Hate to sound like an old dude… whatever, I am an old dude. Or I’m not a young dude. I’m old enough to get frustrated with “these kids today.” And I’m not actually talking about kids; I’m talking about adults. The ones who are younger than me. The ones who are starting to be in charge of everything.
At seven o’clock this evening, the school called with a delayed opening for my two children. School starts two hours late tomorrow. You’re thinking: “Huh, I guess you got some snow.” Well we didn’t. Not yet. And the forecast is looking kind of iffy.
Am I qualified to forecast weather? Yes, I am. Thirty-five years ago, I spent a few months working for the National Weather Service (as a finance manager). I’ve been a monster weather forecaster ever since.
When I was a kid…
This is where I go on and on about walking a mile through the snow uphill to get to school. Well I did. A mile. Uphill. An actual snowstorm was required to cancel school. I clearly remember a night out with a friend in high school. The snow was coming down hard, hard enough for us to go sledding. But it was a school night, so we kept an eye on the time. Getting out of school wasn’t a done deal.
Today, the news reported that the mayor of Moscow closed its schools for a snowstorm. This is the only time in memory this has happened. The Muscovites are disgusted (well, not the kids). The adults, probably the adults the same age as me, they think their kids are getting soft.
But it’s not the kids, it’s the mayor. OK, I understand that Moscow got a record-breaking snowstorm, but this is the first time in history!
I used to work as a senior manager at the Y. For those of you who live in other countries and don’t know what I’m talking about, the Y is a community center with a fitness facility, a pool, and a child care. At the Y, every time school was cancelled for questionable weather, all the fitness instructors would call in and cancel their classes. Many times, like tonight, school was closed on the threat of snow. Countless times, no storm arrived. The next day I’d be at work on a beautiful, sunny, thirty-eight-degree day and all the classes would be cancelled. The members would walk around with an annoyed look on their faces.
Each time this happened, I’d make all the same arguments: people pay to come here, if instructors don’t want to teach their classes, they should find a new job; the people at the grocery store all showed up for work. My co-workers would just shake their heads and roll their eyes at my rant.
But here’s the thing. Like my old-dude friends in Moscow, I know that we’re sending a message to our children. We’re telling them that it’s OK to be irresponsible. If you can find an excuse, grab it. Take a day off. It doesn’t matter if someone is relying on you.