Sitting in my office in Virginia this morning. The power’s out. Yesterday afternoon several powerful thunderstorms rattled through spawning tornadoes, falling trees and generally making a mess. My computer will work until the battery dies. Sadly, this machine can work for most of the day on its battery so I have no excuse to not at least look busy.
Sitting in the office in the dark though, does make one wonder what things were like before we had all of the things we have now. On the one hand we would miss many of the conveniences we have. We would miss the entertainment, distraction of the internet, and the instant access to seemingly important information. We would absolutely miss the convenience of our cell phones. (Mine is dead by the way, battery died while it was trying in vain to find a local cell site). Basic conveniences like light and heat would be hard to live without.
On the other hand, there is an enforced slowness in an unpowered world. My office is near the entrance and I have windows, so several of the guys I work with stopped in and just sat and talked this morning. Some of the talk was about work, some wasn’t. The fact that the power was out meant there was no sense of urgency. The conversations we had about work were better. We were able to get more into depth than we would have been otherwise. The other conversations wouldn’t have happened at all.
I think at some point, in some future company, I will enforce one morning a month where all of the computers stay off. Where people are free to roam the halls and look in on one another and just say hello. I like the feeling of the place when there are no beeps, when there is not much going on. Things just feel better. People can go to lunch and when they come back the emails will still be there, and we can get back to work.