All logic seems to go out the window as soon as a meteorologist makes the slightest mention of snow on day 9 of the 10 day forecast. Despite having lived in snow covered areas for their entire life, human nature dictates complete hysteria among the population of the areas affected. There are only a few ways to survive this natural disaster brought on by a light granular precipitation not unlike powdered sugar:
1) Do risk your career to work in your sweatpants from home.
In the mid-nineties it didn’t get much better for pre-pubescent you than waking up at 6:30 AM to watch the bottom of the local news station for the scrolling school cancellations. The only thing better than seeing “Closed” next your respective educational institutions name was mom having restocked the pizza Lunchables. Some things have changed over the past 15 years. But your affinity for shitty pizza and excited anticipation induced by the slightest chance of snowfall hasn’t. You’ll barely be able to sleep with the expectation of the 4:30 AM Blackberry buzz indicating an email regarding your offices status looming.
The storms that warrant only an “office is open, but use your best judgment” email will spark a violent flurry of early morning emails with coworkers. Subject line only proclamations and questions will back up your Outlook:
ARE YOU GOING IN?
Why isn’t [INSERT INCONSIDERATE MANAGERS NAME HERE] getting back to us?
One coworker who didn’t participate in senior skip day in high school will inevitably decide to break the unwritten entry level rule of riding and dying together by going into the office. After the first domino falls, the people still worried about their latest sexual harassment slap on the wrist or recently having “dropped the ball” will be quick to fall in line. This is the point where boys become men. You must choose between mindlessly following these brown-nosers or grabbing your god given corporate right by the horns and embracing the anxiety that comes with being the only one of your colleagues to be “working from home”.
2) Do blame people that cannot control the weather.
Maybe it’s the brain contraction from the high pressure system that moved in, but snow storms suddenly become an act of chemical warfare drawn up by local mayors and government officials in their evil laboratories. Drawing the ire of the masses isn’t the only problem of this lowly public servant. The fodder of mind numbing questions from local reporters must be enough to drive a man insane. Stupidity well beyond the pay grade of this local ruler forces him to use his best manners to answer a question about the ratio of salt to sand used in the road treatment and about what number to call in case of emergency.
If mayors are the mastermind of these precipitation induced acts of terror, weathermen are their pesky henchmen. Meteorological training didn’t prepare these nerds who were too inept to pursue a useful science for the monotony of standing in the snow for 6 hours holding a ruler to show the progression of the storm of the century real time. Invariably, local weathermen must fill up 18 hours of coverage making the storm into a relevant topic and being the pariah of their community when their forecast strays by an inch or two.
3) Do freak the fuck out.
To perpetuate this fear mongering, interns at the aforementioned news stations must create panic inducing names for these storms. Keeping with the popular motif of end of the world and zombie apocalypse, names such as Snowpacolypse and Snowmaggedon become popular hashtags used among millennials building phallic snow statues. And they say we aren’t the greatest generation.
Fear of these natural disasters spark scenes from Tokyo during a visit from Godzilla at your local supermarket. Like post Katrina New Orleans, people loot stores and hoard necessities such as bread, batteries, water and firewood. As if there is a direct correlation between the likelihood of survival and the amount of bread purchased, all white people forget about their gluten allergies and carb restrictions in lieu of Wonder Bread and bagels. Other necessities include excessive candles that will leave your apartment looking like a Yankee Candle outlet and smelling like Bed, Bath and Beyond in preparation of the unlikely scenario that a light, cotton ball-esque material rips down power lines. The only real fear you should have of losing a power during snow storms is dying of boredom or killing one of your relatives over cheating at a board game. Short of a disaster where a team made up of Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck need to save our planet it’s probably not necessary to fill your bathtub with water or wait in a line for 6 hours for gas.
4) Do drink excessively.
Who cares if its a Monday afternoon? #blizzardbrews
5) Do talk about the weather.
Straying from the common social protocol that only people over 40 talk about the weather, all rules go out the window when a winter storm is approaching. What once would be a dating faux pas is par for the course as discussions about snow fuel the libido. The news outlets breed the fear of the impending doom and we foster it with our lucid exaggerations. The time before the storm is reserved for letting everyone know what your exact forecast is. Timely updates in the form of loud proclamations for the entire office to hear are appreciated by your coworkers. Post storm, the name of the game is exaggerating the storms devastation of your neck of the woods. Like a dick measuring contest these are mostly lies and almost always over inflated even by the most honest people. If Jan from accounting got 2 feet, you got 3. If Phil’s house lost power, yours burst into flames.
If you’re unlucky enough to live in the Northeast, enjoy your day off, especially the Price is Right, the Ramen noodles you’re forced to eat since you didn’t go to the store, and the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder.