Friday, August 20, 2010

Power Outage

I was completing my getting-ready-for-work morning routine when I heard on the radio that there was a major power outage at the College, the Internet was down and students could not register and the day care center was closed. It was unclear to me what employees should do. I phoned Public Safety (5:30 a.m.) and was advised that portions of the College were without power. I asked if I came into work would I be sitting in the dark. The answer to that was "yes." So I decided to wait.

I turned on the two local TV stations. I eventually caught portions of reports that the College was without power, but it was still unclear what the status really was. One station did actually say the College was closed. I heard differing reports among the two TV stations and the radio station.

I again called Public Safety and inquired (7 a.m.). I told them the media had said the College was closed. They said this was not true, but portions of the College still did not have electricity. I decided it might be best if I reported in and determine for myself if the Library was one of the areas that was impacted.

I arrived around 7:15 a.m. and it was clear that the southwest side of the campus was dark. This is where I always enter. I went to Public Safety and again asked what the status of the Library was. They said the last they heard, about 45 minutes before, it was expected that power would be restored in an hour. That meant it would be another 15 minutes.

I went to the Library, left my stuff in my office, then got my lunchtime reading book and went to a table near a window near the circ desk. I had read only a little bit when Frank arrived for work (7:30 a.m.). We sat and talked. Closer to 8:00 a couple more co-workers arrived. Then one of the Public Safety officers came in with a message: "Nancy could go home." I asked who had made that decision. He said he'd gotten it about 3rd-hand but he thought it came from the college electrician. We all joked that I could leave and they were witnesses that I'd been given the go-ahead.

One of the co-workers phoned the library director who said "Go home," but listen to see if the Library opens later in the day. Frank and I made signs and posted on the Library doors: "Due to power outage Library is closed." Then I left.

When I arrived home around 8:30 I listened to a phone message from a librarian telling me that the Library was temporarily closed and I'd be called if/when the Library opened. That is a phone call which I'll conveniently miss.

Meanwhile, since the College's Internet is not working I am without email service even through "webaccess." We're also going to miss the catered lunch from Panera which was scheduled before today's beginning-of-school staff meeting. Bummer.