Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snow Days

The reality is of course that most people who work don't really want to do it - that's why we get paid to be there. However, society demands that we all pretend otherwise. Normally, we can all chunter along fine, like a bad marriage, gritting our teeth, ignoring the obvious, going on nights out, occasionally having sex...and then it snows and we all stop pretending.

Personally, I think it's quite straightforward; it generally snows in winter when it's dark and cold, and like many other animals at this time of year, we should be hibernating - why would we want to work? In the dusty unused neural centres of our primitive consciousness, part of us knows it's wrong. I'm winging it though, I can't really find any scientific basis for that theory, other than this.

So its winter, we're cold and tired, we would rather be asleep, little wonder then that from the moment the first moment we see a snowflake, we're collectively working out how this can get us an early finish or a whole day off. At first, it always seems so promising; a blizzard, roads are impassable, no grit...it's a whiteout...there is no way we can make it out in that. Then the snow thins, cars drive up the road, gritters and ploughs gradually turn up....but by then it's too late, because in our heads we've already decided we can't get to work...so we're not going. Now though, we have to excuse it to ourselves, we scour weather websites - "there's more snow on the way"...in a different part of the country but y'know. Or maybe our part of the town hasn't been gritted, it's a sidestreet - "they never come down here its a disgrace, what do I pay my council tax for" etc.

However, there is at least an honesty in this, a quiet dignity. Worse are those who struggle into work and then spend all day not working, looking out the window worrying if it's going to snow again and checking the ambient temperature of the building to see if it's legal to be there. Just stay at home. You are lying to yourself and your dishonesty soils us all.

Or perhaps you are at the other end of the scale, and when the Met Office warns us that we should only drive if we really need to, we assume that excludes us. Most of us don't want to face the crushing truth that our jobs really aren't all that important. Snow can challenge your sense of self worth. "Got to get in...if I don't, people will realise I'm largely unnecessary."

In the cold white light of the snow, we are all of us revealed and found sadly lacking.

Still...snowball fight!