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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
cantbesilent
Jan. 28th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
I've heard that about places like Chicago and other parts of the midwest. Kinda blows my mind. Its like that in this area of the country. Thing is, when they don't cancel school everyone gets super pissed at the administration because tons of people get in car accidents trying to get to school and all this stuff. People around here aren't as use to extreme weather, this is the first snow of the year!
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
In Chicago we salt and salt often. A mayor lost an election over snow removal. So there is no excuse for not getting to work.

In my office if you call in because you can't make it to work on days like this, you get teased and called a wimp.

But really I think its more the amount of snow that throws your city that amuses (and annoys) us. An inch and its almost panic mode. An inch here and its no big deal.

When our office first got email in the mid-90's, company emails would go out about the DC office closing early/being closed all the time. They finally had to do a separate distribution list because all the Chicago folks were pissed. The Chicago office NEVER closed.
marymary
Jan. 28th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, baby.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I knew you would enjoy and appreciate that one.
flippet
Jan. 28th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
You know it.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
You poor folks getting the Lake effect have got to love stuff like that even more. I always feel bad about complaining about the amount that we get when I know its just way worse for you....
flippet
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Nah---we're really quite prepared for it over here. And, being rural, we don't really walk anywhere, so it's strictly whether it's driveable or not. And when the plows come out in force in the early a.m., it often is. (More's the pity. :-P )

After 2 1/2 straight months of it, though, I'm kind of done for this year. Ugh.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm with you. I have never heard so many people complaining about the winter. I think this year more people are like, "I'm over this already!".

My parents (dad and stepmom) left this morning for a month in Florida. I do not relish the phone call I'll inevitably receive on Monday or Tuesday when we are supposed to get more flurries. "I'm outside in the pool." Yeah... thanks, dad. (At least I don't have to walk their dog in negative digits this year... They took him with.)
flippet
Jan. 30th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
(At least I don't have to walk their dog in negative digits this year... They took him with.)

That's good. Because, your building doesn't allow pets, right? Having you do that is kind of unfair on a number of levels. I'm mean...I'd be all, "gee, dad, I might accidentally lose the dog in a snowbank one day--it's getting pretty deep. I'd try to find him but, you know, I make no promises."

>;-)
amycurl
Jan. 29th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Let the record show that Washington, DC public schools were open--only delayed for 2 hours.

In the county where I work, they will close school because a few years ago, a high school student was killed while trying to get to school on an icy/slushy road. It only takes one....

In places like Chicago, where the majority of the school population is located geographically close to the school, has access to decent public transportation, or can walk, it's a whole different ball of wax than when you have geographically sprawling, suburban/rural districts where none of those factors are present.

In some ways, it's like comparing apples to oranges.....

(Although, as someone who heard the audio of that press conference, I *loved* the tone of it. They were all laughing...it was great!)
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, but...

My grammar school was over a mile away and I had to walk down the middle of the street to get there on more than one occasion. And in high school I would have still had to walk either 7 blocks and take one bus or 4 blocks and take two buses. Both of which were the suburban line which meant they only came about once every 30 minutes. (Thankfully my friend's dad could take us before I got my car when I was 17.)

If I went to the Public high school it would have been worse because the closest high school was still not easy to get to. At least two different buses.

Plus, CPS has many magnet schools which means kids are bused to other areas of the city. Not the school a block away.

Several of our Suburbs have just as much sprawl. My cousin lives in a burb up north. There are several hills. Those hills become a mess during winter. I think school was canceled once for her. And it was only because cars were literally sliding down the road sideways because of the ice.
flippet
Jan. 30th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
it's a whole different ball of wax than when you have geographically sprawling, suburban/rural districts where none of those factors are present.

In some ways, it's like comparing apples to oranges.....


That is true. And I do make allowances, to an extent, for simply not owning the equipment to be able to handle the weather. It makes more of a difference here than we account for, a lot of the time.

But what makes me roll my eyes is, like comments on the story were saying, this is a place that generally gets a halfway decent snowstorm at least once a winter. It's not unheard of. But get half an inch on the ground, and people are looking up like 'what is this strange white stuff falling from the sky? I must consult the oracle for instructions on what to do!'
watson1
Jan. 29th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
Amy got it right.

Although I will add one more thing -- DC, Maryland, VA, NC etc. rarely get snow/ice so they don't waste a bunch of money buying plows, salt, etc. There's no point in buying all that crap if you only need once or twice a year.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
I mentioned earlier it just amazes me the amount that throws the town into a tizzy. They had to split the DC/Chgo email distribution lists for weather because too many in the Chicago office were getting sick of the messages about the DC Office closing early/or just closed. Our office NEVER closed early back then.

Its like everyone saying Obama was nuts when he told Al Rooker it was warm on Inauguration day. 25-30 degrees in January is warm for anyone used to living in Chicago.
aunt_deen
Jan. 29th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
The Chicago Public Schools never close. Never.

My school district closed for two days a couple of weeks ago when it was considerably below zero because the school buses, which run on diesel, wouldn't start. But if the buses will run, the school is open.

CPS sort of expects to have massive absences on days like that. But for a lot of kids, school is the place where they get warm and get fed each day, so they remain open at all costs.

Still, I do love hearing of a Chicagoan amazed at the wimpiness of the rest of the world.
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
I went to Catholic schools all through. We were never closed. Never. People would show up late, but we always had school.

Still, I do love hearing of a Chicagoan amazed at the wimpiness of the rest of the world.
THAT was my favorite part. I'm looking forward to more of this.

Its going to be fun having a President from a big city... and our big city.
kirjava
Jan. 29th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
In Michigan it used to depend on if there was enough time between the beginning of snowfall and the opening of school to salt all the roads. If they could get salt down, you had school. If they knew that 2 feet of snow was going to dump down at exactly 5 am, they might consider canceling.

When's he going to start complaining about the lack of Illinois maple syrup?
marymary
Jan. 29th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
Wow, such a serious discussion of the topic! :-)

If we're going that way, my two cents is that it's a little of both. There are good reasons for the differences === weather, geography, finance, etc. And it is also true that Chicagoans and others in the midwest are unfazed by harsh weather in a way that people in other areas just aren't.

Just like I wouldn't last a week in Florida. 8-)

gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
Just like I wouldn't last a week in Florida. 8-)
My friend who now lives in AZ came home for Thanksgiving several years ago and said something like "I don't know how you people live like this" because we had a bad cold snap at the time.

I felt the same way when I had to go to Phoenix in August for a week.

Dry heat my ass. It was HOT. I was melting.
aunt_deen
Jan. 29th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
So with you on the Florida thing.

And of course, I'm sure there are quite a few Canadians who scoff at the Chicago folk when we complain about sixteen inches of snow or temperatures of ten below. :)
gatsbyfan
Jan. 30th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
So true. But you do have to admit that its sad that often times the weather here is much, much colder than it is in Alaska.

That's just wrong.
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