General Question

jca's avatar

What do people do when they have really important jobs and must get in but the weather is bad?

Asked by jca (36043points) January 18th, 2011

I work for the government, in a mid-level job, and when the weather is bad, I just call in and use a day (vacation day, personal day, whatever). My coworkers do the same. Today it’s below freezing and there’s an ice storm, so a lot of us are home again (after a few snowstorms in the past few weeks). However, I know there are people in the private sector who have jobs where they are expected in to work unless it’s really terrible out.

How do these people do it? How do you get to work if it’s bad out and you are obligated to show up?

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20 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Just like any other day. You get up, get dressed, grit your teeth and hope for the best.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Winter tires.

They do close my office occasionally, but most days it’s open when the weather is questionable, and if it’s open, they expect me to come in. I could take a personal day, but why do it on a crappy weather day when I can take it in June and enjoy the outdoors.

Seaofclouds's avatar

For me, it’s where having a 4 wheel drive vehicle comes in handy. When I worked at a hospital in Delaware, they would ask employees with 4WD to go pick up other employees in order to help out (it sucks being stuck in a hospital when your relief can’t get in). They also used their security guards to pick people up (since they had 4WD vehicles for the security guards).

I don’t know if the doctor’s office I work at now would do something similar. Luckily, most of the people I work with are able to get to work, even in snow and ice.

coffeenut's avatar

The cops here say “Leave earlier and take your time”....

syz's avatar

I just do it. I grew up in Florida, so if I can make it in on snow and ice, so can my employees, dammit. We always have hospitalized patients, so staff can’t leave until they’re relieved. (I once spent three days here, sleeping on the floor in shifts.)

Front wheel drive helps.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Put the Tahoe in 4×4 and drive through the mess. It never fails.

Cruiser's avatar

Just wake up earlier and do your best to get to work on time.

john65pennington's avatar

Nurses call the police. for years, the police have transported nurses to hospitals. the reasoning behind this is obvious. in inclimate weather(ice, snow, etc.), there are always traffic accidents and injured people transported to hospitals. more nurses are needed in this critical time period. generally, there are more doctors at a hospital that can tend to the acutely injured people. nurses are critical at a time like this. so, for years, this has been a standing tradition and the public has never complained.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

4WD and patience.

wundayatta's avatar

Public transportation is available where I live. It almost never stops. Once we got two feet of snow and the city didn’t plow, and the trolleys stopped. I believe that mayor lost whatever remained of his reputation at that time. All subsequent mayors promise to plow the streets with every snow storm. It’s probably the single biggest issue voters use to decide to reelect or not.

My wife and daughter took public transit (which was running slower than normal), and my son and I took the car. He could have waited for the school bus, but that might not have gotten here until noon—if at all.

missingbite's avatar

I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this but oh well. If anyone can make it to work they should. If it is so unimportant that someone can just take a snow day, it’s a job the country doesn’t need.

wilma's avatar

There is no public transportation where I live except school buses.
People use 4 wheel drive vehicles, in the winter to get where they need to be. Sometimes you can follow the plow if it’s really snowy.
When I worked at a hospital I rode a snowmobile to work several times. The same snowmobile took the person I replaced home.
Sometimes our kids will ride a snowmobile to school if their road is especially bad.

MissAusten's avatar

At every job I’ve had, we were expected to put our best effort into getting to work. Car doors frozen shut, roads covered with ice, blizzard, whatever. You set your alarm extra early so you have time to deal with the weather and the bad roads.

My husband works for himself and doesn’t get paid if he takes a day off. He gets his ass up early when the weather is bad. Today he had to scrape a thick layer of ice off his truck, leave super early, pull over because one of his windshield wipers broke, stop to buy a new one,stand in the sleet to put the new one on his truck, and still got to his client’s house when he said he would. I’m not that good. I was always late when I had to drive in bad weather, no matter how much time I gave myself!

Seelix's avatar

I’ve had to dig my car out of feet of snow to get myself to work more times than I can count. I’ve had to call friends to help me physically push my car out of parking lots. I’ve had to scrape a half-inch of ice off my car on a day where I couldn’t even stand in the parking lot for the ice. I’ve had to dig my car out of a snowbank because the plow went by and buried it almost up to the roof.

Snow tires and patience – that’s all you can do.

KatawaGrey's avatar

How do you define “important job”? I work in a mall and if the mall is open, I have to show up. Believe it or not, during these huge snow storms, a lot of people still show up to the mall. During our last big round of storms, my manager would try and give people the time off but for the most part, we have to show up, no matter what. Even the managers, who have sick and vacation days, can’t really use them unless they are dying.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KatawaGrey I have to agree with your what defines important statement. I was up to Lake Placid and a storm had closed the roads and one of the workers at the hotel had got stopped by the police for driving on the roads when they were closed. She said she told the police you know where I work , and they let her go. She had guests to take care of.

JLeslie's avatar

Any job that deals with the public is deemed as a job that people can’t just call in and take a day off in my book. There needs to be coverage. Mall, hospital, home health care, hotels, and more. People who sit behind a desk, and can just get to the work tomorrow, or reschedule meetings, is very different than having to be somewhere in front of another person.

Ice is a killer. It is almost impossible to drive on ice, and this is why the south has so much more trouble than the north, besides being less experienced driving in wintery conditions. The south hovers around the freezing mark all too often, above and below, so snow is very heavy and wet, and things melt in the days time, and freeze to sheet of ice during nightime hours. Not to mention almost nobody has snow tires on their vehicles. Northern cities frequently have below freezing for extended periods, the snow is more powdery and dry.

Four wheel and front wheel drive, and being more inches above the road, help get through deeper snow, but it does not help stopping, and braking is the biggest safety hazard in winter conditions. Another thing southerners seem to not grasp. Too many people I know talk about driving through the snow, when the real deal is driving slowly, and keeping your distance from other cars, and using your brakes as little as possible. Being familiar with your ABS brakes and how they function, or pumping your brakes when you need to use them.

So, my answer is, if you have to go to work, you give yourself plenty of time to get to work, stay on the beaten path, as few back roads as possible, keep a bag of kitty litter or salt in your trunk if you are worried about getting stuck on ice and having no traction. Along with keeping a blanket in case God forbid, you have to wait for someone to pick you up if you get stuck.

YARNLADY's avatar

My husband can do his work from home, so it doesn’t really matter if he can get to the office or not. He is on call 24/7 to fix computer glitches and security issues.

Once we were at Yellowstone National Park, driving through the meadows in the middle of pristine nature and beauty, when he got trouble shooting call on his blackberry. While the rest of us walked about and enjoyed nature, he solved a computer problem 1000 miles away.

missingbite's avatar

@YARNLADY Sometimes I envy people who are able to do that until I remember that I would go broke because I procrastinate so much I would never get any work done.

johnnyc299's avatar

How does the man who drives the snow plough get to work ? My Dad does this and he has to drive to pick up the snow plough.

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