Thursday, July 23, 2009

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

The overhead lights in my current edit room are on a motion-sensor timer. The timer lasts for 15 minutes without motion in the room before it shuts the lights off. Which makes it kind of difficult to take 2 hour lunches, because anybody walking by would see that the lights are off, and that I haven't been a busy worker bee.

But besides keeping me from 2 hour lunches, the motion-sensor wasn't tuned very well. So I'd be sitting there working away like a busy bee, and apparently not moving very much while doing so, and the lights would turn off. This wouldn't be so much of a problem, because I work using a computer, and the screens are self-lit and not on any motion-sensor timer. But it was distracting to the point that it eventually became an annoyance.

I'd be sitting there working and the lights would turn off every 15 minutes or so, and I'd have to frantically wave something like my arms or a pad of paper in the air to get it to notice me. Hey, I'm still here! Not taking a 2 hour lunch! Please allow me to work in something other than darkness!

There were times that even the arm waving wouldn't do the trick, so I started throwing pens and the puck to my tablet stylus right at the sensor, until the puck landed in my eye.

Eventually the lights automatically switching off would motivate me to bring some tools from home to see if I could disconnect the motion-sensor box on the ceiling. I climbed on the desk and I got up there and unscrewed the little box only to imagine myself getting electrocuted by the obviously live wiring.

So I reconsidered, and while I was standing on the desk reconsidering, I saw the studio manager walk by my window and look in, but he kept walking by. The obvious answer finally motion-sensored the lightbulb in my head: Ask somebody in charge to tune the damn thing.

I did just that, and that afternoon a maintenance guy walked into my little edit room and said "You having a problem with the lights?" I told him what was up, and he adjusted it. Since then, the lights have only gone out on me once. Still haven't figured out how to manage the 2 hour lunch though. Damn.