The New Age Snow Day

I love the snow. I really do. I always have. On days like today where several brisk inches cause commute times to quadruple and Google Maps to flash black & red, I side with the general public against the nuisance. I don’t condemn the snow for that nuisance, however. I challenge the expectation that people try to tackle it and show up as usual anyway.

Not all jobs or educations can be accessed remotely. For retailers, you need bodies in the store. Most classrooms are not equipped to transmit lessons online. But for many new age companies, working remotely is completely feasible. You can sign in to instant messenger, transplant meetings into Google+ Hangouts, and plug yourself in. Stay warm, stay safe, stay home. And get more work done.

Sound like an unreasonable dream? Far less unreasonable to me than wasting three or four hours in your car without a shred of real work. Employers should see the productivity and time lost to snow. They should call a snow day and unveil a plan to continue operating internally. Far better to do that than expect a troop of soggy, frozen, and demotivated employees to walk through your door.

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6 Outsider Misconceptions About Denver

While living in Los Angeles for five years, I was asked many (really dumb) questions about my hometown. Below are the most common misconceptions outsiders shared with me about Denver, Colorado (and yes, these are all real and recurring assumptions):

1. Denver is perpetually buried in several feet of snow.
Hardly. We have over 300 sunny days annually (just short of Miami and more than San Diego). The average annual snowfall in the metro area is 57.5 inches, it lands sporadically six months out of the year, and only 40-50% of it sticks. With the average winter temperature above freezing (between 34 and 51 degrees, depending on the month), the snow that sticks melts in a few days.

2. Most people in Denver are cowboys and dress accordingly.
I can think of five people who wear cowboy boots and zero people who wear cowboy hats casually. Yes, Colorado maintains a lot of agriculture and has rich cow-town history. But the large majority of people do not dress or act the part.

3. Everyone skis.
I don’t. I know many people who never have. It’s really expensive.

4. Columbine High School is the main high school in Littleton.
Jefferson County, Columbine’s home district, has 22 high schools, serves nearly 85,000 students, and blankets a 700 square-mile area with half of a million people. Columbine isn’t even in the Littleton Public School District. Just because the school was televised 12 years ago doesn’t make it the masthead for an entire town.

5. Denver is a violent city.
Two high school students and a few scruffy wildlife hunters do not make an entire city “violent.” The funny part? These assumptions were made by people living in South Central Los Angeles. Denver had 33 murders last year. Los Angeles? 291.

6. Denver is in the mountains.
Seriously? Look at a map. Denver is easily 20 miles away from the nearest hill, let alone the depths of the Rocky Mountains. Do Southern Californians take geography?

Cold > Hot

Up for debate, I suppose, but cold beats hot any day. Why? You can always add more layers to get warm, but you cannot always shed layers or blast air conditioning to get cool. Carrying a pile of clothes through winter may be a nuisance, but sweating is far more unfortunate in my opinion.

Trust me, I’d be happy to run around naked to keep cool if I could (those who have celebrated with me know I’m not a big fan of wearing pants). Even without clothes, hot summer days can be unbearable and impossible to escape. No thank you. I’ll take a blizzard & parka over a heat wave & tube sock any day.