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Old 01-03-2014, 04:57 AM
 
373 posts, read 717,389 times
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I feel like today would have been a legit day for a closure. There is actually measurable snow on the ground -- and a thick layer of ice on top of that. Streets in my neighborhood haven't been treated. I cleaned off my car last night, but it's taking its time getting started this morning. Given that the last couple of closures were for what amounted to rain or flakes that melted on contact, I'm scratching my head about this one. Is it because so many people are still on vacation or otherwise off on a Friday anyway?
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:24 AM
 
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I think OPM was burned on the last one and didn't want to be embarrassed again. I don't think a closure was necessary then or today. Yes, it is slow going, but roads are still passable. I think a 2 hour delay today would account for the messy roads, but again, this weather was not a surprise and at least in PWC aren't all too bad.

All in all, unscheduled telework/unscheduled leave seems to be a the standard whenever bad weather hits. So, I am not too surprised.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike From NIU View Post
I think OPM was burned on the last one and didn't want to be embarrassed again. I don't think a closure was necessary then or today. Yes, it is slow going, but roads are still passable. I think a 2 hour delay today would account for the messy roads, but again, this weather was not a surprise and at least in PWC aren't all too bad.

All in all, unscheduled telework/unscheduled leave seems to be a the standard whenever bad weather hits. So, I am not too surprised.
I agree with this. Historically, OPM has been real stingy on closure. We went for YEARS without a closure and still having bad conditions.

From what I was told many years ago, OPM bases its decision to close on the efficiency of public transportation (METRO). If Metro's outside rails were impacted by snow (usually 7-8 inches is their threshhold) then you would see a closure.

I was really surprised by the last closure. Remember, closure of the federal government is not based on how your neighborhood street is (as with schools). It's about the government buildings and access to them and whether you have a reasonable way to get to your destination using the public transportation system that they encourage.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:40 AM
 
7,968 posts, read 9,727,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seiketsu View Post
There is actually measurable snow on the ground
Really..this is not reason enough to close the federal government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seiketsu View Post
and a thick layer of ice on top of that.
I'm in Middleburg, and shoveled my 200 foot driveway and sidewalk at 6:30 this morning. I didn't have a "think layer of ice" anywhere. Where are you located?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seiketsu View Post
I cleaned off my car last night, but it's taking its time getting started this morning.
You car takes a while to warm up, so the federal government should close?

Quote:
Originally Posted by seiketsu View Post
I feel like today would have been a legit day for a closure.
Look, the roads are fine; just go slow. The federal government doesn't need to shut down for every flake that hits the air or every temperature below 20 degrees. Providing unscheduled leave and "work from home" options is perfect. Basically, they are saying they feel it is perfectly fine for you to come to work. But, if YOU feel differently, work from home. And if you can't do that, take a vacation day.

We, as a region, need to stop whining and expecting everything to shut down at every weather event.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
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I thought the last closure was a good idea and I think it would have been a good idea to close today too. While I don't personally think the roads are that bad and I feel confident in my own ability to drive out there, I have zero confidence in 99% of the other drivers out there. To me, that is the riskiest part about driving on a day like today - the other people who have zero idea how to drive when the roads are like this. By keeping the mass of federal employees off the road, I think it makes it safer for the rest of the people who are out there and in that sense serves a greater public good. I think the unscheduled telework day is a good alternative, but there are still a lot of federal employees, particularly low level ones, for whom that is not an option.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:58 AM
 
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I made it to work just fine this morning, including driving on icy streets and snow covered streets. Yes, I had ice on the car this morning, I just let the defroster run and scraped/brushed it all off. Still made it to work in 40 minutes, Woodbridge to McLean. Admittedly, I appreciate it when the Govt does unscheduled leave/telework because it makes my commute that much easier without all the yahoos on the road.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,104 posts, read 5,406,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
I'm in Middleburg, and shoveled my 200 foot driveway and sidewalk at 6:30 this morning. I didn't have a "think layer of ice" anywhere. Where are you located?
I'm in Lake Ridge (Woodbridge) and there was a layer of ice under the snow because it started as rain before it turned to snow. I don't know how thick it was but it did take my husband a bit to scrape it off - it wasn't simply brushing snow off the car.

And I agree with the government's status, a mere 3" of snow should not shut the US government down.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:15 AM
 
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It's interesting - around Centreville the snow is, like, half an inch deep or so yet 7 miles north Dulles Airport apparently set a record with its 3".

I haven't gone outside yet to see what it's like; was thinking of using a leaf blower if I could...
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:31 AM
 
766 posts, read 852,419 times
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I was fine with the closure last time... remember the forecast last time said the heaviest snowfall would happen at around 10am. The risk was definitely higher in case there was more snow than predicted.

This time around the snow ended last night around midnight. Plenty of time to work on the road. I was a bit surprised there was no 2 hour delay though.

I arrived at work today and looks like I'm the only one that made it to my work area (on time, at least)
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,982,977 times
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I think it should be based on whether the schools closed--and I don't have kids. But if the schools are closed and the Federal Government is not, then all those parents have to scramble to figure out what to do with their kids.

As to the actual impassability of the roads: Our street hasn't been plowed, but I could probably get around on it. The major roads? Not sure. I would bet money that 395 is a clusterflummox.

The larger issue is whether salaried workers should be treated like hourly ones. I think the policy should be to get the job done in as few or as many hours as it takes. In slow periods, take days off. In busy periods, put in extra hours, within reason.

The truth is that at my Government job, almost nothing happens in August or between Xmas and New Year's. Aside from very small, routine bits of work, we're all just spinning our wheels to keep up appearances in those periods. Or (in the case of the upper management) going out of their way to create busywork for themselves and others--which does not actually benefit the taxpayer. Why not just shut it all down during these slow periods? The entire continent of Europe is closed for five weeks in the summer.

I'd gladly work extra during busy periods if I could be spared the tedium of pretending to work when there's no work to do.
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