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The Weather Outside Is Frightful

January 15th, 2009

As I came in to work this morning, it was literally -10 F degrees out, with a wind chill of -33 F. My Prius, which helpfully displays a cheerful snowflake on my dash whenever the temperature approaches the freezing mark, stopped counting at about -6 and just put up the message “FUCK IT’S COLD.” Every school is closed with the exception of Parkland Community College and, of course, the University of Illinois, which makes it a point of pride that they only shut down for weather-related reasons once every twenty years.

So, here’s how things work. If you’re a kid, well then naturally you get to stay home. You’re delicate. If you’re a high schooler, you get to stay home as well. High School Musical 2 ain’t gonna watch itself. But if you’re a couple of years older, then you’d better wrap up and get walkin’, because it’s a half-mile to class and the blood in your legs will only freeze more quickly if you stand around yappin’. And if you’re a grown-up, then GET TO WORK. There’s no lolligagging at the U of I. Unless it’s been designated a “reduced service day,” when they tell you not to come in but don’t actually give you the day off. (That’s a cost-saving measure they’ve begun employing around the holidays the past few years.)

For what it’s worth, Ball State University–where I got my degree–used to do this sort of thing as well. One time, when temperatures reached a similar condition, the chancellor infamously told complaining students to “put on another muffler.” Yeah, and you can bet he had to schlep across campus, instead of arriving at his reserved parking space in his toasty luxury car.

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