snow business

Well, it was about the worst possible outcome for me personally. All the local schools are closed. The federal government, however, rather than closing has opened with “unscheduled leave,” which means that you’re supposed to come to work but if you don’t think you can make it you can take leave without having it pre-approved. When the schools are closed, though, many of my co-workers who are parents end up staying home, and I end up often being one of a skeleton crew here.

At 6:00 this morning, one of my staff called me at home to tell me she couldn’t come in. She called back around 7:15 to say that she’d talked to the lab manager, who also wouldn’t be able to come in. So I had to throw on some clothes and rush in to work to open the labs–the executive director gets upset if they’re not open precisely on time at 7:30–and then go back home to shave, change into my suit and take Jeff to the metro before coming back to the office.

I’m back, and the deluge of calls from co-workers saying they won’t be coming in has finally subsided. What makes it even worse today than the fact that practically everyone has called in to say that they’re not coming is that there’s a big event scheduled here this morning with the assistant secretary and some Hill staff. My boss and I have to do a tour and lab demonstration for them, but since none of the lab staff are here I now have to do all the setup and preparation alone, handle any customer issues all day, as well as staff the phones in the main office since neither of our administrative assistants showed up and my peers always conveniently manage to find reasons to be out of the office when that happens, rarely taking their turn on the phones. My boss–who is willing to take a turn on the phones–did arrive, so at least I don’t have to do the tour on my own.

And the Washington Post headline at the moment is “Storm Blankets D.C. Area, But Worst Yet to Come,” noting that while the snow is mostly over there will be ice and sleet falling throughout the day, continuing to make the roads slick and dangerous. I saw several cars in ditches already–before the icing had begun–just on the mile from my condo to the office, and that was on two main roads.

So your tax dollars are at work; at least, the portion you pay for my salary is.