So, as we all recall, I was on a farm this last weekend, and came back to Milwaukee yesterday morning. The ride itself started fairly uneventfully - I left Menomonie at 10:00am, made a stop for lunch in Tomah, and things were going smoothly.
Until I hit Madison.
Or, should I say, a good ten to fifteen miles before Madison. I was about there that Traffic began to slow, and then stop. I was confused. There had been no road construction here a few days ago. I think I would have noticed halted traffic on all three lanes while going the other direction. As I slowly inched through Madison for 45 minutes, I made a few phone calls to let people know I was going to be arriving later than expected, and I waited out the grueling drive. Finally, I hear on the radio, that the road has buckled, and the reason things are all going so slowly is that all three lanes are having to merge down to one. But not only that, but the Buckle has occured right before the I90/I94 split, meaning that there is really no way for me to bypass this traffic jam. I was not happy. I continued though, and at 3:30pm, a full hour later than expected, I rolled into Milwaukee.
When I went to work at 5:00pm, it literally began to downpour right as I walked out to the car. I jokingly said "At this rate, the office will lose power and we won't be able to use the computers." (Really should have knocked on wood right about then.) The rain came down fairly torrentially during my whole drive, but as I stepped out of the car, it petered out and stopped by the time I reached the building.
As we sat down for our nightly half hour briefing at 5:15pm, I figured things were going to run smoothly. Jim began the briefing, and about fifteen minutes in, we hear a loud BANG (and there is a flash of light outside the window). People get a little nervous, but we continue. Usually Jim wraps up the briefing anywhere from 5:45pm to 6:00pm just depending on when we started it, and then we start working after a fifteen minute break. Because we were going over the Donor's Bill of Rights (a fairly important thing in the kind of work we do), no one thought it odd when Jim ran past 5:45. We all thought it was a little strange when 6:00pm came around, but as Jim had a clock DIRECTLY in front of him at eye level, we figured he was just going to have us start a little late, when 6:15 came around, we thought he was going to wrap it up. At 6:30 we started to wonder why the heck he was still going at all.
At 6:45pm, Jim wrapped up the briefing. He said "Alright, we'll break until six..." and everybody just sort of stared at him, and Darryl asked "Do you mean seven?" Jim then did a double take at the clock. Apparently, he hadn't realized that he'd been talking for an hour and a half. Thankfully, Jim decided that Tuesday night would then not count against Quota, and we went on break - believing ourselves to be coming back to a fully functional office at 7:00pm.
We were wrong.
Upon returning from break, we discover (or at least are told) that the loud bang was one of the two transformers that goes to the building. One controls the power to the lights, the other the outlets apparently. Our computers have no power, and this means no automated dialer. So, the entire canvass sat down with good old fashioned paper turf, and began to canvass. We called it an early night at 8pm, and headed out.
Hopefully, tonight will be nice and calm at work, but needless to say it literally cannot be any more interesting than yesterday...