Blogs » My Turn » Downtime with the fam


Image Co-worker, Jessica Rodrigo's collection of wind-up toys

Our network went down at work today. Everything came to a standstill. One of the younger editors yelled out, "Okay guys, clean your desks while we're waiting for them to fix it!" A copy editor looked at him and said, "Excuse me?" Others shouted, "No way!" I shrugged and pulled out a Clorox wipe. It was a good time to wipe up those coffee stains and toss the stacks of paper into the recycle bin. I'm a good little automaton.

Once I was through with the cleaning, I walked downstairs to the kitchen to get a glass of ice water. My glass was half-full (note the optimism) but I needed more ice. I ran into another co-worker and we discussed how our deadlines were going to be busted and how our hands were tied--nothing we could do about it. She walked back to her office, shaking her head. I went back upstairs with my water.

As I rounded the corner to the newsroom I saw a circle of people sitting around an assembly of wind-up toys which were gyrating, spinning and creeping on the floor. There was a carnival mood in the air and lots of laughter.

After a while the toys were put away and we moved into other groups, still laughing and talking and bemoaning all the late work we were going to have to catch up with.

I moved to a seat in the empty office across from my desk. There's a large window that looks out over the front parking lot with a nice view of trees and sky. I'm thankful for this moment of solitude. I have the time to write this blog, right?

Life is good--not just because I'm kicked back in a chair enjoying the view, but because I work with all of these talented, funny people. Downtime turns into play time--we're family here.

We'll be back in business when the network problem is fixed. We will all go back to our desks and scramble to make up for lost time. We are professionals. And after all, despite the fun, we do have a newspaper to produce.