DC Area versus Precipitation or How I Got Out of Work Early

The gray sky hovered ominously over the city, threatening precipitation at any moment. The frigid 40 degrees could make it even worse… schools began closing and government workers were given liberal leave.

The heavens were threatening to open up… and dump 1-3 inches that could possibly stick in grassy areas.

Woe is me!

While I thought all of this was silly, I did take liberal leave. For those not employed by Dear Old Uncle Sam, that means you can utilize annual leave without prior permission from your supervisor. This is mostly intended for when weather outside of the city is bad, like in western Maryland and VA where thar be mountains. The roads ice up before the city but this way people out that way don’t have to endanger themselves. It is also for those with children that have no school because the weather forced them shut… or scared them shut.

Now. Do I have children? No. Do I live in the mountains where treacherous roads abound? Nope. Do I like getting off work early by just burning a couple hours of leave? YES.

The best part was that the most ambitious reports were that we would get 3 inches. And even those reports said that it would most likely be rain around the district with possible snow north and west. Yet, while driving home there were snow plows aplenty, parked on the side of the road just waiting to wage war on any snowflake that dared show its face.

I was amused.

Although I do appreciate the pre-salting of the roads since the roads might freeze up overnight without it. Yes, I can see the logic in that move.

This year has been relatively winter free, so I guess they wanted to practice? I also remember last year when we were blindsided by a freak storm. They let people off early, but it was too late. As the masses hit the un-salted roads, it was a disaster. People were stuck in the snow and abandoning their cars everywhere. Yes, abandoning them. On the highway. I am not sure where they walked to, but they did. It was very post-apocolyptic-zombie-film looking, especially once the snow was cleared and the cars were still all over. But, if I recall, we were expecting a little more than just 1-3 inches that day and it had been cold enough that snow could stick to road surfaces.

Better safe than sorry? I guess.

The major difference for me this winter? I am no longer considered “essential personnel.” Last year when the roads were a winter wonderland, I had to make it into work for a night shift. Took just over 4 hours of careful driving to get 30 miles. Now? Liberal leave? Snow days? I totally get them.

And just because Old Man Winter is not cooperating so that I can use them is no reason to ignore a Get out of Work (mostly) Free card.


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