Closed due to winter weather

That makes me laugh. Grateful for the day off, but once again, there will be fallout since the decision to close our offices was made before midnight last night. It’s almost 10 am, and the weather outside is still below freezing, but the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising. Prolly would have made more sense to have a delayed opening, but hey! Like I said, I’m grateful for the day off!

The winter weather nationwide, and the blizzards in Boston and the Northeast have brought me a new awareness of the costs of these closures, though. With the company I work for, I love these closures. I get paid because it’s not my fault that I’m directed not to go to work.

But one of the articles I read about the economic effects of the Boston blizzards opened my eyes to another view of what gets hit hard when the weather is harsh. Beyond the obvious impacts of the cost of emergency response, of sand trucks, of power outages, and of the dangers and discomforts of not having enough heat, food, or water, the article talked about the devastation it brought to folks who depend on an hourly wage to survive. The fact that when these folks couldn’t get to their jobs, or if their workplace didn’t open, it wasn’t just a day off. One quote I read sank in: “There will be a lot of foreclosures in these neighborhoods.”

Yesterday evening, I was checking out at the grocery store. At work, we’d had conversations about the potential for a delayed opening, and of course, the weather was the topic of moment everywhere. The clerk and I were talking about the cold front moving in. Could be ice and shut downs, I remarked. Oh she hoped not! And I quipped back that a delayed opening, just a couple of hours, would be fine with me.

It wasn’t until I was unpacking my groceries at home that it struck me that she was probably paid by the hour for the time she attended work. If she couldn’t get to work, she wouldn’t get paid. I was happily looking forward to the possibility of having a little more time in the morning to do what I wanted, an extra cup of coffee with the Widget, writing a little and catching up on classwork.

She, on the other hand, might have been thinking about what bills could be delayed, or how to cut back on her own grocery bills.

Mindfulness. It pops up when I least expect it. And every time, new understanding.

I'm listening

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