(RECAP OF SNOWPOCALYPSE/POLAR VORTEX)
It is not what I learned this week, but knowledge that I learned over working for the past 17 years that I put to good use this week.
There has never been a day that I stayed home from work where I wished that I had gone in.
Sunday and Monday Michigan was hit by the snowpocalypse and the polar vortex. (Wow, that sounds like a blockbuster double-feature for the SYFY channel.) I was due to work 37 miles away at 5:00PM on Monday. My main route had reports of being impassable with 3 to 4 foot drifts by the Sheriff’s department just 12 hours prior. Add to that the fact that:
1. I do not have 4-wheel drive.
2. I would have to expose my son to the deadly windchills.
3. If I got stuck on the road, I would be killed by the deadly windchills (great name for a band, by the way).
4. If I didn’t go into work, my husband could take my car that handles better than his. (He did. And it always started. Even when it was like -25 degrees outside, my 2004 Pontiac Aztek with the 218,500 miles always started. I ❤ my Aztek!)
5. My best friend had already forbid me from traveling.
6. My mom had forbade me from traveling.
Add to that that I would be spending roughly 4 hours roundtrip on travel to work a 4 hour shift. I would spend more on gas than I would make.
Some people were mad that my employer was open at all.
Business is business. As an employee, you are just a cog in the machine to make money. Your employer is not going to look out for your best interest. They want to be open to make money. I don’t blame them. If I had a business, I would want to be open to make money too.
So YOU can be the only one to decide if the roads are safe enough to travel on to get to your job or not. I know that decision is harder for some than others. My husband did go into work, because his is the higher paying job in our household. (I only work part-time.) Plus, he had a shorter distance to travel.
I know what you are thinking:
But a single mother who has to support her kids can’t lose her job, she has to get to work.
I then play Devil’s advocate:
But those kids will be even worse off if she ends up dead in a ditch.
Ohio has a great thing called “snow emergencies.” (We do not have that system in Michigan.)
When you get up to Level 3, any non-essential personnel (essential personnel being firemen, police, doctors, semi trucks delivering more road salt, etc.) caught traveling on the roads will be subject to arrest. It cuts down on the traffic (and, in turn, the stuck cars) on the road to speed up the time it takes to clear the snow off the road. Actually, in the case of this past week, they could not clear the road at all because it was too cold for the salt to melt the ice.
So, to sum up, the eight or so Ohio counties right below me were ARRESTING people for leaving their houses, while Michigan residents struggled to go on with “business as usual”.
Does anyone see the disparity there besides me?
Now understand, the snow emergencies encourage businesses to close, but it is not mandatory. Then people are torn between:
1. Go to work, get paid, maybe die, or get arrested on the way.
2. Stay home, lose money, risk getting fired and losing future money, but you are safe.
My asbestos friend’s husband actually faced this dilemma. He went in, only to arrive at his work and be sent back home again. But at least it clarifies the line. If you are willing to go out when it is against the law, then yes, you are crazy for being on the roads.
Now, there was one time that I DO wish I had gone to school when I did not. (If you said “Field Day”, wash your mouth out with soap.)
In Kindergarten, we were going to have an “Indian Dance”. We worked all week on making headdresses out of construction paper and vests out of brown paper bags. On Friday we were to get to wear everything we made and dance around. But my mom kept me home because I have diarrhea.
I am still mad at her for making me miss the Indian dance. If I had been there, it probably would have been forgotten with all the other activities we did in Kindergarten. But because I was kept home, in my head it has become legen–wait-for-it–dary.
Wait…I just realized that sounds very politically incorrect.
Maybe my son and I will have to stage our own dance in the living room, where we can’t offend anyone.