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The Dangers of a Snowstorm and Working for Bankers Life or is it Colonial Penn?

February 17, 2014

An unusual snowstorm in the Southeastern United States left hundreds of motorists stranded overnight in their vehicles. When I read this I was incensed at the fact that as someone who believes in preparing for catastrophes, I allowed my recent employer to bully me into coming in during a potentially dangerous snowstorm or potentially losing my job. I continued to read that freeways in Georgia and Alabama came to a complete halt in an epic gridlock. I vowed that I would never let my current employer nor any future employer ever threaten me again with job loss if I don’t come in to work in spite of potentially hazardous weather.

Residents of the area were warned that a winter storm, quite severe for that part of the country, was headed their way. But when the morning dawned without a cloud in the sky, people went blithely about their business. Kids went to school, adults went to work, and it all went downhill in the early afternoon in a big way. That could have been me, I thought. You see I currently work at a life insurance company whose policy it is to remain open and force their employees to come to work despite any hazardous weather that may be going on outside or about to take place. The company I refer to is Colonial Penn or is it Bankers Life and Casualty or is it CNO Financial? I don’t know. If you do direct deposit with them, they give your bank the name of CNO Financial, but if you get a live check, the check says Bankers Life and Casualty and only on their less than transparent television commercials do they use the name “Colonial Penn”. In fact my identification badge doesn’t even state what company I work for, it just has my name.

Anyway, thousands of students ended up spending the night at school, while others were trapped on school buses slowly getting them home. One group of kids in Atlanta were still on the school bus inching along 16 hours after they departed the school. Who becomes responsible for that 16 hour hazardous commute those children suffered? The schools? the parents? the State? Who becomes responsible if in my fear of getting fired I decided to remain at work during a blizzard only to endure a 16 hour hazardous commute home? Colonial Penn? Bankers Life? I don’t think so.

What happened down South wasn’t a dumping of two feet of snow, but a mere 2-3 inches. I just thought I would make that clear in case any snickering member of Colonial Penn (or is it Bankers Life) management may be reading this and saying, its not the same, it wont happen here. Maybe they don’t care to say anything at all except, “hey, better you than me, kid”. That’s why you make the big bucks, right? So lets say hypothetically, the management at Bankers Life, Colonial Penn or whatever they want to call themselves listened to reason and actually gave what I am writing here some thought. In such a scenario I would ask them to consider the following facts: this kind of weather is nearly unheard of in Georgia and Alabama, and many of the motorists would have been perfectly fine driving home, but ended up being stranded due to the incompetence and panic of other drivers.

Cars on the freeway were at a complete standstill. No matter what a persons winter driving skills were, they were stranded behind everyone else’s halted vehicle.  Everyone had been warned. Same deal in the city in which I work, everyone had been warned. Colonial Penn management does not live under a rock, they know about these winter warnings as well.  Atlanta was expecting 1-2 inches but its people did not heed the forecast.

In the morning when the snow had not arrived, people went to work and school, like nothing was coming. Then it did. Motorists panicked at around the same time in the afternoon.  They clogged the streets en masse just as they began icing over.

In the end 2-3.5 inches hit central Georgia. That may not sound like much, but its usually how much snow falls in the region in the whole year, said CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward. Motorists thought they could deal with it. They couldn’t. The spin-outs began.

The point here is that it doesn’t matter how great of a driver you are in the snow, or whether you have big monster truck tires or 4WD. The point is do not ever allow an employers threats of job loss keep you from heeding national warnings of catastrophes, because its not just about the weather being bearable or not but you also have to take into consideration about other peoples lack of preparedness for catastrophes and how that will affect your commute to and from work that day. Many times, people end up in a crisis situation through no fault of their own and are at the mercy of other people who have no idea what they are doing. Allow me to offer another case in point utilizing this wonderful company Bankers Life (or is it Colonial Penn). Several months ago the building we work in suffered a power outage and we all evacuated the building although the management did not want us to move, but luckily common sense prevailed, especially since several people had reported hearing a boom right before the outage. Well after several minutes of being outside, a manager named Tom started telling all of us we could start heading back in the building. Well, after we did the fire department showed up and a couple of firemen approached our floor and asked us why were we back in the building, the fire department had not given the okay for people to go back in the building. What happened there was, we confused a managerial title that someone had as meaning this person also knew what he was doing when it came to evacuations and other safety measures during a power outage.

So the moral of the story here is dont ever let an employer or his management minions threaten you into making decisions that can be potentially hazardous to your health, especially if you are trained in emergency preparedness and survival like I am. In fact, if you work at a place that does that to you and does it often, its a sign that you need to separate from them as quickly as your economic situation will allow. Stay warm and be safe.

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From → Survivalism

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