Friday, 14 January 2005

Black Out

I was supposed to attend a one and a half hours course at Bloomberg office in Petronas Tower 2, KLCC yesterday. Initially the course was scheduled at 10.30 in the morning, but we managed to convince the coordinator to reschedule it to 2.30 pm so that we wouldn’t have to go back to the office after the course.

So yesterday I didn’t drive to work. My plan was to tumpang (take a lift from) a colleague to go to KLCC. After the training, I would take Putra LRT to DH’s office in Mid Valley. That would leave me with roughly one hour to visit the Mall before DH leaves his office. Nice plan, or so I thought.

We (my two colleagues and myself) left our office in Shah Alam at 12.20 pm. We figured that we would have enough time for lunch and zohor prayers at KLCC. After a few wrong turns (we are not that familiar with KLCC or KL), we found the entrance to KLCC parking, but it was closed. So we followed other cars ahead of us to another entrance, only to find it closed too. After making our unplanned tawaf of the building, we finally found an outdoor parking opposite MNI Tower.

When we entered Suria KLCC through the entrance next to Mandarin Oriental, we saw that the Aseana shops were dimly lit with candles. I thought it was part of their marketing gimmick to sell goods in the dark. Soon after, we noticed that most part of the building was in the dark too. We started complaining that we had chosen the wrong day for our training and that even our office in Shah Alam had better back up plans for power failure.

We climbed the escalator to the food court on the first or second floor. Despite the power outage, the food outlets were open, albeit selling lukewarm food. I had assam laksa that tasted way too sour and could not finish even half of it. While toying with our food in the dark, we continued complaining.

After lunch, we climbed more escalators to the surau (prayers room) on fourth floor. At that time I received a phone call from my DH. The line was not clear and the only thing I heard from him was whether KLCC was affected by the power outage. Only then did I realise that KLCC was not the only building affected.

Right after we completed our prayers, a security guard came and told us to vacate the prayers room. By then, water supply was also cut out so the security guard said that since there was no water for ablution, she was going to lock the prayers room.

We proceeded to make our way to Petronas Tower 2. By the time we reached Tower 2 at about 2.30 pm, it was crowded with the employees who could not go up to their offices. I sms’ed colleagues who were supposed to attend the same course to ask of their whereabouts. A colleague replied that she was going back to the office after taking her lunch.

We bumped into another colleague and he told us that apparently five states experienced the power trip. We discussed among us on what to do next. Our options were:

1. To wait until power is restored – we did not know how long it would take though, and when it does, we were not sure that Bloomberg would proceed with the training. Judging by the crowd of employees there and their cheer whenever another light went off, we were quite confident that there was only one thought in everyone’s mind, and that was to go home. So for all we know, the trainers were in the crowd too and just as impatiently waiting for their employers to announce that they could leave.

2. To go back to the office – it was about 3 pm then and we figured not much work could be accomplished even if we go back to the office. Anyway, some of us purposely did not drive to work that day so if we went back to the office, we would have a logistic problem at the end of the day. Hmm, not a good choice.

3. Go home – this was very tempting, but we feared the consequence. We knew another colleague was going back to the office so our bosses might call us to go back. I found out later that one boss did, but her staff managed to talk her into allowing them to go home.

Just as we were trying to figure out what to do in the crowded foyer, I saw an old friend passing by. I had not met her for at least four years. We chatted for a while but the environment was not conducive for any small talk. I found out that her employer, Murphy Oil had allowed all the staff to go home.

Shortly after, I received an sms from my brother who works at Menara Esso. Apparently his employer had allowed their staff to leave too. Fortunately my brother parked his car outdoor, so he could leave. Those who parked in the underground parking could not get their cars out.

I then made a quick decision to follow my brother. After a few tries, I managed to get him. He picked me up from the Petronas Tower and I bid my colleagues good bye.

I spent about two hours at my brother’s house. Later on, at around 5.15 pm, he sent me to Damai LRT station. I found that the trains going to Kelana Jaya were not yet operational. Finally at about 5.40 pm, the train came. The journey was not smooth however, because one door did not close automatically. It took ages to close the door at every station and finally a Putra employee locked the door. I reached Taman Jaya Station at around 6.30 pm to meet my DH there.

We proceeded to my in-laws’ house at Kg. Tunku to pick up my daughter. By then, I was exhausted from climbing too many escalators. A day that was supposed to be fun ended up the other way round. Can I ask TNB for compensation?


mardhiah12 said...

guess what? we went to my officemate's house during the black out (Gombak is not affected). the plan was good and we managed to go out before the black out occured and we came back, it had just been restored.

btw, could you e-mail me your nedtsat acc (login & password - change the password for me to 'hack in' first), I'll try to incorporate it into your blogger account.

aida said...

As for me, I didn't even notice the whole KL had no electricity since the generator at our very OLD building worked properly ;)

Yasmin's Mummy said...

lucky you.. in a way I was lucky too coz I got to crash in at Ayah Su's place for 2 hrs

Bustaman said...

I spent hours at the steps of my apartment waiting for the lifts to work. Lucky I had a book to read.

Yasmin's Mummy said...

PokKu, a book always come in handy..