Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Dallas Ice Storm--Day 2



I haven't had to work for two days! Or maybe I should say I haven't had to go into the office for two days. Even if there were crucial things I needed to get done, at times like these I can work from home.

While having two days of ice makes me very happy, I realize it becomes a very painful and scary time for my friends and neighbors who don't have the luxury of being able to work from home. I don't mean the icy conditions become scary (although that is true as well for those who are out and about). I mean the businesses who shut down for a day or two hurt the income of our friends and neighbors who depend on hourly wage jobs. A day off for them can't be made up elsewhere. They are simply out of that day of pay.

That bothers me. Most of my friends who are working hourly wage jobs are barely making ends meet as it is. They struggle to pay their rent and put food on the table. Loss of a day...or two...of pay can be quite serious--besides the fact that many of them have kids who are at home instead of at school during this time...which means more mouths to feed with less money.

So, when I heard my neighbors spinning out in their driveway trying to leave for work, I went to see if I could help. A little preposterous, I know. Besides the fact that I'm much smaller than the two grown men who were already pushing, the ice on the pavement made it impossible to even stand up while pushing!

It was a challenge in problem solving. We tried putting cardboard under the wheels, pouring Purex on the pavement (I have no idea why...but someone had seen it work somewhere!), pushing the car sideways...but nothing worked. Instead, the car had gotten out far enough to have its tail stuck in the middle of the street. My neighbors needed to get to work. The processing plant where they work keeps going, even in ice...and I'm sure they couldn't afford to miss another day.

We were about to give up when we saw a police car headed down our street. I'm not sure what DPD's role is on a day like this, but I knew the officer so he stopped. My neighbor had gotten the car back in the drive and seemed about to give up. After a few minutes of chatting with the officer, I asked if he would mind taking my neighbors to work. Again, I'm not sure if that's even allowed. I could tell by my neighbor's hesitation that they weren't too excited about being in a police car driving through the neighborhood. It doesn't look too good in my neighborhood if you're in the back seat of a police car. But, they needed to go to work. So they agreed to the police chauffeur. I'm sure they got to know the officer on the way there. All three people are good people.

Maybe this snow/ice day was a good thing. Sometimes a situation where we have to depend on others provides an unexpected opportunity for both sides. We haven't always had the best police experiences in my neighborhood. I would guess that their ride with Officer Wright probably did more to help police/neighborhood relations than any kind of patrolling could ever do.
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