I’m gonna sound like a little bit of a downer today, and I don’t mean to. I absolutely love the snow. But there was a time I didn’t, and today I’m spending some time thinking about those who are negatively affected the way I once was.
You know the saying, “rain, sleet, gloom of night,” etc? It doesn’t just apply to the postal service. It also applies to the newspaper industry.
So for 7 winters, during my time at the paper, every time there was a threat of snow, or actual snow, I was scared. I don’t feel safe driving in the stuff. But I had to. I literally took 3 hours to get to work one time, driving at a snail’s pace what should have been a 30-minute drive.
And it was really hard, hearing everyone else in the area talk about how excited they were to have their days off of work. Knowing they weren’t thinking about me or the countless other people who go to work anyway – not always because they choose to, but because they have to.
We were going to work because we believed you deserved to have your newspaper on your front door every morning. Every morning. Not just snow days, but on Christmas Day and on Easter and on the Fourth of July. (The paper is done the night before, so technically I should be telling you about how you deserve to have your paper on the Day after Christmas, the Day after Easter, and the Fifth of July.) I spent many good moments with coworkers, and they were fabulous coworkers, but it was tough to be away from my family and friends.
And it’s not just newspaper folks. There are other people who do far more important jobs that have to be out in all types of weather. Police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses and other hospital staff.
On my sixth winter at the paper, I was driving home that night (yes, we didn’t even get to leave work until after the sun went down and the roads were frozen over). I was driving at the grandma pace that I’d decided would get me there the safest. I creeped up to Marvin Road to get in the left turn lane off of 521. I was in the left turn lane, and then slowly but surely, I wasn’t. My car had slipped on some ice and decided to do a 180 and end up on the opposite side of the street on 521. There were cars coming, but thank God they were coming slowly. I was safe, but shaken. It was then I decided I would never drive to work in weather I wasn’t comfortable driving in again. “It’s not worth my life,” I decided. I figured they could fire me next year if they needed to, but I sure wasn’t driving.
Luckily, the seventh winter there was no snow so I didn’t have to test that theory. And after that I started my own business and now my snow days are no different from my other days.
I’m not asking you not to enjoy snow days. I will love the time today with my dogs playing in the snow!
But what I am asking is that you think of all the people whose jobs just became exponentially more dangerous now that they have to get out in the icy conditions, most likely in an attempt to make your world a little better/safer/more informed. And while you’re at it, maybe consider renewing that newspaper subscription? Ok, ok, but I had to try.
Ok, downer over. Snowball fight!