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Obama and the Art of Calling a Snow Day at Work (IF You're in Charge)...

As I've stated before, I'm a moderate Republican.  The new budget scares me to death, because I'd probably be a Libertarian (less government, but heavy on constitutional and personal rights), but the fact that most of those guys seem to look like the unibomber or Joaquin Phoenix in rap mode tends to make me look elsewhere.

Still, Obama keeps me interested and I'm hoping he plays it centrist, usually by taking in a NBA game in White house snow  casual clothes or by complaining that people need to suck it up on snow days.

That's right.  Obama speaks the truth when it comes to snow days.  Of course, he sounds like a Midwesterner when he rips a gripe like this one reported by SwampPolitics:

"President Barack Obama, who voiced his wintry discontent the day that his daughters' school in Washington closed "because of what... some ice?'' may have to hold down his objections today.

"School is closed,'' the Web-site at Sidwell Friends this morning advises parents, as three to four inches of snow have accumulated on the ground throughout Washington and more is on the way.

The last time this happened at the separate campuses of the private school that Obama daughters Malia and Sasha attend, Obama couldn't hold back: "Can I make a comment that is unrelated to the economy, very quickly?" Obama asked at the White House, amid comments about the economic crisis gripping the nation. "It has to do with Washington. My children's school was canceled today because of what?

"Some ice?" Obama sniffed.

Back home, they said, schools never close for this. It has been more than a decade since Chicago Public Schools canceled classes due to winter weather -- Jan. 4-5, 1999, according to the district, after heavy snow, followed by an ice storm."

Of course, President Obama doesn't have to worry about employees getting into car wrecks if he fails to call a snow day.  He's the president, you're not.  So, you and I have to play it cool and decide whether to shut down the office, and guess what?  When it snows, EVERYONE has a special situation.  The car with bald tires. The school that's shut down and the kids are at home. The slightly angled driveway that suddenly looks like a glacier. 

If they try to get in and wreck, you're the bad guy/gal.

So, play it safe and communicate the following if the office is going to be open.  "The office is open, but we understand you may have a special situation.  With that in mind, if you can't make it to work, we'll allow you to use any type of banked time, including sick time, to cover the hours you're out and ensure you still get paid.  If you don't have time available in any of your banks, we'll allow you take hours off without pay with no penalty.  Be safe and make the right choice for you." (assumes telecommuting is not a viable option for employees in question...)

See what happens regarding attendance.  Most will be there, but you've put the decision on them.

Or just tell them that Obama told them to suck it up. 


Tim Sackett

I would say "Suck it up!" - coming from a guy who has worked in multiple parts of the country (but currently frozen in Michigan) I remember a time when I was in Omaha and the company execs made the call to send everyone home because a "BIG" snowstorm was coming, the kid's school called off school the next day - all before one flake fell. The next day no snow! Don't be standing next to the time clock on a bad day - be understanding some might be late - but were adults get in your over sized 4 wheel drive 23 passenger SUV and get to work! Please.

Louise Fletcher

Years ago I moved here from Canada. Just after we arrived in Connecticut, we had 11 inches of snow one day. We dug ourselves out and I got to work only to find there was only one other employee there - the company President who had also lived in Canada!

Now that I work from home, I have it a little easier on snow days. That commute from my bedroom to my office does get a little slippy though.

Kim Bailey

I agree with the post and unless our facility can't open, that is what we do. There are some times when you can't give employees a choice, however. My father retired after nearly 50 years at the Federal Reserve Bank. If snow/ice was forcast, they brought out the cots and there they stayed. They simply couldn't say the bank was unable to open. Same is true for hospital and many emergency workers. So, extra pay for those folks is in order, if you ask me.

Joel Kimball

There's no crying in baseball, and there are no snow days in work. If you legitimately can't get here, we'll work something out. But don't be weak. Yes, I've lived in the Midwest US all my life, and played in a band in Toronto for 20...if I can make the 5 hour trip to get to band practice (try the 401 during a storm sometime - Ontario's not so in to salt as we are), you can at least attempt to come to work.

If you live down south and have unusually bad weather once a decade, I understand that your response may be different...:)

Hayli @ RiseSmart

I agree with Joel in that I live down south, get one snow day a year, and my response IS different! :) Milk, bread, Katie bar the door.

Meg Bear

this is where there is an upside to a global "work remote" policy. You can allow people to stay home and still expect a full days work from them.

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