So after having played a tiresome game of hide-and-seek with the lights the whole weekend, I went to work feeling down and frustrated as I woke up to another morning of ‘dum.’ So I was glad when Monday finally came; I could get out of the house and do something worthwhile with my time. Who knew a day would come when I would eagerly pray for the coming of a Monday morning? Is it one of the many blessings in disguise that dumsor brings?
You can imagine the sigh of relief I gave out and the grin on my face when I arrived at work to find the lights on. It was like the feeling of having Christmas in July. Just when I was getting settled, the lights started flickering.
“Ugh ugh, not here; not now,” I murmured, feeling downcast all of a sudden. A few seconds later, the office was plunged in darkness. Thanks to the dull colour of the wall, nine o’clock in the morning felt like six pm in the office. This of course, didn’t augur well for my morning mood.
As I sat brooding about how ‘competent’ the authorities were in managing the crisis, a nurse walked in, holding a sheet of paper.
“Good morning…my in-charge wants some photocopies of this form…” I looked at her oddly with an arched brow, not saying anything. She was obviously a student nurse. How she expected me to photocopy a document for her in a gloomy office, only she could tell.
My silence might have given her a hint because she suddenly looked around and remarked, “Oh, the lights are even out. Did they just go out because as I was leaving the ward, they were on.” I managed a plastic smile in response.
“Oh okay, then I will be back,” she said and walked away. I shook my head. I decided to go on Twitter to find out what was going on with Joy Fm’s Super Morning Show and Citi Fm’s Breakfast Show and as usual, someone in the public service by his words or actions had sparked national outrage. I shook my head and laughed at reading some of the tweets some people had made. There is no place as ‘politically funny’ as Ghana. Home sweet home.
The lights came back on but I was so familiar with this game that it didn’t excite me anymore. I put on the AC but just like me, it was tired of the dumsor as well so now, it worked with laxity. It needed the fan to boost its work; without it, it was as useless as the word itself.
I started working and the office got busy. I was enjoying the tunes being played on the Cosmopolitan Mix and began to feel better about the day. I was about to print out a memo for my boss when the student nurse came back holding the same paper. I decided to sort her out then proofread the memo before printing it out. I took it from her and ordered the machine make five photocopies. A second after hitting the green button, the lights went out again.
“Oh!” the distressed voice of the nurse rang out in the office. This lady was definitely a carrier of bad luck. My boss walked in, demanding the memo. Oops, not printed out yet. He walked away, disappointed.
“I’ll be back.” I slumped down onto my seat and sighed. This was going to be a long day. Coupled with the harmattan season, being idle was not going to be amusing at all.
The security man came in and informed us to put off the AC or else it would disrupt the generator’s functioning. I quickly put it off, glad that all hope was not lost.
A few minutes, I heard the generator come to life and the room lighted up. I quickly finished my typing work (saving it every five seconds because you might never know….) and printed them out. I was given another task to do on the PC and I began working. About halfway through the typing, the lights went out. Oh, I had forgotten to save it! What was the generator’s problem? I hope the fuel had not run out. That seemed to happen a lot.
No wonder everyone hates Mondays, I fumed inwardly. When something goes wrong, it affects your mood the whole week! In fact, harmattan and dumsor made an unbearable couple!
“What is going on?” The secretary asked the estate manager.
“Oh, the generator goes off when it gets overheated. It would come back on,” he said nonchalantly. Huh? The secretary glanced at me and we both broke into laughter.
“So what, the generator has its own dumsor mechanism? This is just perfect!” I wondered which one was worse. Having unreliable electricity supply or having an unreliable backup. I could hear the Staff at the Records department arguing with the patients about their folders. Apparently, they were complaining about their folders not being given to them.
“As you can see, the lights are out so we are having challenges finding the folders…”
“Don’t you have a generator?!” A male voice roared.
“It just went out.”
“Why, no fuel? Despite all the monies you collect from us, can’t you fuel your generator?” I laughed to myself as the Staff tried to control the situation and calming his own rising temper at the same time.
After waiting a while, the lights came back on. I checked the time. Okay, I had about twenty five minutes until the generator went on automatic hibernation. I had to work faster. I wrapped up my work and leaned back on my chair to catch my breath. Typing marathon was as tedious as the athletic one. Whew!
After resting my shoulders for a while, I decided to use the rest of the time to update my story project. Just when I was gathering my thoughts, the security man came in to announce that the generator would go off 2:45pm. Why, to save fuel for the evening. Yep, welcome to my world.
Load shedding within the dumsor era was just suffocating. Ah well, this meant I could close early without having to feel truant. In a country where all work came to halt when the rains fell and the lights went out, you would go with the flow. Work when the lights were on and play when they were out.
My lady boss was one who strictly stuck to the eight to five schedule but she herself knew this had to be an exception. Waiting around in darkness was a recipe for foul moods. She packed her stuff and excused herself for the day. The secretary and I were elated! The secretary went out and made sure our boss had gotten into a vehicle just to be sure. Why, this had happened before and soon after she left, we also locked up and got into a troksi only to find her at the back seat looking coolly at us. It wasn’t our finest moment. So as they say, once bitten, twice shy.
I arrived home to find the light on. It was almost four o’clock which meant I had two hours before dumsor came knocking. Hmm…when will this ever end?