Except it wasn't a "little" power outage.
For the first day it was quaint. Candles are a nice touch. There was enough power in the laptops to charge tablets and phones, it was kind of like camping but with running water and a gas stove. And then night fell on the second day. An extra layer was added to the people and the beds, so it was like camping in the cold... The sun rose again and the lights did not come on. The devices were dying, the teeth were dangerously close to chattering and it seemed less like camping and more like an ordeal.
PROD Communications runs out of a home office, and the home is shared with some very little people, the littlest of whom lacks the ability to speak up when he's too cold. At the 36 hour mark the decision was made to relocate to an offsite location, aka, a local hotel.
A few lessons were learned along the way, specifically:
- ALWAYS charge your phone. If you're sitting on the couch, have a phone charger handy so you can keep it plugged in. Sure, going to bed with it at 76% seems fine under normal circumstances, but what if that's the last time your phone will see full power in your home for 61 hours?
- Keep your contacts up-to-date in your phone. If you can't access your email from your phone (not because you don't know how, but because you're having issues) a quick text explaining the situation to current clients will go a long way to protect your reputation.
- Cloud solutions exist for a reason. There is absolutely no reason not to keep your files backed up somewhere that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, including a hotel business centre not 15 minutes from your home. You haven't lived until you've tried to edit a work document on an iPhone. I seriously don't recommend it.
- Try to find the humour in the situation. Sh*t happens. If you maintain grace under fire, people will know you've got things well in hand.
If you're one of my fellow Canadians still in the dark, I hope you get the lights back on back soon, and you were also able to find a new kind of joy this holiday season.