I don’t like driving.  At all.  And driving in the snow?  Well, that’s been known to set me off the edge into a full on panic attack.  (Just ask Jared-he’s unfortunately been present for one too many!)

I’ve worked at a few different places since I left college, and most places had a pretty flexible work from home policy in bad weather.  I’ve worked for some very understanding people who know about my slight driving phobia. I am not the kind of person to take advantage of such work at home policies, however, I do admit that sometimes I’m probably too cautious when it comes to getting on the road.

After getting made fun of one too many a time for not coming in, or finding I’m the only person that hasn’t made it, I’ve become pretty resolute on getting here no matter what*.  I take things like that to heart.  And let me tell you why.  I never make the decision not to come to the office just because I don’t feel like going in.  EVER. However, there is a common misconception that when people call in and say they will be working from home, they’re actually sitting in front of their TVs and only checking in via email every now and then.

This concept exists because of people I will refer to as “the ruiners”.  You know the type.  It’s the people whose Facebook statuses last night read like we were all still 21:  “Snow day tomorrow, start the drinking now” or “Praying my office closes-not that I’m going in anyway.”  It’s people like this that really ruin it for those of us that are honest and hardworking.

The decision for me to go in in not-so-ideal conditions is not a decision I make lightly.   A typical snowy morning goes something like this for me:

My alarm still goes off at 6 a.m.  Jared quickly tells me, “You’re not going in, the roads are too bad.”  To which I reply, “I’m just going to go see, and I’ll check if the schools are closed.”  I get out of bed, and turn the alarm off.  I look outside, in the dark, not able to see much of anything.  I scour the news and internet for any kind of omen or a sign regarding if I should go in.  I return to the bedroom, usually upset, saying I’m not sure what I should do.  Jared says I should not go.  I say, “I’m just going to take a shower and see what it looks like when it gets light.”  I shower, fretting the whole time.  I re-examine the conditions, and spend a bit more time freaking out.  I head back into the bedroom, “I’m going to leave now, and I’ll turn around if the roads are bad.”  Jared usually responds with, “OK, but make sure you really do turn around.”  (Sidenote: I did actually obey his instructions once last year).   Then, I typically enjoy an extremely slow hour long commute or more, but I make it in.  Only to find that a lot of other people did not and to realize that I might just be insane.

Why do I worry about it so much?  Why not just do what most other people do, and roll back over, or not even set the alarm at all when the weather seems bad? Why give it a second thought, and torture Jared through my decision making process?   Because it’s just not in my DNA to phone it in. My friends and family members are the same way.  We just don’t have what it takes to take such things for granted.  However, we worry and fret over them because we don’t want to be lumped into the same group of people that DO take work at home privileges for granted.  It’s because of this group of ruiners that a “snow day” will never be something I particularly look forward to.  It will always be coated in stress and anxiety and the fear that someone will think I’m lazy for not getting on the road, even if it truly is unsafe.

So, to those of you that knowingly take advantage of your company’s work at home policies, don’t set your alarms when the forecast is bad or just simply don’t care what people think, hats off to you.  Thanks for ruining it for the rest of us.  After all, you know that we’ll just pick up your slack anyway…….

*Writers Note:  I am in no way advocating people getting out on the road when conditions are not safe.  I am a total proponent of using your best judgment and not risking your life to get to the office if you can easily work from home.  Nor am I praising myself for the attitude that I have.  Trust me, I wish I could be more relaxed.  The opinions above are simply a bitter expression of envy towards those people that are not wired the way I am. 🙂