Not to be curmudeonly (Hey, stick with what you’re good at — Editor),but seems there once was a day when the business tools at your disposalwere a telephone and a telephone book, and we still managed to getstuff done.

This comes to mind because we at IT World recently suffered acatastrophic power failure. The entire building was cut off in the wakeof storms of biblical proportions in the Toronto area, though why ourswas the only building in the neighbourhood that was powerless seemssuspicious. (Perhaps it has to do with the condos being built nextdoor; perhaps we’re just cursed. The Great East Coast Blackout of 2003fell on the birthday of our editor-in-chief, Shane Schick. Coincidence?Puh-leaze.)

This left us with no functioning desktop PCs — our IT guys tiredpretty quickly of the “Hey, there’s something wrong with my computer”jokes — no servers, no phones, no hope of functioning as a newsorganization.

However, if this should befall you, bear in mind there are severalproductive things you can do with the lights out, only some of whichviolate HR guidelines. Here are a few for the next time you findyourself powerless:

* Go to the used office equipment store and price manual typewriters, rotary phones and carbon paper.

* Stick your head in your neighbour’s cubicle door. Say, “Dark in here, huh?” Move to the next cubicle. Repeat.

* Bump into things. Say, “$#%!” or “Excuse me,” depending on whether it’s a sentient life form.

* Hold meetings. Everybody loves more meetings.

What else can you do in the dark? Post below, with our customarywarning: Keep it (relatively) clean, we’re a family publication.

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