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(Washington Post)   Washington DC had a little bit of rain and slush yesterday, so naturally government offices closed. What did this teach us? Well, there are an awful lot of self-identified "nonessential employees" lounging about the city. Budget cuts, anyone?   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 83
    More: Obvious, District of Columbia, austerities, Settlers of Catan, rains  
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3012 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Mar 2013 at 12:13 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-07 11:05:19 AM  
First, there was some snow, just not as much as forecast.

Second, there are a great many people in this area that have no idea about or experience with driving on roads covered in snow and slush.

Three, I'm willing to bet that payroll employees and most IT folks are considered non-essential, yet the essential folks would be none too happy to see those non-essentials leave.
 
2013-03-07 11:24:51 AM  
Boston has a little bit of rain and snow, and I'm working from home today. FARK: I've actually done more work this morning than had I been my office.
 
2013-03-07 11:48:20 AM  
How about the national weather service needs to get their shiat together and stop crying wolf every time a storm comes through.
 
2013-03-07 11:58:56 AM  
Sure, let's fire all the receptionists, assistants, accountants, Directors, research personnel, HR staff, National Park workers, Curators at the Smithsonian, cafeteria workers, custodians, middle managers in every government office, SS caseworker, VA doctor, etc etc etc.

Great idea.
 
2013-03-07 12:15:16 PM  

Endive Wombat: How about the national weather service needs to get their shiat together and stop crying wolf every time a storm comes through.


We should privatize.  Private industry would never hype Winter Storm Saturn™.
 
2013-03-07 12:17:08 PM  
There are a lot of non-essential employees, but it might better to lose them to attrition and just not backfill their positions than to try to cut them all at once. Shoving a bunch of otherwise unemployable government workers into the work force is just going to make things worse for everyone else.
 
2013-03-07 12:18:24 PM  

Endive Wombat: How about the national weather service needs to get their shiat together and stop crying wolf every time a storm comes through.


I work for the NWS and have a degree in meteorology, but I'm not a forecaster. These storms are notoriously difficult to forecast. If the cold air doesn't quite penetrate as far south, or the low moves as little as 50 miles east, then forecasts for a foot of snow bust entirely. It's very tricky. Add to that that the local Weather Forecast Office (Sterling, VA) sees a lot of forecaster turnover, you don't have a lot of experience in forecasting these types of events. Consequently, what looks like a huge storm ends up being a total bust.
 
2013-03-07 12:18:26 PM  
I'd really like it if they did a show up and collect your paycheck thing. I imagine there are quite a few fictitious people pulling in paychecks in D.C..
 
2013-03-07 12:23:49 PM  

SurfaceTension: First, there was some snow, just not as much as forecast.


Some parts got a pretty good hit - those further west and north where a lot of civil servants live (only the appointees, lobbyists and old timers can afford to live close in).

Second, there are a great many people in this area that have no idea about or experience with driving on roads covered in snow and slush.

Three, I'm willing to bet that payroll employees and most IT folks are considered non-essential, yet the essential folks would be none too happy to see those non-essentials leave.


Most are considered non-essential.  "Essential" usually only covers security, and those operations that need 24/7 coverage (which includes some IT).

AverageAmericanGuy: There are a lot of non-essential employees, but it might better to lose them to attrition and just not backfill their positions than to try to cut them all at once. Shoving a bunch of otherwise unemployable government workers into the work force is just going to make things worse for everyone else.


If it helps, there were 20,000 announced retirements last month.  15k more than OPM expected...
 
2013-03-07 12:24:26 PM  
We got 8-12 inches, and we're only about 90 miles from DC as the crow flies. And we weren't at the edge of the storm effects. People much closer got plenty. So I'm giving the forecasters a pass.
 
2013-03-07 12:26:41 PM  

SurfaceTension: Consequently, what looks like a huge storm ends up being a total bust.


I don't think the NWS is to blame. The media outlets that love to make people panic are. If you tell them there is a 1% chance of a hurricane, they go into full crazy mode. That sends the populace out to the stores because they think we are going to be snowed in for days and may resort to cannibalism.
 
2013-03-07 12:27:12 PM  

SurfaceTension: Endive Wombat: How about the national weather service needs to get their shiat together and stop crying wolf every time a storm comes through.

I work for the NWS and have a degree in meteorology, but I'm not a forecaster. These storms are notoriously difficult to forecast. If the cold air doesn't quite penetrate as far south, or the low moves as little as 50 miles east, then forecasts for a foot of snow bust entirely. It's very tricky. Add to that that the local Weather Forecast Office (Sterling, VA) sees a lot of forecaster turnover, you don't have a lot of experience in forecasting these types of events. Consequently, what looks like a huge storm ends up being a total bust.


