Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Days

I believe if the schools are closed due to inclement weather, all government buildings should be closed and employees of other businesses should be able to take off without penalty.

The reason why I say this is because on Monday morning, Memphis, TN had 4 inches of snow on the ground and parts of neighboring state, Mississippi, had as much as 10 inches. Now I know that's small change to cities that get 12 inches or more but if you lived in Memphis, you would see why it was a big deal. We don't have the equipment needed to remove the snow from the streets. Fancy duds like that are reserved for the airport. The trucks that go around town sprinkling salt and sand on the ground do not have the money or manpower to cover every street. What makes traveling on the snow even worse is that most people in Memphis have no idea how to drive on the snow. Which means there ends up being a lot of smashed up cars before the snow melts.

I had to make the trek across town to my job and just when I was no more than two blocks away, I started to slide on the ice. Apparently, I had encountered one of those spots that the Public Works department hadn't gotten to yet. Now I had called my job several times hoping that the building was closed but only after the third time did it say that the building wouldn't open for business until 10 am. I saw no point in going back home for another hour after I had already dropped my son off so I just took my time. I used the scenic route because hey, I wasn't about to get on the overcrowded interstate and end up taking almost twice as long getting to work, plus running the risk of sliding off the road. Not cool.

The streets were pretty drivable and there was a small number of cars on the road, but every once in a while I ended up having a motorist trailing very close behind me as if there wasn't one or two other lanes to drive in. I hate tailgaters, especially in that kind of weather. I found myself pulling over at least three times to keep from suffering a rear-end collision because some fool wanted to see how fast they could drive in the snow. I'm a chance taker in most aspects but putting my life in jeopardy is not appealing to me in the least.

When I finally made it through the security gate at my job, guess what? I saw maybe 20 cars as I drove around the building to my entrance. Now this is a huge building, the size of a medium sized college campus. The parking lot has never been completely full but cars usually fill at least 90% of the available spaces, but Monday, it must have been less than 9%.

I was surprised to see someone sitting in my area when I walked down my aisle. He said that there was one other person there that was assigned to our department. Over the next hour, three other people showed up. I kept getting phone calls from my manager, who was at home with the grandkids, asking about reports and once I had finally gotten over the shock of being in a virtual ghost town, I sat down and attempted to complete what I came to do. It didn't take long to realize that I wasn't going to be able to complete my reports because part of the information I needed was not available because the lady that did it was still at home in her cozy bed. I called my manager and told her that I had nothing to report and she told me I could go home when I got ready. I left 20 minutes later, after fussing at the few people that were there about all matters of foolishness.

I've said all of that to say this--heads of city, county, state and federal government as well as other business owners, IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL--GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES THE DAY OFF.

Please and thank you.



8 comments:

Brooks J. said...

I am a former Michigander. I am sure I could do 80 mph on the amount of snow you all received. I do understand what you are saying. I am now a resident of Atlanta. They are having the same problems as Memphis (salt, sand, no equipment, etc.)

Employers should give their employees off. You and those who showed up could have been hurt badly and yet they (employers) are at home in their 'cozy beds'. Unacceptable.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and all the support that you constantly give!

Susie McCray said...

@Brooks

I'm glad you enjoyed this post. This morning I went to work a couple hours late to make sure all the roads were cleared. Management seemed worried then and said they were about to send the police to my house to check on me. SMH But none of them were worried that I had taken the chance to come to work in the snow and ice. *shrug*

Anthony said...

I was born and raised in upstate NY (well, we're upstate compared to the city, but not quite as far upstate as the places typically referred to as upstate like Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo etc) so I'm used to the snow.

I lived in Ohio for a while and while they did get a fair amount of snow on occasion, I found that most everyone there HATED it and as you said, didn't know how to drive.

At one point I was working the over night shift at a K-Mart. My shift was 10pm to 6am. One day/night we got a lot of snow, to the point of a Level 2 snow emergency. Which means that no one is supposed to be on the road unless they ABSOLUTELY have to. Of course, I slept during the days and didn't listen to the radio so I had no idea otherwise I wouldn't have went to work.

I went, and ended up sliding off the road. I wasn't hurt, but I did get stuck... in a spot that had no cell reception. So rather than get to work at 10, I got to work at 2am.

Turns out that I was the only one who made it, and the only who tried to make it. My fault for not listening to the radio in that case. But the kicker is that the store manager gave the entire night crew, including me, a big dressing down for not showing up to work when we were supposed to. Apparently working at K-Mart is an iron clad reason someone ABSOLUTELY has to be on the road in a snow emergency. Didn't know they were on par with working in the medical field.

Susie McCray said...

@Anthony

Wow,your situation was even crazier than mine. I'm glad you didn't get hurt when you ran off the road.

Why in the world did your boss think that it was that important to be at K-Mart? Were customers beating down the door? (shaking my head)

Shari said...

Nicely told. It would be great if key people in non-essential businesses would learn from scenarios like this. One can hope.

Susie McCray said...

@Shari
I hope they learn from it as well. Sometimes people have to experience things to understand how people feel. Even then the stubborn one will stick to their way of thinking no matter what.

"Get to work or die trying."

Liz Noonan said...

jeez! I know 4inches doesn't seem like much when you're from the northeast - but my husband grew up in KY and I know that they are simply not equipped in your area to deal with an inch, never mind 4 inches of snow! You need certain tires, salt, plows, etc.
I'm sorry you had to be one of only a few brave souls to show up.
And management should be the first people in!

Susie McCray said...

@Liz Noonan

I don't think I'm gonna attempt to be brake the next time. It's just not worth all of the hassle. Plus, I can't complete my job if other people don't do their part.

Next time I'll be at home calling to see if anybody made it to work.