Creepy pitch black at the schoolPosted: January 7, 2014 Filed under: Janitorial work | Tags: darkness, generator, janitors, pitch black, power outage, sick, snow day, snow removal, work 2 Comments
Today I don’t have to go to work, and I get paid for it! My excitement is dampened by not feeling well, however. Snow days are a big perk of being a janitor at a school – crossing fingers and wishing and hoping, just like when I was a kid. The downside is that snow removal is a part of our job. Not mine so much as the head custodian’s, but we all end up doing quite a bit of shoveling and salting.
Last night, my coworker and I were cleaning like normal (kids back in school, back to our routine). I was vacuuming. It was 8:15. Suddenly the power went out; my first thought was, wow, it’s really really dark. I cannot see a damn thing. Like, usually when all the lights are out, you can still see. There are outdoor lights streaming in every window, and there are red exit signs glowing everywhere. It’s kinda creepy if you think about it, this red light reflecting off the shiny floors and walls… but I don’t really think about it. I honestly don’t mind walking through the school with all the lights out. (In addition, I don’t mind going on tall ladders or into tight spaces. This gives me an advantage over my co-workers.) This was way different though. I was thinking, how am I going to navigate out of this classroom with all the desks and tables? A few moments later, the generator kicked in, and the emergency lights powered on. It was still really eerie – no lights in any of the rooms, just a couple down the halls and in the bathrooms. My co-worker was making high pitched ghost noises. He does this often – if he’s got a lot on his mind or if he’s just freaked out. I followed the noises to him and told him I was going to call our supervisor and shut down the compressors and some other stuff. Our supervisor came in and we looked around for flash lights. She made some phone calls.
There was a chance we weren’t going to be able to finish our work because we could not see. But in the end, the power came back on at about 9:30. We got almost everything done. And today we don’t have to be at work!
I’ve been in a couple of black outs in NYC (most recently Sandy) and the scariest part for me was not knowing initially how long the lights were going to be out for, and waiting for them to come right back on – that part where you think everything is going to be ok and then you realize uh-oh this is going to be an extended black out.
Enjoy your day off and stay warm.
yeah, the not knowing is scary!
I spent the day off feeling sick, but I did manage to stay warm…