I get that predicting the final outcome is a daunting task...

Purely anecdotal on my part.  But ever since the major snow storms of December 2009 and February 2010, it seems that all weather reports are a lot more dramatic...sensationalized...more significant than the actual outcome???

All I am saying is that I would have gone to work yesterday rather than stay at home all day.

I know sensationalism sells, but it is getting frustrating.  You pickin' up what I'm throwin' down, or am I coming out of left field with my observations?
 
2013-03-07 12:28:18 PM  
Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall. Considering that all of NoVA was expected to get over a foot of snow, it made a lot of sense to close offices ahead of the storm.
 
2013-03-07 12:30:04 PM  
Non-essential, but no doubt convenient.
 
2013-03-07 12:32:01 PM  
Growing up in that area - I can say weather is wacky like no other place I've lived.  There are many instances where they can't decide if it's going to be 2 inches or two feet and every ten years or so they get it wrong and decide to send people out in the weather.  People get stuck in their cars and they can't make it home from work.  Sometimes they die because they're stranded.

And that's when the government really takes shiat about their snow day call.

So that's the decision to be made: do I put people's lives at risk or do I just call it for the day and take the political heat?  They made the right decision.
 
2013-03-07 12:34:06 PM  
Meh. There are oodles of tons of these non-essential employees and the number of non-essential's in the area could use some hedging.

Surely, the author isn't suggesting there is any form of overhead in terms of having 8 people ""working"" a job that only 1 of them can do?

If they were, they'd look fairly stupid for merely suggesting it.

/ Contractor in DC here, so I get to be harassed by my government overlords when I cant do in a week what takes them 6 months.
// farking watch this fat biatch down the hall show up at 10, leave at noon for lunch, back by 2, leaving before 3 and does jaaaaaaaack shiat while here. And I'm supposed to care that she gets furloughed?
 
2013-03-07 12:35:07 PM  

Endive Wombat: SurfaceTension: Endive Wombat: How about the national weather service needs to get their shiat together and stop crying wolf every time a storm comes through.

I work for the NWS and have a degree in meteorology, but I'm not a forecaster. These storms are notoriously difficult to forecast. If the cold air doesn't quite penetrate as far south, or the low moves as little as 50 miles east, then forecasts for a foot of snow bust entirely. It's very tricky. Add to that that the local Weather Forecast Office (Sterling, VA) sees a lot of forecaster turnover, you don't have a lot of experience in forecasting these types of events. Consequently, what looks like a huge storm ends up being a total bust.

I get that predicting the final outcome is a daunting task...

Purely anecdotal on my part.  But ever since the major snow storms of December 2009 and February 2010, it seems that all weather reports are a lot more dramatic...sensationalized...more significant than the actual outcome???

All I am saying is that I would have gone to work yesterday rather than stay at home all day.

I know sensationalism sells, but it is getting frustrating.  You pickin' up what I'm throwin' down, or am I coming out of left field with my observations?


Now... say they didn't "cry wolf" at a storm and you get winged.  What would you be saying then?
 
2013-03-07 12:35:17 PM  
I started getting annoyed when I saw a couple of my friends from Richmond posting images of wet leaves on sidewalks with captions like "3/6/13 - Never Forget!" Look, we were expecting more snow, commutes are hard enough as it is in this area and people in surrounding regions who work here were hit pretty hard. It was a fair thing that they canceled work for a number of people. Myself included. But still, I'm glad I didn't drive in that rush hour yesterday.
 
2013-03-07 12:35:34 PM  
You could layoff 80% of these layabouts and there'd be no discernible impact on the government's already piss-poor productivity levels. But no, budget cuts will RELEASE DANGEROUS ILLEGALS and CAUSE DELAYS WHEN YOU TRY TO FLY and other scary stuff the New York Times can print in large type.
 
2013-03-07 12:38:14 PM  
Government employees don't self-identify as "non-essiential", the government determines that.
 
2013-03-07 12:38:54 PM  

SurfaceTension: Three, I'm willing to bet that payroll employees and most IT folks are considered non-essential, yet the essential folks would be none too happy to see those non-essentials leave.


I am willing to bet that the payroll process is automated and people get their checks like clockwork with any intervention from "payroll employees".
 
2013-03-07 12:39:12 PM  

Gifted Many Few: SurfaceTension: Consequently, what looks like a huge storm ends up being a total bust.

