What a week we have had! What a whorl whirl world! Only the weather could displace the economy as the major news story. From coast to coast to coast, Canada is a wild wet white wonderland.
Speaking from the left coast - I love the idea of a white Christmas. I am not so sure about the weeks before and after. The snow removal budget in our Village is infintismal. The crews not at the top of their game. How do I know this latter fact? The transmissions of three snow removal graters blew during the first clearings. One is bad luck. Two is remarkable. Three points to something else.
My week started at being snowed in at home and ended with being snowed in at work. Luckily for me, the wonderful management of job #2 allowed me to sleep overnight where job #1 could be accomodated by walking my route. This only worked one day. The next was today.
I am always more than willing to do my share and your share too of the workload if it makes things run smoothly. I will go most places and do most things if I can. Alas I am not driving a Van Truck or 4x4, I am driving a GM with all seasons on it. Every year this has sufficed. Not this time. It was impossible to negotiate the side streets where two addresses on my list were. I got stuck, got pushed out by wonderful strangers and drove in vain slowly along nearby main street looking for a parking spot. It was not to be.
At the base of a hill another client. I had double checked with my office to make sure it was possible to get in there. I was asked to park at the top of the hill and hike down. I was assured that everyone else got in there. I did my duty and hiked down. The driveway was not ploughed. The stairs were not shovelled. The door was not answered. I hiked to the back door. No answer. I walked around the place in 3 foot snow jumping up and knocking on the windows. Nothing. I looked under every brick and patio ornament, every bin and rock for a key. Nope.
Did I have my phone? I had left it in the car. At the top of the hill.
When I called the Office I was assured again there was a key and other people had gotten in. Back down the hill, back to looking for the stated key hiding spot. No key, no answer at the door, no success. Back up the hill. This visit is scheduled for 45 minutes and I was now at the 50 minutes mark.
Back in the car, I headed for my next visit and once there called my Supervisor to give the facts. Now in my head I was expecting her to follow up on it as I had more people to see. Instead I heard her tell me the name and phone # of a contact who lived next door and then she said: " See if he can help you get in and call back if you have a problem getting in." I guess she missed the part where I said I had left the area and was at my next client. I get paid by the assignment - my Supervisor makes a much higher salary. It is not my job to do follow up as I have more people waiting on me. I called the contact number, wished him a Merry Christmas, and explained that we could not get his neighbour to answer her door and could he look in on her and call our office if there was a problem or if he could not get in. He was very agreeable and wished me well in turn.
Perhaps I am a teensy bit prickly on this topic. It could possibly be because in job 2 I came across a frightenend co-worker who had been urgently paging this self same supervisor to advise her that the roads were impassable and that she could not finish her shift. Her shift that would take her out to rural roads, an address at the end of the road at 10pm. There are family on the property who will not risk life and limb to do a check in. This co-worker was terrified to go and more terrified not to. Having got my seniority in that exact same shift I know exactly where she was off to.
The supervisor never returned those multiple pages. But I got my coworked to call the clients to advise them that it was unsafe for her to risk the trip and she could not come. That, again, would be the supervisors job. Oh she would have gone if I had not told her repeatedly that we have the right to refuse unsafe work. And indeed last year another coworker who went out to be helpful in the ice to a client in a remote area, had her workers compensation claim denied as she "had untaken unnecessary risk where not indicated." The rules bite you coming and going.
Yes, I am happy to go more than my share, but please send me somewhere I can get in. Those who do not shovel their drives or live on unploughed streets will not be seeing me. Please God send us cleared roads for Christmas. Snow alert for the 24th. - - -