When you’re in information worker, the one thing you absolutely need to do your job is electricity. Without that one basic staple of modern life, all the other bits and pieces are pretty much irrelevant. Look around your office and name three productivity tools that you can still use if the power is out. And no, you stapler, hole punch, and tape dispenser don’t count as productivity tools. Computers, printers, email, address book, you name it and without electricity they’re not worth a dime.
Going grid down in the middle of the day only serves to remind me how utterly incapable of doing my job I’d be in a real-world long term power outage. I’m a little more prepared to deal with that kind of eventuality in my personal life, but as far as answering the question “How will you do your job when the lights go out?” I’m mostly left to shrug and wish I’d have thought to stash a deck of playing cards in my desk for just such an eventuality.
We’ve raised an entire generation, myself included, who have no idea how things worked before there was a computer on every desk. If I were a boss, it’s the kind of problem that might keep me up at night. Since I’m most decidedly not a boss, I’ll remember in the future to make sure my Kindle is fully charged before leaving the house in the morning from here on out.