Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow is more fun when you're prepared

That new AWD or 4x4 vehicle that we've been talking about getting? Looks like it will be sooner rather than later.

We haven't lived in Portland long enough for me to know what's normal or not. I'm hearing they only get snow like this every 3-4 years or so. And evidently I live in a suburb that's rural enough and hilly enough that it doesn't get plowed. Hills + no plow = you're not going anywhere without traction. We have chains, but found out after an hour of trying to put them on that they don't fit. We've never used them before, and we bought them in LA. So maybe we were sold the wrong ones. Or, I vaguely remember getting new tires after we got the chains. Maybe that's the difference. At any rate, we don't really have chains in the end. Then we find out there are issues with the existing tires that prevent us from getting chains anyway. The car needs new tires/wheels just for snow. So it was Sunday night and we realize we are literally snowed in.

PH works in a hospital that is 45 minutes away in a town that is flat. They don't have a lot of sympathy for people stuck in hilly suburbs miles and miles away. The hospital would allow him to no-show due to inclement weather, but we had some serious concerns about actually doing that. His employment is probationary and he's still in the orientation/training class. If the trainers say he did not finish the orientation, they can prevent him from actually starting work on the floor. The next orientation class is 6 weeks away. The trainers already made PH reschedule his airline flight for later this week so that he could attend a previously unscheduled training class. So we didn't think they would react positively to a "snow day". When you want to work in a hospital, you have to prove that you are reliable. Hospitals don't get holidays or snow days, even state hospitals like this one.

So he rented a 4x4. Because of the snow, the trains were not running to the airport where the rental cars are, so he had to ask a friend (with a 4x4) for a ride. And pay a lot of money for the rental. But he got to work on time today. Everyone in his class showed up, though many came late, he said. But if he had not showed, it would have been very obvious. They said if he had not come to work that they would have found some reason to fire him before he became a permanent employee.

I do kind of wonder if the trainers are trying to be difficult just to see what else he'll do. But he is supposed to finish training on Wednesday and he will start work for his real boss after that. She seems nice. Some of this problem has been a disconnect between his real boss and the trainers. I think she approved things for PH before the trainers actually released him to her.

It's supposed to snow again before I go to the airport this week. So I have a taxi scheduled. I worked at home and sat by the window today. Very few cars drove by. I saw lots of taxis, and tow trucks, for some reason. I wondered if they were towing cars to go get new tires, like my car needs. I mean, they weren't towing crashed cars, though I heard there were a lot of those too.

As I've mentioned before, in my little forest neighborhood there is a Starbucks, of course. PH said when he was driving home from the airport in his new 4x4, he came across the Starbucks delivery truck stuck at the bottom of the hill. Couldn't get out, and had to spend the night in the cab, I assume.

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