I was born and raised in NE Ohio, so I know all the tricks and techniques to driving in snow. However, I’m also smart enough to know that there are absolutely no techniques to driving on ice, and I’m not one of those cocky Northerners who claims to have such an unrealistic talent. I don’t care if you have a 4×4 (that really makes no difference on ice) or how slowly you go, a sheet of ice is a sheet of ice and it’s incredibly dangerous to attempt to drive on one.
North Carolina had one of the worst winter storms I’ve seen here over the last couple days. It started out just snowing, which is fine, but then it warmed up slightly, hovered around freezing, and dropped a bunch of freezing rain that resulted in the local roads turning into multi-lane skating rinks. We don’t have the infrastructure to handle large winter storms down here, so the roads remain terrible for days at a time when this happens. My apartment also happens to be in a very hilly complex, and sliding down an ice-covered hill in a Kia with the potential to slam into something at the bottom isn’t my idea of a good time. Neither is incurring thousands of dollars in medical bills a mere couple weeks before my health insurance is set to kick in.
With all these things in mind, when the owner of the delivery service I drive for emailed me the last couple days asking if I was comfortable driving in this weather, I said no. If it was just a little snow, I’d be fine, I said, but the ice makes it too dangerous to risk, and I have a family who needs me to be alive sans $20k in uninsured medical bills. Because it’s a local family-owned business and they see every one of their drivers face-to-face on a regular basis, the owners of this company chose to close down when all the drivers were not down with putting our lives at risk. Kudos to them for caring about human life!
I wish I could say the same for my husband’s job. He works for a large corporate pest control company as a technician, and his work truck is a rear wheel drive Tacoma. In case you’re unaware, a rear wheel drive pickup truck is pretty much the worst vehicle you can drive in winter weather. Yesterday, he attempted to go to work and was barely able to get his Honda through the treacherous roads, so he did the smart thing and came home. How much do you want to bet that his boss called him and bitched him out about not risking his life for the Almighty MegaCorporation? Yep. Not calling out the name of the company, but that pissed me off because I waited over 30 years to find my amazing husband and we haven’t had enough time together, so IDGAF if you lose one day of productivity. I want my husband to stay alive, and you should care about that too. I mean, you would if you were human.
I wish I could say I’ve never worked for a similar shitty corporation that didn’t give a fuck about their employees’ safety, but I have. Actually, it’s a trend in all large corporations I’ve worked for. It’s just one of those terrible profit-centric policies that ensures that every employee knows the company couldn’t care less if they live or die; it’s all about money. If you do go out in that ice storm and die in a car crash, your job will be posted on Indeed before your body is recovered from your smashed vehicle. So why do I refuse to go back to work at a large corporation again? This is why! There’s no humanity left in corporate America.
It should be clearing up today and hopefully the roads will be plowed/salted. Please stay safe if you’re out there and remember that your shitty corporate bosses are wrong: your life matters more than their profits, and your family deserves for you to be safe. People are more important than profits.