Monday, January 6, 2014

Yes, We're Open!

Our area received ten inches of snow yesterday, then the temperature started dropping. When I woke up this morning my phone said it was -8°F, the coldest it's been in a couple of decades.

It seemed like every school had cancelled classes for the day, and many of my Facebook friends who aren't teachers were reporting they had the day off, too. The mall I work at was closed yesterday; this morning I checked their website a couple of times and emailed my boss to see if he'd heard anything, but eventually I gave up and realized I'd have to go to work today.

I allowed extra time to get there and left the house at what should have been the height of rush hour. Instead, this is what traffic looked like:

Where are the cars?

It took me twice as long as usual to get to the mall because parts of the highway were snow covered and made it difficult to see the lane markers.  (Although there were no cars parallel to me in any of the other lanes, so it didn't matter.)

My strange shift started by clearing out the 18 voice mail messages from yesterday; all but one of them wanted to know if the mall was open.  When I turned the Customer Service desk lights on at 10:00 the mall was eerily quiet, and I could see several stores that were still dark.  Foot traffic picked up as the day wore on, but it was still a fraction of what it would be on a normal day.

The majority of the phone calls today were from people who wanted to know if the mall was open.  My answer was 'yes', but I'd ask them if they had a particular store in mind.   If I didn't know that store's status I'd suggest they phone there before they came.  A couple of calls were from parents who just wanted to have a place for their children to run around in, and a handful from disgruntled store employees wanting to know if the mall was closing early or if they'd have to come into work.

My replacement relies on the light rail transit system to get to work.  I'd heard the trains were running slow, but he showed up right on time for his shift.  He clocked in. I clocked out, and wished him a happy evening as I left the mall.

Five years ago today: New Thing #361--Doggie Depiction

14 comments:

  1. Malls were a topic of tonight's local news. Reporters went to local malls to cover families bringing their cabin fevered kids to the mall. (We have two days of closed schools on top of two weeks of winter break!). The malls were deserted. People stayed home to stay warm. And safe, as driving to the mall obviously was no "walk in the park."

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    1. I think most schools around here have been closed for that long, too. Although it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow (highs in the 20s!) many of them have already announced they're not holding classes.

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  2. Sorry you had to work while everyone else had a snow day. :( At least it didn't seem overly taxing, so that always helps!

    Last year, my school stayed open while all the others had closed due to snow and ice. I was unable to attend because the freeway I take to get there was closed due to excessive ice and dangerous conditions. The school apologized a few days later, saying they really should have closed too.

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    1. At least I got paid for my time :-)

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  3. So glad to know that people in your area were staying off of the highways. Travel can be so dangerous. Sorry you had to go out, but it seemed fairly quiet for you. Hope you got home before dark. Funny, but here people go to the mall in the summer when it's so hot so as to have a cool place to hang out. Hadn't thought of going some place like that to stay warm, but it makes sense.

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    1. My shift ended at 3:00. Traffic was a little heavier, but still light compared to normal.

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  4. I can't imagine anyone wanting to venture out....what if your car broke down? ...especially if you had kids with you? Brrrr~!
    Glad you day went well, though.

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    1. I can totally relate to those parents with cabin-fevered kids. A couple of decades ago we probably would have been at the mall too!

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  5. Replies
    1. Yes it is...and it's only started!

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  6. Even my daughter who is forever going helter skelter everywhere stayed home today. It was just too darn cold in Chicago. Your road looks very eerie. I hope it warms up soon for all of you.

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    1. Once again Chicago got hit worse than we did. I'm NOT complaining about that, though.

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  7. Glad you were able to move around town easily. I saw pictures from friends and family and was amazed by the amount of snow. The weather on my phone had a picture of an igloo next to the temperatures for StL - crazy!

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    1. Most snow (and coldest weather) we've had for years.

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