I 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.