The kindness of strangers…

So it’s finally snowing in NY.  We expected a storm last weekend, but apparently Salt got all our snow instead.  Today we are getting ours.  I’ve been wishing for a really big snowstorm…the kind that closes my office and gives me a good excuse to stay home.  Looks like that’s exactly the kind we are getting.  Too bad I’m already at work!  There really wasn’t any snow when I left the house and my boss wasn’t answering the phone, so I came in.  In the hour it took to get from my house in the ‘burbs to my office in the city we got about two inches of snow.  I have one thing that really have to finish today and then I’m leaving.  Hopefully the bus is still running later on!

As we waited for the snow last night, there was much discussion about whether to venture out to work today.  J has the good fortune to be the boss and, therefore, the one making the decision to close his office.  I am at the mercy of other people’s decision-making.  J called it last night and sent out an email to his employees, telling them to stay home.  Then he started in on me, trying to convince me to stay home too.  He reminded me of last year’s snow fiasco…

One day, I noticed it was snowing while I was at work, but it didn’t look that bad.  It never really occurred to me that it might be snowing harder closer to home, so I stayed at work all day.  When I got off the train at home I was shocked to see about 6 inches of snow on the ground.  I am not a fan of driving in the snow, but I thought it wouldn’t be so bad.  Our house isn’t that far away.  J was working late, so I was on my own.  I got the car cleaned off and I headed off down the street. 

What I didn’t know at the time was that the car needed new tires and the front tires were a little on the bald side.  So I get to the corner and I make a turn and start to head up the first of several hills I had to navigate.  That’s when the trouble started.  I tried to keep the car straight, but I ended up in the curb.  So I backed up and tried again…again in the curb. 

I was totally frustrated, but luckily two guys who were shoveling their driveways took pity on me and came over to help me.  They started pushing my car, trying to get me around the corner and on the way up the hill, but nothing was helping.  They suggested I turn the car around and try to go a different way.  There are hills no matter which way you go from the train station, but some weren’t as snow-covered.  My town isn’t great about plowing the side roads.  We managed to get the car turned after a long while and as I started driving down the street I ended up in the curb again. 

At this point, I was about two seconds away from tears.  It had been almost an hour, I was clearly going no where, the car was totally stuck and blocking the street and I was alone with no idea what to do next.  If those two guys weren’t helping me I would have totally lost it.  At this point I call J and ask him what I should do.  I could sense that the guys really wanted to go inside and I was going to be screwed.  J, not really understanding how bad the roads were, was no help.

Then the thing I was afraid of happened…a car came and wanted to drive down the street that I was blocking.  Turns out the driver was a super nice guy.  He had a pickup and suggested that he could use his truck to tow me back into a parking spot and off the street.  I was so grateful to just get out of the street I agreed and that’s what we did. 

Once my car was safely in a parking space, I thanked everyone and tried to figure out how I was going to get home.  I must have looked panicked because the guy in the truck offered to drive me home.  Now, normally I don’t accept rides from strange men, but the alternative…walking two miles in the snow…wasn’t very appealing.  Thankfully, I made it home a few minutes later thanks to my new friends. 

A few hours later J got off the train and found that the roads had been plowed, but the car had been plowed in.  Because neither one of us ever really has our shit together, there was no shovel or anything in the car.  Poor J had to dig the car out using his hands and a tupperware that he had with him.  Though, it served him right for not being more helpful while I was on the phone, nearly hysterical.  Once he managed to get it out, he was able to navigate the roads fine. 

It’s all very funny now and we laugh about it, but then it was a nightmare and I refuse to do it again…ever.  I was lucky that those guys were there to help me.  I was also lucky that none of them was a serial killer! 

So I’m sitting in my office, looking out the window at the snow.  It’s oddly quiet in here…oh, right, because I’m the only idiot that actually ventured in here.  My boss…the person who insisted that we keep the office open…has been completely ignoring his phone and email this morning.  I’m guessing that he won’t be making an appearance today.

If  you are getting this storm also, please be careful and be safe.


  1. the snow is just starting here on the cape! i am kind of excited- i love when it first falls, but will be cursing it over the next few days when its all messy and slippery.
    i am at work too :( but i have 4wd, so hopefully i will be ok…last winter, i did not have 4wd and also had bald tires- i got stuck at the bottom of a hill too. luckily it was near my house, so my car just ended up in my neighbors driveway for a few days.
    happy snow storm day! :)

  2. We got hammered overnight with more to come! Yikes, you know?
    You are really quite the trooper…a very brave trooper. I hope your boss gets in touch w/you since you made the effort and came out in this crap! Oooh, does your office do ’employee of the month?’ I’ve always thought that would be cool…lol. Anyway, either way, you are definitely the ’employee of the day!’
    I am always so happy to hear about the kindness of strangers, instead of the horror stories. It says a lot that you were trusting enough to take the offered ride. Desperate, but hopeful. LOL.
    Wishing you a safe and uneventful ride home today!

  3. oh, i would have been bawling! i hate snow as it is, but alone with an unruly car–forget it. thank goodness for the kindness of strangers!

  4. I can barely drive in the rain so I really hate driving in snow. I had to go take a test drive around my neighborhood last week to make sure I’d be able to make it to work.

  5. That’s so terrifying :( I’ve been in similar situations with my ’95 Honda Civic (really, it’s just a hazard that needs to be taken off the road forever) and I panic every time. I’m glad you had nice strangers to give you a lift and help you in your time of need.

    I’m grateful my office closed today. I also work in the city and am watching the fat flakes from my living room window (I haven’t changed out of my pjs all day). Get home safely so you can put your pajamas on, too!

  6. Oh jeez! I hope you’ve gone home by now. If it’s anywhere near as bad up there for you as it has been here for us today, then you might have another tough time getting home.

    I’m sorry you got stuck and thank goodness you had decent people around to help you. I used to be cool with driving in the snow, but after all this I’m just done with it. I ran off the road yesterday afternoon into a snowbank. Not fun.

  7. Hope you are home by now! I hate driving in both rain and snow too. Stay home tomorrow and have your Snow Day!

  8. Y’know….this is EXACTLY how helpful Neal is in a crisis…as in not at all. I will call him, about to have a total come-apart in the middle of strangers and he’ll say “hmm…don’t know..that’s a good question…huh”…it makes me want to grab and twist his naughty parts.

    I’ve been thinking about you and Salt today. Everything sort of went around us (for once…hip, hip, hooray). But we did have the misfortune of experiencing what Chicago has to offer in the way of winter storms on Christmas Day night. Fortunately, we’re up that way a lot and found alternate ways that didn’t involve hills, because, yes…those are a bitch. I hope that you made it home safely tonight and have decided to take tomorrow off. The wind chill alone is not worth it. Come to think of it, you look pale. I think you could be coming down with diptheria. Better to just call in now…

  9. How great when some people come through. I’m on LI and we got alot…maybe we are in the same area? They predicted a lot last weekend and it was nothing. I had a similar story w/ school. They refused to close it when the storm was coming b/c there was no snow on the ground, and we all got stuck at school. Trying to drive home in a little Jetta at the time was a nightmare. Took about 2 hrs for a 1/2 hr trip. Got myself an SUV after that!

    But I’m glad it all worked out. I am so done w/ snow! But I did get 2 snow days out of it!

    Enjoy your time off, if you get some today! Hope you made it home safely. It got bad in the afternoon!

  10. I’ve been right where you are, getting totally stuck and having to rely on the kindness of strangers to help. And every single time it makes me want to move somewhere where there is no snow. As pretty as it is, it’s still a total pain in the butt!

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