Inclement Weather – Choosing To Stay Safe

This morning I rolled out of bed at 5:15 a.m., looked out the window and saw snow piled so high, my front porch was no longer there. Since the plows made it through my complex last night, the snow, in the street, is not quite as deep. I could see a trail where other cars had traveled this morning so I got in the shower, got dressed, put on my winter gear and was out the door by 6 a.m.

As I opened my front door, the snow, that had drifted, stayed right in place. It looked about 3 inches or so. As I proceeded onto my porch, my boots sank. The snow was so deep I was unable to touch the cement. I carefully maneuvered my way down each step, or where I thought each step was. I crossed the wide swath of snow, currently hiding the sidewalk. The snow was up to my calves. The street seemed to be okay as I steadfastly walked to my car. I noticed the drift behind my car, but figured if I gunned it, I would get through.

Car started right up, heat cranked on, seatbelt on, ready, aim, fire!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then, stuck right in the middle of the street! Can’t go forward, can’t go backward. The car, she refuses to move even an inch. You see my car is equipped with traction control, which helps to keep me steady on icy surfaces. So I grabbed my manual to find out how to turn it off. But, because I was a tad irritated, not only at the weather but at being stuck, I could not for the life of me remember what the hell it was called. And all I could think of was if someone came barreling though the complex, they would surely be stopped when they hit my car!!!

However, after a minute or two of panic, I saw a person drive up who was snow plowing the streets of the complex. He helped by pushing me back, then he plowed a section clean in front of my car. By that time, I had figured out how to turn off the traction control and was able to pull back into my carport. Right before getting out of my car, I had heard the radio announcer state if you don’t have to be anywhere, it was best to just stay home. But, I was still going to try to get to work.

As I got out of my car, I profusely thanked the gentleman for his help. He indicated it was probably a good idea that I stay home. He told me on the way to the complex, he had gotten stuck twice and saw snow drifts as high as my tires. He told me if I choose to try it, it would be a slow and possibly unsafe journey.  So, I rethought my plan, and called in.

Yet, I feel guilty for doing so. Even though my area received about 11.5 inches of total snow, I feel like maybe instead of calling in I should of just gone in later. This despite the number of accidents, currently at 19, the number of schools and businesses that are closed, 919 and the snow emergencies several cities have implemented. So why do I feel guilty?

Because in the past, I have not let snow be an excuse for getting to work. However, last year, there was one time when I really got stuck in the parking lot. I walked out to the main road to see what conditions were like. They were not good. So I made the decision to call my then boss and stay home. Unfortunately, she subtly told me to come in when I could. So I left at 7 a.m. As result, it took me two hours of stressful driving to get to work. (Usually it takes 3o minutes.) And when I arrived, she came out and told me the others had decided to stay home as the roads were too bad and one person was coming in at noon. I could have screamed!!! It was at that moment, I decided never again was I going to risk driving in treacherous conditions. Especially knowing others were ‘allowed’ to stay home.

Even so, I still feel a touch of guilt, as if I am playing hooky. And why? Comes back to that old weight hanging on my shoulder of wanting to be liked and not upsetting anyone with my decisions. How ridiculous is that?!?!?! I remember last year, the maintenance man even told me I should have stayed home. I know I am being ridiculous as well. Yet, I can’t help myself to wonder how many people actually showed up and how many made the decision to be safe and stay home.

The reason my conscious is so disturbed is also because I am the person who sits at the front desk. So when I am gone, there isn’t anybody there to greet people, sign people in, make sure people are welcomed etc. etc. etc. Yes, I know so what!?!??! Yes, I also know if I got into an accident this morning and had to be hospitalized nobody would be there to cover either and I would be worse off than I am now. Plus, even though my current boss is more understanding, I don’t want her to think less of me or my decision. Also, she hasn’t responded to either my voicemail or email message. So not sure if she is pissed or okay with my not being there or…which is neither here nor there, gosh DARN IT!!!

Overall, I do not regret my decision to stay home. In the past, depending on the city, roads can go from being plowed to being really bad. Plus, if I got into an accident, my insurance rates would go up, it would cost me money to fix my vehicle and it would be a day of total frustration and angst. I also know my company would not reimburse me for any costs I incurred, not would I expect them to.

Do I feel guilty anymore? Not so much. It feels good to figure out the ‘why’ behind the guilt when in reality I have no reason to feel guilty at all. Because even though my decision may not be ‘right’ for someone else, I know it is just perfect for me.

So if you are home due to inclement weather, know your decision is the right one. And if tomorrow, when you return to work and someone makes a comment, shrug it off for that person is not you and doesn’t know the circumstances behind why you choose be safe and give yourself a snow day.


P.S. Remember, regardless of what Mr Groundhog sees today, Spring is only 46 more days away!




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