The unplanned planned power outage

metr.jpg Church House has no power today! none, zilch, squat. The electricity company are doing a ‘planned shutdown’ between 9am and 5pm today, the word planned being interesting as they didn’t actually tell us 🙂 Hey ho, and as I often say, “Can’t take a joke shouldn’t have joined!”
The long and the short of it being that although I can access the blog (sitting as I am now, in the BEST coffee shop in the whole of Oxford using their wi-fi) I have no access to e-mails. if you are trying to get an answer to something then please be patient and/or phone me on the mobile!

: The power is back on and the Servers are able to do their funky e-mail routing type stuff. Hello World 🙂

3 Replies to “The unplanned planned power outage”

  1. Mmm, you should have received a notification letter from the local DNO (Southern Electric Power Distribution for Oxford I think), however it could also be that the records on where Church House is connected to the network are not correct.
    I was quite amazed when I was told this whilst I was working at SSE. I used to sit opposite a programmer who worked on the project to computerise the connections database and asked him about it when a friend was grumbling about their power going off repeatedly and Southern Electric being surprised they were affected when they phoned up to complain.
    The crux of the problem is that original connection records were lost thanks to a bomb destroying an electricity board building in Southampton during the war. Afterwards they tried to reconstruct the records as best they could but in a lot of cases they just guessed, the theory was that over time the errors would be found and sorted out.
    What is more surprising is that even sixty years later they are still finding problems (the system my colleague wrote has a function to correct the information) – indeed there is a story that they ‘lost’ a whole substation from the records which wasn’t found until it failed in the 1970’s!

  2. I used to work for a Water Utility company with much the same problem. As a privatised company they were required to publish the number of miles of mains pipes they had. But the cluster of old public companies had not been required to do, and therefore hadn’t bothered to keep records. So they just invented a number. Every time they put in a new pipe, they added to the number. Every time one burst or was decommissioned, they subtracted. The theory being that one day in the far future all the pipes would have been replaced and they would know how many they had put in. Same story different utility.
    Maybe we should do the same with youth work. When we are asked how many teenagers we work with we should just pull a number out of the air and add or subtract to it as required. Perhaps we do that already… 🙂

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