Gunther looked at the kitchen bench, his cup in his hand and an empty feeling in his stomach. There wasn’t going to be any coffee.
Back at his desk, the computer still wasn’t working.
The floor administrator was walking from row to row explaining that the desk phones, computers, elevators and photocopiers weren’t working. She didn’t say anything about the lights and air conditioning in case she hexed them.
Someone propped open the fire door and walked down fourteen floors to let the electrician in.
The important client declined to be put off by the big cheeses and climbed the stairs after the electrician. He emerged from the fires escape and looked around, hardly breathing hard at all. It was an interesting scene.
Human resources were looking for a hard copy of the safety regulations to see at what point they had to send the staff home. Half the staff were on their work mobiles using variations of, “I’m sorry, I can’t get that information right now. May I have your details so I can call you back when it’s available?” Three people who had instant coffee had people lining up at their desks for spoonfuls. The ‘fashionistas’ were tracing their feet and working out who they could send to buy them cheap flats so they could get to ground level. The big cheeses were giving each other contradictory instructions while the office manager and the presenter carted an old easel and butcher’s paper into the meeting room.
The electrician was thoroughly confused for the rest of the day as job after job was the same.
The important client employed the firm but refused to deal with the big cheeses and was on first name terms with the office manager and the presenter within six months. By then everything that had stopped working, including the coffee maker, had been replaced.
Eventually someone worked it out but no-one wanted to believe it. It was the headlines on the day the coffee maker died, “Astrogard Electronics Ceases Operations” and nothing they’d made, not a fuse or circuit, ever worked again.