The Snow Comes Down And The Writing Goes Up

, , , , , , | Working | July 14, 2018

I was working overnight shift at a 24-hour call center. My typical commute was about 25 minutes. About an hour and a half before my usual departure time, we were hit with an unexpected, terrible ice storm, making the roads nearly impassable and disabling traffic signals. Knowing that if I was to arrive at work anywhere near on time, I was going to have to leave extra early, I set out. The main roads were practically standstill so I took back roads as much as possible, but even with such an early start I was late arriving. While I was driving, it was announced on the news that the city was in a state of emergency and, unless it was imperative that a person needed to drive, it was advised to stay off the roads. I was already halfway there, so it would have been just as bad to turn back. Although I’d called on the way to advise on the conditions and my slow progress, and only a few of us who were scheduled that night were able to make it in, all of us late, we were all written up the following day for being tardy, or for not showing up. We collectively filed a grievance.

About a week later we were informed that the write-ups were to be removed from our files. It seems the HR review determined that since it took the day shift workers hours to get home, they could not have expected us to be able to make the drive any faster to work, and they were wrong to require that we be there at all when the city was shut down, as we were not considered critical employees. Each of us who did show up that night actually ended up with a commendation and small bonus!

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