We got snow last night here, around 6-8 inches. Strong winds meant it drifted in places. The plows had been out during the night and the main roads were snow-covered but drivable. Buses were running (buses are almost always running, in my experience). Still only 7 out of 16 of us came to work. 5 of the 7 that turned up were over 40. 7 of the 9 that didn’t turn up were 25 or under.
Now this is not going to turn into a rant about ‘kids today’. Instead it makes me wonder why I felt I had to turn up at work at all. Why did I drag myself out of the house, just so we had one more bum in a seat? I’m not a surgeon. I’m not president of the World Bank. I could have checked my email from home, and nothing I do could not have been put off til tomorrow. (In fact, since practically no one else was in there was a lot I couldn’t do, since it depended on input from other people. On the other hand what I was able to do got done in blissful silence, which was nice.) Also, beyond general sloth, I had no real excuse to stay home; I don’t live that far and I don’t have kids. I suppose it will count in my favour in some small undefinable way in the back of the boss’ mind, but I doubt NOT turning up on a snow day will count against my colleagues who stayed home. But clearly none of my younger colleagues were bothered my any of my ethical quandries, and really, part of me asks ‘Who can blame them?’. In this day and age, when employees are just so much detritus in a company’s bottom line, why do workers put themselves out for their employers? As companies try and get by with fewer and fewer employees, and as people are gradually replaced by technology, we are very close to having to change the paradigm of employment altogether. We’re essentially going to have to change our relationship with work as a ‘thing’.