Sunday, December 02, 2007

A bit of weather

Well, I nearly died on the way to work today. Several times.

It snowed overnight. By this morning there were about four inches of packed powder everywhere. I expected it, and got myself ready early so I could leave earlier than usual. Typically I get to work 15 to 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled start of my workday, so I figured I would have at least a half hour of extra travel time.

It wasn't enough.

There were three hazards on the road today: cars driving too slowly, cars driving too fast, and the snow itself. The cars driving too slowly...well, they slowed things down, and forced me to use my brakes more than I would have wanted to use in this weather, which is not at all. The cars driving too fast would zip up behind me, often while I was trying to maintain a safe following distance behind the too-slow car in front of me, and then would pass me - all while the highway had little more than a single lane of usable surface with traction, usually right down the middle. And then there were patches where the road was simply nothing but tamped-down snow. Whether this was because these were areas where the snow had fallen after the plow trucks had gone through, or whether it was because the localities responsible for maintaining these roads, or maybe the state government itself, had decided not to bother with these sections of the highway, I do not know. Such considerations faded in importance each time I felt my car sliding sideways.

You might think that a large local employer like the one I work for might have some pull with the folks who make the decisions as to where and when to send out the snowplows and salt trucks, so that perhaps employees driving in to work or home from work at shift change time could do so on safe, clear roads and highways, but you would be wrong. The roads and highways within a mile of the plant were in some of the worst condition that I had seen on my entire journey in.

But I made it. Three minutes late, but not late enough to get docked. Next time, I guess I have to leave the house even earlier.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I'm glad you're ok. Why do people drive like bigger idiots when the weather is bad?

Michelle D said...

Thank god I have 4wd!

anne said...

Glad you made it and all is well.

I have a co-worker that always tells us how many times she almost died either on the way to or home from work. Although, she's almost dying even if it's just raining. Or windy. Or sunny.

We call her the martyr.

Jennifer said...

My worst drive to work EVER happened during the infamous Valentine's Day Storm. It took me approx. 3 hours to go 18 miles from my house to the station.
Some of that time included getting stuck on the ramp from the Cross Valley to 81. I ended up on the shoulder of the road, and couldn't get off - though I burned up my clutch trying! I managed to flag down a passing tow truck and he pulled me out - for a $125 fee.
After that, I headed up 81. Just before the Pittston exit, my boss called to tell me that they were closing the interstate. So, I got off at the exit, and continued on Route 315. I eventually made it to Route 11, and finally up to the corner of Pittston Ave and Davis Street. But, I couldn't turn up Davis because a car was stuck. So, I continued on Pittston Avenue, and turned up Kane Street, and made my way back behind the post office. I got stuck once there, but someone walking by pushed me out. I finally made it to Davis Street, and one of our photogs had to give me a push there so I could go the final few yard to the TV station.
I finally got to work around 3 or 3:30 p.m. and stayed until 7 the following morning. I followed Route 11 all the way home. Then, I had to shovel out, clen up the mess from the dog, and call the handyman to come thaw out my pipes!
As bad as all that sounds, I can't help but think it could have been worse. If my boss hadn't called me to let me know about the interstate closing, I probably would have gotten stuck in that mess that didn't move for an entire day!

hedera said...

Thank God you're OK.

Thank God I live in California where we only have occasional earthquakes. And fires.