a backup plan and possibly lay out and print the paper somewhere else, most likely at one of our sister papers in Dunkirk or Warren.
After a fairly stressful couple of hours, the lights came back on around 7, our IT manager had our servers running again by 8 and I was working to lay out the rest of the paper at my own desk within minutes from there.
Normally, I come in a couple of hours earlier than I really need to in case something goes wrong. This time, I was glad I did. It wasn’t an early night by any means, but I made my deadline and my paper was waiting for me when I got up in the morning.
I wouldn’t call it a particularly fun time, but I won’t forget when I was powerless at work.