Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Snow Week 2022

 It's been a winter wonderland this week in the Dallas area.

No, wait, it's been a nasty, dreary, sleet-lashed week in the Dallas area.

Right on schedule, after a relatively mild season with just a few cold snaps and a handful of flurries, the hellscape that is Texas winter arrived just as January slid into February. For the last three days, we've had wave after wave of icy sleet and temperatures that refuse to climb out of the 20s. And not so much a break in the clouds to provide a glimpse of the sun.

This means that the roads around here have been nigh impassable. Schools have been closed, and the local police are all over social media begging us to stay off the roads if we don't have to drive so they can come to the aid of those who do.

Sidebar: As always, a huge thanks to the medical personnel, first responders, and sand-truck drivers who show up, no matter what.

I cannot express the degree to which you rock.

Fortunately, this has not been like Snowmageddon 2021, when Texas experienced a week of record cold, record snowfall, and record power outages that tragically cost the lives of more than 200 people. While there have been casualties and outages, which are unfortunately common in a state as chronically unprepared for winter as Texas, for the most part this week's icefall has been just...annoying. 

Every day this week it's sleeted, a lot. Sleet is very different from freezing rain. This is what the weather people tell me, but damned if I can figure out how. It's all frozen water falling from the sky and onto the surfaces I need to drive upon to get to work. Every day it's stopped briefly and teased us by beginning to melt, just enough to turn everything into slush, which then promptly hardens into a slippery sheet cake overnight.

Because it's frosted. Get it? Huh?

Anyway, it's the 21st century, so I can work from home at times like these. To be sure, there are parts of my job that require me to be in the office 90% of the time. But nobody has been there all week to ask me to do those things, so I've felt no guilt about not being glued to my desk, holding down the fort while everyone else does WFH. That part has been pretty cool.

Also very cool: My company, or at least my branch of it, doesn't have those bullshit rules that say you have to have your webcam on all day while you work. The dudes who run this company (and yeah, it's an engineering firm, it's def run by dudes) actually put some fairly strict rules in place when they instituted WFH during the pandemic, but a) they didn't stoop to voyeurism, and b) most people ignore them anyway.

Rules are how you end up with the potato filter, people.

So this week I've been rolling out of bed and logging in to work in my jammies. My "professional work space" has consisted of me laying on my side on the couch, with the Siamese Kitten snuggled between me and my laptop while I type away. It's possible that at least one breakfast consisted of finishing the drink I'd poured myself the night before. It's a blur, sir.

But I've been really productive, surprisingly. On the other hand, I've been kind of lonely, despite the presence of Cat 1 and Cat 2. I don't mind having to go into the office all the time because, my generally curmudgeonly personality notwithstanding, I like having people around. You know, in small, controlled groups whom I already know and over whom I have a degree of authority. But still. It's been just me and emails for three days, and I'm ready for my limited, awkward brand of camaraderie again.

Hey look, it's just started to sleet again. Or maybe it's frozen rain. Whichever. The temperature is supposed to creep above freezing at some point tomorrow. But there's an excellent chance that this will all be ice again when I wake up in the morning. So I may be in for one final day of working from home. I'm not going to risk my crappy nine-year-old hatchback on the possibility that the roads will be OK.

Wherever you're working from this week (or not), stay warm, stay safe, and stay away from the webcam.

1 comment:

  1. Earlier this week when I was doing my obligatory day in the office I talked to a coworker (still masked and six feet apart) who said, "What are we doing here that we can't do at home?" And I realized that a face-to-face conversation was one thing we couldn't do working from home and I kind of miss those. Not all of them, but generally.
    Also I've heard "freezing rain" described as, well, rain that freezes when it hits the ground, unlike sleet which is always frozen. So it's the difference between putting a cube tray of water in your freezer and using an ice maker.
    Either way I'm glad you're not having another Snowmageddon and the first responders keep on rocking.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.