Sunday, February 16, 2014


Being a New Englander, I like a little variety in my seasons. This winter, though, has really challenged my affinity for winter and snow.

The problem with this winter is the plow problem. I manage a convenience store now and when we get more snow than expected (which seems to have happened a lot this winter) and the plow guy is 5 hours late, it means I have to spend the afternoon shoveling out the parking lot.

I can deal. But then there's a double-whammy of getting home the other day at 5pm after an afternoon of unexpected shoveling, to a driveway that has a wicked slope to it (which means we need stellar plowing for me to be able to get out in the morning), and there hasn't been evidence of any plowing, I get annoyed. And of course, 5 minutes after I skid into a parking spot in the driveway, my landlord calls and asks me to move my car so the plow guy can take care of my portion of the driveway.

I'm pretty beat. So I watch outside. There's no sign of a plow guy. Another half-hour passes and I get a text from my landlord. I'm not going to quote it verbatim, because the text was an autocorrect disaster. But the gist of it was, "The plow guy is blowing me off because of you and now I have to spend an extra $450 for him to swing by tomorrow. When I tell you to move your car, do what I tell you to do."

This winter is stressful on all of us. As Flannery O'Connor once said, a good plow man is hard to find. But I refuse to take responsibility for this. Sometimes I blow shit like this off. This time, I sent the longest text I've ever sent in response:

"You need a new plow guy. Your guy does a half-assed job and I've done nothing but complain about him all winter. All he does is swing by for two minutes, pushes a pile of snow onto the front lawn and leaves. After every storm this winter I've had to go out at 3am and shovel a real pathway out, because I have to be at work early, sometimes as early as 3:45am, so myself and everyone else can actually get out of the driveway in the morning. Your plow guy never stopped by; I was watching from the living room window. I had to shovel the entire parking lot at my store today because my plow guy was 5 hours late. The last thing I'm interested in putting up with right now is bullshit from you because your plow guy is equally bad. I pay a lot of money for rent here and I expect better plow service in return."

After this, I chug my car uphill and out of the driveway, to go back to my store to buy some rock salt. Also, I start to wonder if I've burned bridges and need to look for a new place to live.

A few minutes later he texts back, apologizing. When I return from the store, he's shoveling the driveway. I join him and we put our differences aside.

We're supposed to go more snow Tuesday, and then it'll warm up into the 50s by week's end. I look forward to this spring more than most.

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