Career Confessions from Gen Z: Snow Days – From Fun to Stress

Welcome to the reboot of Career Confessions of Gen Z! I started this in 2018 with my Gen Z son, Cameron, and the response was off the charts. So, in 2019 I found 8 great Gen Z HR, TA, and Marketing pros to continue the Gen Z content. Enjoy! 

Snow days are not what they used to be.  As a kid snow days were so exciting.  You’d do snow day rituals before bed such as flushing as many ice cubes down the toilet as you wanted inches of snow and wearing your pajamas inside out.  Then you would wake up at the crack of dawn, before your alarm clock went off, or your parents wake you up and you’d sit in front of the television in hopes of seeing your school scroll across the bottom of the screen announcing your school was closed.  

Kids now a days don’t know what that was like because now they get calls and texts every time the school closes.  The other Gen Z’s reading this know exactly what I’m talking about if you lived in the north where snow was prevalent.  Once you go to college you learn snow days are few and far between if you get at all.  (I was lucky enough to go to school on the west side of Michigan in the lake effect snow belt and had three of them in my three and a half years of college).  Then, when you transition to the working world you almost never get a snow day  

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get two and a half snow days due to the Polar Vortex that affected much of the Midwest of the United States.  As a working adult I learned snow days are stressful.  For our area 8-12 inches of snow was predicted to hit and rumors were going around that the State of Michigan may shut down.  Usually I would have been excited at the thought of a snow day, but not this time.  

Monday and Tuesday are the days that we process payroll.  Sunday night as I was getting ready for bed my co-workers starting saying that they weren’t coming in on Monday due to the weather.  I couldn’t sleep and was stressed that night about whether or not my office would be open the next day and about getting payroll done by our Tuesday deadline.  The State of Michigan did not shut down until 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, which gave me just enough time to get VPN access so I could take my laptop home and work on processing payroll at home.  The State of Michigan also closed down all offices on Wednesday and Thursday that week due to wind chills being -30 degrees.

When we were kids snow days were exciting, but now as a working adult they are stressful and it’s not just a day to stay home and do nothing.  Even though our office was closed I still had to bring my computer home and work at home.  When our office reopened I had to work longer days to catch up on work in the office and reschedule meetings that were missed due to our office being closed down.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining I had these days off or had to work at home these days, because there were businesses that were open this whole time, but it does make things more complicated.

Snow days as an adult are very different.  They cause more stress and work in the end.  Will I complain about having snow days as an adult, no, but I will probably not wish for them as much as I did as a kid either. 

Mallory Armbrustmacher graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2017 with a BA in Human Resource Management. She is an HR Generalist with the State of Michigan, Talent and Economic Development Department Human Resource Office, where she coordinates ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Ergonomic Assessments. In addition, she takes the lead on various special projects, conducts new employee orientations, processes payroll, and assists in labor relations, classifications, and selection. She is currently studying for the SHRM-CP exam, but also loves spending time with her family and friends, playing games, and cooking.

2 thoughts on “Career Confessions from Gen Z: Snow Days – From Fun to Stress

  1. Thanks for your perspective Mallory – snow days are truly different when you’re working! The good thing is – modern technology does allow more of us to work from home on laptops when things are closed – as opposed to my early days when you just had to suck it up and brave the bad roads.
    And have to share – Go Lakers! I too graduated from Grand Valley, and we had zero snow days while I was there 🙂

  2. Thanks Mallory for your take on “snow days”. Personally, I like them as an adult due to less traffic on the road. The parents, teachers and govt workers are the ones who can not drive. Once they are off it is an easier commute to work even inclement weather. I have too processed payroll and can relate…ice storm and last payroll of the year!

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