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That Christmas At Microsoft

December 21, 2018

Two feet they were predicting. And this in a city that shut down for more than an inch or two.

It’s easy for those of us living in “snow” states to make fun of our more fair weather neighbors.

When I moved to Utah many years ago one of my kids was in the third grade. As the first winter storm came in she asked about school.

Do you think they’ll close school tomorrow?

Sweety, they don’t close school in Utah for snow.

But, what if it snows a foot?

They don’t close schools for snow.

What about three feet?

It really doesn’t matter how much. They don’t close school for snow.

And it’s true. I’ve seen days were the weather was so cold they kept the kids in from recess. . but they didn’t cancel school. I’ve seen times where the busses refused to run because they were unsafe on the streets. . .but they didn’t cancel school.

Seattle was different. Seattle shut down with anything more than an inch or so. I say “Seattle” but really it’s all of Puget Sound. It’s not really their fault. Here in Utah was have dozens of salt trucks and snowplows just for my little down.

During the storm where I slept at Microsoft, it came out that the entire city of Seattle had two snowplows. It’s hard to clear the roads with only two plows.

Anyway, the storm was forecast for Christmas Eve. We knew it was coming. Most people opted to stay home. I lived on top of a small mountain on the East Side. This was before the days of high speed internet.

My problem was that I had a project due January 2nd. You might ask what idiot would set a deadline for the day after the holidays? I must have hated that guy, right?

Yeah, I set the deadline and I was an idiot.

Anyway, the project still needed a lot of post production work. I couldn’t do it at home and there was no telling how long the storm would last and the roads be impassable.

I opted to drive in. I kissed my wife goodbye, packed a change of socks and headed off to Redmond.

We got the 24 inches they were predicting. And, as expected, the city shut down. I was in my office busily working away on my course and eating out of the vending machine.

On the second day, I got an email:

TO: Residents of Building 7
FROM: (Some VP)
RE: Food

I’m going to go out and see what places are open. Reply back if you are in the office today.

I sent off a reply and went back to work. About 90 minutes later I got a second email:

TO: Residents of Building 7
FROM: (Some VP)
RE: Food

The only place open was Dominos, but it was carry out only. Pizza is here in the common room.

Turns out there were about 25 of us working that day.

We were all idiots.

I did finish my course on time.

And I no longer set my deadlines for right after a holiday.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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