As I write this post, I am listening to the sounds of hammering, chainsawing and the racket caused by cutting into the street.
It is music to my ears.
I conduct my real estate business from my home office, sitting at desk by the window that is just above the heads of passersby. I happen to love this arrangement because I feel part of the world while being apart, enjoying the changes in the weather and the sight of tulips I helped plant in the tree boxes outside my apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
While working the other day, everything went dead–my computer, my printers, my scanner, my fax machine, my land line. Everything. That I was is in the middle of a section of my bi-weekly e-newsletter only added to my shock and dismay as the screen fluttered and went blank with my CPU grinding to a halt.
Noting that nothing in my apartment was functioning, except, puzzlingly, all the kitchen appliances and lights, I checked the lobby. It was dark, and the elevator was stalled at the third floor.
I eventually learned that one of three phases of power (whatever they are) from the street into the building went out. So did I, there being no way I could work. However, it was a great opportunity to sharpen knives, look over my tax returns one last time, get a leg up on my daily ab exercises, and give yet more thought, just thought, to spring cleaning.
In under two hours, Con Ed showed up with hardhats, flashlights and frowns. It was they who identified the problem. They opened up two manholes, erected safety barriers and soon had temporary lines leading into the basement. Et voila! I saw the light(s).
Thanks to automatic backup, I went back to my keyboard and saw that I had lost just a few sentences. I was a happy guy–until my screen flickered again a few hours later and everything bombed. Power went back on in less than a minute, and I decided that retreating to the gym was the sanest action I could take.
Today, I noticed Con Ed personnel and a gaggle of trucks outside. I stuck my head out the window and asked Bill, whose name was on his shirt, whether I was doomed to another shutdown. “Yes,” he replied, “in about an hour.” Then he said the unthinkable:
“I’ll let you know beforehand.”
On so he did, in plenty of time for me to close the half dozen programs then on my computer and then turn off the thing off.
With temporary lines still lining the curb, I found out from Bill that the power is bound to be cut yet again in the next couple of days. I’ll be watching and listening, with a hearty thanks to Con Ed for its quick, concerned and professional response.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022