After just two weeks ago, in Boston, sitting through a hurricane, and last week in New Orleans experiencing floods and a tropical storm, I assumed the lights going out at the office yesterday was a minor inconvenience that would last 30 minutes or so. I mean, who could be so unlucky to have three weeks in a row of some kind of disaster. I use the word “disaster” loosely obviously. I guess I am that unlucky, as this wasn’t a simple issue with the building…but a 20 hour total blackout effecting millions of people.
A group of us decided to stick it out in our new office in San Diego. I had traveled all this way from Boston, and others from Texas and LA, to meet and get some serious planning work done. We decided to work on our agenda items as we watched our laptop batteries slowly drain and our cell phones go blank. We did get a lot of work done, but eventually we all had to leave and decide what to do.
One of my fellow colleagues decided to drive to LAX and catch a red eye flight to Texas. She was lucky, she could get out. I had to go back to a hotel with no power, on the 17th floor, with no food and a dead laptop. I had imagined an evening of sitting in the dark and trying to read with my lighter. After driving for almost an hour to go 5 miles, I was surprised at what I found.
Fortunately for me, The Marriott Mission Valley was prepared for this. They had an emergency generator keeping the bar open, with lights, one TV, and a lot of people. $5 for a beer and $5 for a ham and cheese sub. I had hit the jackpot. I had assumed I was going to my dark room with a left over bagel I had taken from the office and a couple bottles of water. Instead, I watched the Green Bay Packers game and had a great time meeting other fellow travelers stuck with no place to go.
They had only one elevator working, so there was a long line…but better than tackling the stairs. The hallways did have the flood lights on, so it was easy to find my room. I also was surprised the keys worked with no issue. Once in my room I was excited to see my iPad still had 80% battery. I watched a movie and relaxed before lying down and turning the lights out…oh never mind, they already were out.
I woke up at 6:30 and was surprised to have the power back on. I was able to recharge everything and get another day in without further inconvenience. I was shocked at how well everyone here at the hotel handled the mob, and thankful I had a full stomach, a safe place to stay, and fun people to hang out with.
I’m off to Denver next week…so be warned if you going to be there. Can you say mid September snow storm?