Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The gift of time

Last week I did a thought experiment about what I would do if I was suddenly gifted with extra time.  Well, yesterday I had the opportunity to see what would actually happen.  At about 9:30am, the power went out to the building.  All the IT guys ran around telling us to unplug our computers because what voltage was coming through was fluctuating a lot, and they didn't want our computers to get zapped.  About an hour later, the back up generator died and we lost the lights in the halls and bathroom.  The other statisticians and I gathered in an office with a big window and spent the morning discussing work stuff that needed to be discussed, but around noon our boss came by and suggested we take the afternoon off as furlough* because no one had any idea when the power would be working again, and even after that happened, the IT guys would have to get our servers back up, etc.

So I had a surprise (unpaid) afternoon off.  What to do?  It was a beautiful day so my coworker and I decided to go to State St. for what ended up being a long, leisurely lunch at Himal Chuli.   We were actually planning to go to Mediterranean Cafe, but it was closed due to a death in the family.  It was about 3pm by the time I got home from taking my coworker home, and I decided to check e-mail, and do a little Google Reader-ing.  Then I did some gentle yoga (I'm feeling a little tired from my big weekend run still), practiced piano, made dinner, then finished off The Atlantic and went to sleep.

All in all, a really nice way to spend the afternoon.  I was glad to see that what I think I'd want to do with my spare time is in fact what I want to do.  It was also nice to spend the time not doing anything productive.

I'm pretty sure our computers are up and running again today, so I'll be back to work like normal, but it was great to get this little gift of extra time.

*We have to take 8 unpaid "furlough" days off per year.  4 are mandatory and 4 are of our choosing so I took 1/2 of one of those days yesterday.