recite-tdhrljI have complained non-stop about the snow. This winter has been a beast. And based on what I see on Facebook, your kids are driving you crazy.

But we barely suffer. When the weather is horrible, there are real consequences for American families.

Snow days amplify food insecurity. Some kids only eat when they go to school. Some people work in the restaurant industry and only eat when they go to work. People are going hungry, and it’s unfair and unnecessary.

Snow days hit the bottom line for many American families. Nobody is saving any cash, and if you earn an hourly wage, the weather has a big impact on your budget.

Snow days hurt people across the economic spectrum. There are working professionals — psychologists, health care workers, retail workers, restaurant owners, service providers — who don’t get paid if they don’t work. There is no such thing as a snow day when you don’t earn a salary.

I see this playing out in my own life. My dearest friend in the world is a dental hygienist. She has an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, worked in human resources for many years, and went back to school because she would rather scrape the shit off someone’s teeth than go through another open enrollment.

(That’s her quote.)

My friend has 6+ years of post-secondary education and certification training. She is licensed, board-certified, and constantly investing to become a better healthcare professional.

But snow days are her enemy. If she doesn’t work, she doesn’t get paid. While she is not living paycheck to paycheck, plenty of middle-class families are one disaster away from being bankrupt.

So I’ve been doing my part by listening to my friends who compain about weather and not brushing off those remarks. I’ve made donations to food banks. I am heavily tipping the hourly workers who make it to work at restaurants and coffee shops.

I’m also going out of my way to thank everyone who shows up and does a good job despite transportation issues, daycare schedules, and all the crazy stuff that happens when the infrastructure shuts down.

Those workers matter, and I’m sorry about all this snow.


  1. Luv your post Laurie. What a great perspective. We do complain about the snow. But forget that we’re so blessed – the weather does not impact our living as it does to many, many people around us. What is barely uncomfortable to us, it is the difference between eating and not eating for a lot of people. Kudos to you for doing your part of thanking and extra tips! & thanks for bringing this perspective to all who read this post.

  2. I have tried hard not to complain, because in Ohio, winter is what winter is. This year winter has been brutal, though. My utility bills are off the charts despite living in a pretty well insulated home, and doing some adjunct teaching in public schools, I don’t get paid if I don’t work. The bills go up despite the income going down. Sheesh.

    I am hardy, and despite the ends never quite meeting, I always make it through somehow. The low gasoline prices have been a godsend, so there’s that.

    What irks me is the conservative bloviators who seem to think that people who don’t have deep wealth are lazy. Many entrepreneurs like myself who make sacrifices in order to position themselves for making a future impact on the world are anything but lazy.

    I don’t need food from the food bank (yet) and I don’t rely on extra tips. I, as do many, many others, simply want respect for doing our part to make the world keep turning. Your post gave me a little of that. Thanks. 🙂

  3. Thanks Laurie for accurately painting reality for so many people. And I will follow your lead and tip just a little more and make (yet another) donation to the local food bank.

    I work for a company with a generous time off policy. And we even paid people one of the days when no-one could drive to work on the icy TN roads. But not everyone’s is that lucky.

Comments are closed.