I stepped out of my car and crossed the car park to the darkened office. My boss stood outside, smoking his bedraggled roll-up.
“The power’s gone,” he said, as I walked towards him. “Went off about ten minutes ago.”
Inside the office things were gloomy. No computers glowing, no fluorescent lights humming, no phones ringing. One by one everyone left their respective desks and gathered in the open space, near the door. It was dark. It was getting cold. I kept having a strange mental block about the power being out. No computer, no email – no problem, I thought, I’ll just fax things through instead! (Head – desk – thud!) Ok, scrub that. I’ll just get this photocopying done. (Arg! How can I be this much of a doofus?) Eventually I began to get the concept of “power cut” and joined the others for a bit of cheering banter.
“How long,” I asked them, “before we go feral, Lord of the Flies style?”
They reckoned about ninety minutes before the charcoal stripes appeared across our cheeks and we would have to eat one of the wardens.
Fortunately the power came back on again 57 minutes later, I was able to complete my photocopying, the kettle went back on, my colleague had her Cuppa Soup and cannibalism was averted.