Monday, May 23, 2016
Another round of severe thunderstorms rolled through the area--dumping heavy rains that flooded roads & neighborhoods, blowing down trees that blocked the streets & knocking down power lines to cause blackouts across parts of the city. Not surprisingly, some schools & businesses had to stay closed because of the lack of power & for the safety of the students, & some workers were unable to get to work.
My power was out, but I still made it to work on the other side of town. Using a flashlight, I was able to get ready in the dark. The heavy, sudden thunderstorms had hit my area hard after midnight. The storms drenched us for hours as the winds knocked out the electricity. It was dark, cloudy, & windy as I left home, but it was clear, dry skies as soon as I was on the highway, halfway to work. The storms didn't reach my workplace until I parked the car, & it suddenly poured down heavily. I was glad that I had brought my umbrella & that the winds hadn't picked up yet.
I'm not the most technophilic person at work. While most of my coworkers eagerly buy the latest & most expensive in tech gadgets & applications, I'm fine with using old, proven methods & techniques. There is a noticeable digital divide at work. All the younger ones seem to have embraced the newer technology, preferring emails & texting as ways to communicate. A few of the older workers staunchly hold on to the old ways, preferring hardcopies to digital ones when it comes to handling reports--literally requiring the actual paper in paperwork to do the work.
I fall in the middle. I use emails & texts but I also like the feel of paper in my hands, because it makes it easier to scan information & make any corrections or edits much more efficiently & effectively. I also like to follow up emails & texts with phone calls when communicating at work. This way, the messages I sent are received one way or another.
As I entered the work space, four of my young coworkers expressed surprise at seeing me. The five of us were the only ones present. I noticed that they were wet from the rain, probably as they tried to run from the parking lot to inside the building.
One asked, "Isn't the power out in your part of town?"
"It sure is," I replied.
Their faces seemed puzzled, so the second asked, "How did you know to get up? Did you get dressed in the dark?"
"I have flashlights & used them to get ready. And I have an alarm clock," I said.
"You mean your phone, right?", asked the second one.
"No," I answered,"I used my alarm clock."
They seemed more confused than ever, so third one asked, "But if the power is out, wouldn't your alarm go out, too?"
I replied, "I have an old travel alarm clock that runs on a battery, & I keep it on the bedside table. That way, even if the power is out, I can still tell time & it'll go off like it's suppose to."
Finally, that seemed to clear up the confusion. The fourth one spoke up, "You're smart to bring an umbrella. You're all nice & dry while the rest of us are soaked. What weather app did you use?"
I said, "I didn't use any weather apps."
That got another round of perplexed expressions on my coworkers faces. So the fourth one asked, "If you didn't use a weather app, & the power is out so you can't check the weather channel on tv, how the heck did you know the storms were coming here, & it would rain hard this morning?"
"Oh, I just do what I always do to see what the weather is like," I said. They looked at me intently, leaning in, focused on finding out what secret, amazing technology or skill I used to learn that it was going to rain.
So I revealed to my attentive, eager coworkers my proven, effective weather forecasting technique, "Before I left home, I looked out the window," I paused to make sure that I still had their attention. I continued, "It looked like it was going to rain. So I brought my umbrella."
Silence. I wasn't sure if it was the chill of wet clothes or the absurdity of new information that was responsible for the confusion & dumbfounded expressions on my coworkers faces. Their brows were furrowed, mouths were opened & frozen in stillness, & the looks of astonishment & incredulity were clearly etched on their faces.
I didn't need an app to tell me it was going to rain. And I certainly didn't need an app to tell me to put on a pot of coffee for my cold, wet, discombobulated coworkers. You don't always need the latest gadgets & tech to tell you what's going on. Sometimes, all you really need are eyes that can see what's going on & the presence of mind to plan accordingly.