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Weathering A Boss Like This Is A Challenge

, , , , | Working | April 24, 2023

I have another story from That Library In Ohio, where this story and this story happened, among others.

It’s a frigid winter day, and we are in the middle of getting hammered by a blizzard. I get up early and attempt to shovel my driveway. The snow is about two feet deep at this point, and it takes three shovelfuls of snow just to clear a one-foot-by-one-foot square to the concrete. I constantly check my phone while I work, figuring it’s only a matter of time before the library closes due to the weather. Every single local school in the area has long since closed; some did last night.

Instead, I (and the rest of the library staff) get an email from our director. 

Director: “I just drove into work, and I was able to do it fine. Since I could do it, you can all do it. The library will remain open so the children have a place to go today. I expect everyone to arrive promptly for their shifts.”

I let out some very library-inappropriate language. There was a travel advisory out for the whole county. Plus, I had just reached the end of my driveway. The plows hadn’t even been down my road ONCE. There were two feet of snow down the entire residential street until the main road. No one else had attempted to drive it; there was not a single tire tread to be seen. And more snow is falling by the moment.

Maybe it was possible for [Director] to get to work. She had a massive SUV beast of a machine with four-wheel drive. The vast majority of the rest of us, me included, drove little sedans. It was about all we could afford. You don’t get rich working at a library — unless you’re a director.

At this point, I just propped my shovel against the siding, took a picture of my street, and contacted my immediate boss. I told her it was literally impossible for me to leave my residence right now. The snow in the road was EVEN WITH MY CAR DOOR. Even if I had left right then, between the roads and likely getting stranded, I never would have made it in time for my shift. 

(It’s worth mentioning that [Director] was also the type of boss who would write us up for being one single second late clocking in. She made it so difficult that I have multiple accounts from coworkers who realized they were going to be late while en route to their shift and simply turned around, went home, and called off sick because there was less backlash for doing so.)

This might be the only time my immediate boss supported my decision. But perhaps she knew I would have contacted the union over safety issues had she tried to force me to come in.

I wasn’t the only one. [Director]’s inbox was immediately flooded with messages from my coworkers who were in similar situations to mine and simply could not physically get to the library at all. [Director] wound up having to close for the day, not because of the weather (her words) but because she didn’t have enough staff to open the building.

Moving On To Greeter Things
Look Up Some Books On Work/Life Balance

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