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Loving Rain And Hating Sunshine

December 22, 2014

Too bad the weather was so bad tonight.

What is bad weather to you?





I spent the weekend in Washington attending a friend’s wedding. It rained everyday. Sometimes a lot.

It was great.

First, understand that I grew up in the Seattle area. (For people from Washington I tell them it was actually around Olympia, (For people from Olympia, I explain it was actually Lacey.)) It’s not a surprise to anyone that it rains in Seattle.

It rains nine months out of the year in Seattle.
– Sleepless in Seattle

One of my favorite rain jokes is

A couple moves from California to Seattle. It rains the first week they are there, so they stay inside. It rains the second week. By the third week they decide to venture out despite the rain. They see a young boy and ask him “Does it ever stop raining here?”

“How should I know? I’m only 7.

Yes, it rains. . .a lot.

But, I no longer live in Washington. I’ve lived in Utah for years. Utah is a desert. Desert people love the rain. We love snow. We love any sort of water that freely falls from the sky. We need snow for the ski resorts and we need snowpack to feel our reservoirs next the summer.

And we aren’t allowed to complain about any form of precipitation. Several years ago after shoveling my driveway 5 times in as many days, my neighbor (also shoveling his driveway) turned to me and said, “You aren’t still praying for snow are you?” It was the closest I heard someone come to complaining. I almost had to report him. Snow could be five feet deep in your driveway and you always have to say the same thing.

Well, we can certainly use the moisture.

It’s like a state law or motto.

So, hanging out in Olympia, WA over the weekend, I simply enjoyed the rain. Rain is something we like. It’s something we pray for God to send us. How could I not love the rain?

So, was the weather good or bad?

It was a matter of perspective. I would have loved for Utah to be getting inundated with the rain that was making people in Western Washington complain. Terrible weather in Utah is weeks of no rain. I live in a big bowl. The air gets trapped, especially in the winter and we get terrible inversions. Air quality is often worse than LA or pretty much anywhere in the country. You know what clears out an inversion?

Yup. A nice rain or snowstorm. It’s like putting the “air blanket” through the washing machine.

There’s a business lesson here, of course. I work with a lot of call center agents. An agent is hired to take calls. They are told when to show up, when to take a 15 minute break, when to take a 30 minute or 1 hour lunch (no, they don’t get to choose typically) and when to go home. Their day is regimented. Our call floors are secure so they also cannot bring tablets, or phones, or even a pen onto the floor. It’s a firing offense.

My schedule is whatever I decide it to be. I typically show up early and leave late. As a project manager, I’m on the list to be able to take my cell phone on the floor. I can take paper and pen and basically do just about everything the agents are told they can’t do.

There are many of them that would love to have the privileges that my position entails. And yet. . .when their shift is over, they hang up their headsets and go home. The job doesn’t follow them.

I got a call on Friday (a scheduled vacation day for my friend’s wedding) because a system was broken. I was shopping with my mother at the time.

You go ahead, Mom. This may take awhile.

Ninety minutes later she got back with an armload of packages and I was still on the phone.

Who has the better job? The person with the rigid schedule or the guy who has to take support calls while he’s on vacation? My dad used to say,

Do don’t get to wish to trade just one piece. You have to look at the entire package.

I love my job, but, it’s no fun to feel like I cannot take a day off. Is it worth it? Sure, so far.

What is bad weather? In Seattle over the weekend it was loads and loads of rain. As I landed in Salt Lake, my phone said that we were experiencing a winter storm warning for the next 18 hours. Heavy snow above 7,000 feet. Heavy wind and rain on the valley floor at 4,000 feet.

What wonderful weather to come home to.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

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