I should’ve realised the day was off to a bad start with the cold shower. That was the first clue.
The power’s gone off. I’d better go and have another word with those boys upstairs – they’ve been unwittingly tripping the power by using a faulty light switch.
“Oh, didn’t I tell you?” says the landlord, “There’s no power in the street today from 8am till 2pm.”
That information would’ve been handy - if I had it the day before.
I check the time: 8.30am. I’m meant to be online for my weekly course webinar at 9am, ready to do an online PowerPoint presentation.
I’m not actually panicking at this stage, though; as a Toastmaster I’ve got my back up Plan B (I fortuitously printed my presentation notes the night before). But even Toastmasters couldn’t have prepared me for this particular challenge: no electricity.
The laptop - although I realise my PowerPoint presentation is on the desktop computer (the one without power). Clue #2.
Still no need to panic. I’m prepared enough to do my presentation without the PowerPoint file.
8.45am. As the laptop fires up I notice the battery level: 40% power remaining, about 1.5 hours. It’s going to be close. Clue #3.
I could’ve called my course facilitator at this stage and bailed on the webinar.
“I’m running late due to an unexpected power outage,” I say instead, “but I’ll be online shortly.”
9.10am. Pretty good effort, I think. What’s that saying about persistence pays off?
“Err, can I go first with my presentation,” I ask, watching my battery level drop below 30%. Just over an hour, at best.
We amble unhurriedly through assessment tasks, questions and other study discussions which chew up the next hour and my battery power.
Relegated to second in line for the online presentation, I launch into my 10-minute spiel around 10.05am, with 15 minutes of power supply remaining. Clue #4.
No need to rush though – nothing worse than powering through a presentation at breakneck speed.
And that’s how my presentation –
Halfway through my talk, the laptop simply blinked off.
Oh well, I’d warned them repeatedly about my battery situation.
My only concern was how to spend the next 4-5 hours without access to power: no computer, no kettle to make a cuppa, or throw a load of washing on.
Image: David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
10 things to do when you’ve got no electricity
1. Sit on the deck and gaze out at the ocean
2. Read a book
3. Clean your jewellery
4. Listen to choir instructional songs on your MP3 player
5. Go to the library
6. Have a coffee down the street
7. Go grocery shopping
8. Have a nap
9. Tidy up
10. Go for a walk
A highly productive day, really.
Of course, had I known about the scheduled power outage in advance, I would’ve transferred my PowerPoint presentation across to the laptop and charged up the battery.
But sometimes, you have one of those days where no matter what you do, you just can’t fix the unexpected challenge. Perhaps it’s best to ignore that erroneous adage about persisting or ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try again’…
It would at least have saved me a lot of unnecessary frustration!
Have you had one of those days when everything just gets worse, no matter what you do?
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I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
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