How One Ninja Saved the Day During a Power Outage

It is a lovely Tuesday afternoon. The Sales Team is making calls, we just finished up a productive marketing meeting, I powered through my inbox, ordered Friday’s lunch, and I’m feeling like a totally winner when… the power goes out (lights, computers, keg-o-rator, etc). There’s no workplace preparedness plan in sight.

About five minutes pass and the building’s generator doesn’t kick in. Pretty much everyone is coming at me for answers. My mind is racing. Did the construction crew cut through a main power line? Did we just have a major earthquake and I didn’t even feel it because I was in the zone?!

Here’s the mental checklist I ran through after putting my game face on:

  • First check on product, are they okay? Oh, thank my stars it’s Tuesday, Product WFH day! 
  • Call Head of Engineering. He says we’re fine—the dedicated server is offsite. Phew, thank you Softlayer!
  • Go find out what the heck is going on. But first, quickly stretch my tiny little legs because no power means no elevators. Looks like I’m hiking down five flights of stairs.
  • Open the office door and see that the hallway is pitch black. Even the emergency exit signs are out. Not to worry, I bust out the Flashlight app on my handy-dandy smartphone.
  • Ready to go, I step my foot out the door and realize I need to hold-up and take a personal security check. Dark, empty hallways are scary—better grab something sharp for protection in case I encounter danger … letter opener in hand. Game on.
  • Get to the security desk on the main level and like a boss ask what the heck is going on. More importantly, I try to figure out when I can expect power, like I’m in charge of the whole place. 
  • Hero song playing in my head, I ran up five flights of stairs back to my office, thighs burning, heart racing. I told my co-workers to go home. Everyone cheered, as if I were announcing a snow day.
  • I embrace the applause, catch my breath and inform them of the obvious safety hazards. A co-worker doesn’t have a flashlight on hand? No problem. I dig out one of the extra flashlights we had made up as give-a-ways a few years ago, batteries included. 
  • Like a leader, I herd my co-workers out the office door to the closet stairwell leading outside and lock the door behind me.
  • Brush my bangs to the side, give myself a pat on the back and feel relieved that my staff is well-informed, safe, and happy.
  • But wait, I finally get outside to find PG&E trucks on site. Time for some Twitter action. Low and behold @PGE4ME: #SOMA Outage: cause: a bird struck a wire and caused it to fall.
  • Sigh, poor bird. Retweet.

Power outages can be annoying, but it’s really important for Office Ninjas to react quickly, be resourceful, and lead their teams no matter the situation.

Take a minute to think, are you ready? Are your systems backed up offsite? Do you have an escape route planned for your team, or a different office preparedness plan?

Meghan Strauss

Tiny but Mighty, Operations Manager @Uversity, San Francisco.

Comments

  1. CM Events
     

    Love it.

  2. Yvette Rivera
     

    All hail to the office ninja! Love it! Job well done!

  3. Karen
     

    Way to go Meghan!!

  4. Kim
     

    Well done, Meghan :)

  5. edie
     

    a most excellent solution so a very serious situation. well done ms. strauss!!

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