We’ve all been told about the coming zombie apocalypse. We’ve seen the movies of the zombie hordes but the reality is here, now and it’s far uglier. Forget the mindless searching for brains and more brains. That particular species of zombies accidentally migrated to Washington D.C. and died of starvation.

No, if you want to see zombies, just go to any long business meeting or large gathering of people. Take a look at the people huddled around the outlets. Those are our real zombies, people hunting desperately for a power outlet because they can’t last another hour without plugging in their charger, the power zombies.

Today’s meeting rooms are just not built to accommodate these power hungry zombies trying desperately to supply the power needs of their phones, tablets and laptops. Two phones, a laptop and a tablet? For one person? And all of them need charging? Really?

I sometimes wonder if status is measured by number of gadgets you carry to a meeting. There’s no question that the most popular places in a meeting room are the ones closest to an outlet but those few outlets can’t possibly meet the demand.

In true zombie survival mode, they’ve found ways to cope but one look at all the outlet extenders and adapters in these meeting rooms would cause most Fire Marshals to condemn the entire building.

I hear you laughing at the plight of all those business leaders trying to make it through a long meeting with all their electronics functional but have you looked at your own home? How many outlets have you dedicated to the task of keeping your electronics charged? Did you have to add powerstrip or outlet multiplier? Do you even know what all those chargers are for?

The mobility given to us by our electronics is only an illusion tethered to the nearest outlet. Fortunately for us it’s easy to see we’re not alone. Next time you fly, take a look at the hordes of people gathered around the power outlets. the seats next to the outlets are always in high demand. I’ve seen my fellow passengers huddled four deep around a set of outlets. In fact, in a pinch, the seats are optional. Live outlets have a much higher priority than seating. Sure, charging stations exist throughout the airport but those are seldom near a departure gate and we zombies need all the power we can get.

Oops. Yes, hanging my head in shame, I admit it, I’ve become a power zombie. When I travel, I carry four devices, my phone, my tablet (I switch between iPad and Android tablets depending on the length of the trip), my Bluetooth earpiece and my watch. Four chargers, four specialized cables. Oh yeah, I forgot, I also carry an emergency battery charger that has to be charged. It adds to the device and cable count but unlike those other zombies, I can pass up an outlet.

There are drawbacks though. Ever try to find five unused outlets in a hotel room? If I tried to do my charging serial fashion, I’d be up all night. I’m already getting odd looks when they screen my luggage, adding a powerstrip to my bag would be a bad idea. I finally consolidated down to one large charger and three specialized cables. That allowed me to charge three things at once. No more zombie outlet hoarding from me, I was set.

It’s too bad my theory doesn’t always match my reality. A simple trip can easily take seven hours from the time you leave your home until you get to the hotel. If you use your phone or tablet as a GPS tour guide, the last thing you want is to have a weak battery while you’re trying to find your hotel. Add a connection or delay (given that all of my last three flights have been delayed, this seems like a certainty) to that seven hours and you start getting close to the limits of your electronics.

Instant dilemma, which device do I use my emergency charger on? My phone? That means giving up the entertainment value of the tablet. My tablet? That means I start to miss out on my text messages. Maybe I could carry two emergency chargers… No, there’s only one solution.

“Hey buddy, if you’re not going to use that outlet, how about moving? My phone just dropped below ten percent.”

 

© Copyright 2014 Byron Seastrunk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Opinion by pen