I don't think the NWS is to blame. The media outlets that love to make people panic are. If you tell them there is a 1% chance of a hurricane, they go into full crazy mode. That sends the populace out to the stores because they think we are going to be snowed in for days and may resort to cannibalism.


Well, it kinda is this time. The NWS was pushing forecasts that showed up to 14" of snow in a wide area of northern virginia. I saw the maps myself.

Looking back, I'm wondering how much forecasting was going on and how much "wishcasting" was going on.
 
2013-03-07 12:43:17 PM  
Non-essential doesn't mean what you think it means, subby... it means if they put off their work for a day or two, it's no big deal, my friends over at the GAO are mostly non-essential. That doesn't mean that the government doesn't need any accounting, or that their role in finding fraud and waste is unimportant, just means that nobody is going to die, suffer from safety issues, or have immediate problems if they stay home for a day. I know it's really popular to vilify government workers as not having real jobs, but the reality for most government workers is that they took a pay cut to move from private industry because they thought the government would be a more stable employer. Our beef with the government should be about waste, and from experience, better than 90% of the waste isn't with government employees, it's with private contractors who have buddies in congress, the senate, and the WH. From billion dollar defense go-nowhere boondoggles to paying top dollar for substandard/dangerous housing for troops, the problem doesn't really lie with the secretaries, accountants, USDA inspectors, or CDC doctors.
 
2013-03-07 12:43:32 PM  
Go suck on a Luger, subby.
 
2013-03-07 12:43:49 PM  
She also serves who only stands and waits. -- John Milton
 
2013-03-07 12:45:43 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: SurfaceTension: Three, I'm willing to bet that payroll employees and most IT folks are considered non-essential, yet the essential folks would be none too happy to see those non-essentials leave.

I am willing to bet that the payroll process is automated and people get their checks like clockwork with any intervention from "payroll employees".


I'm willing to bet that you don't have the first clue whether your speculation is anywhere close to accurate. Opinions based on unknown facts are invalid.
 
2013-03-07 12:47:45 PM  

Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall.


People have to commute to DC because living in DC means you are either making around 100k or willing to live in a run down mouse infested apartment house.

"Hey come live in DC where 'cheap' rent is only $900 a month without utilities!"
Meanwhile minimum wage in the area is 7.25 with most DC area workers making in the $10~14 range.  Lets see, so you make around $1500 per month.  $900 goes to rent $150 goes to gas and electric.  Leaving you with $450 per month for every other expense you may run across (bus/subway fare, food, clothing, etc).  Hopefully you didn't get sick and lose out on a three or four days worth of pay.

Meanwhile you can get a house in West Virginia for around 100k.  Have a mortgage of 700~750 dollars and not have to rent. I think the choice is clear for many people.  Rent for 900 or own for 700.
 
2013-03-07 12:48:12 PM  

firefly212: most government workers is that they took a pay cut to move from private industry because they thought the government would be a more stable employer.


Looks like your friends did it wrong then.
Fed employees make more than their private sector counterparts...and they get all that cushy job security (compared to the private sector) and they don't work as hard.

Link
 
2013-03-07 12:53:13 PM  

SurfaceTension: tenpoundsofcheese: SurfaceTension: Three, I'm willing to bet that payroll employees and most IT folks are considered non-essential, yet the essential folks would be none too happy to see those non-essentials leave.

I am willing to bet that the payroll process is automated and people get their checks like clockwork with any intervention from "payroll employees".

I'm willing to bet that you don't have the first clue whether your speculation is anywhere close to accurate. Opinions based on unknown facts are invalid.


you are funny.  you speculated something and you get all whiny when someone else speculates something.
Classic!

I have both a "first clue" as well as a "second clue" that I am correct.

What do you even mean that an opinion is "invalid".  What are "unknown facts" ?  Are they different from "known facts"?
 
2013-03-07 12:53:41 PM  
Subby-Troll is bad troll.
 
2013-03-07 12:54:35 PM  

SurfaceTension: Endive Wombat: How about the national weather service needs to get their shiat together and stop crying wolf every time a storm comes through.

I work for the NWS and have a degree in meteorology, but I'm not a forecaster. These storms are notoriously difficult to forecast. If the cold air doesn't quite penetrate as far south, or the low moves as little as 50 miles east, then forecasts for a foot of snow bust entirely. It's very tricky. Add to that that the local Weather Forecast Office (Sterling, VA) sees a lot of forecaster turnover, you don't have a lot of experience in forecasting these types of events. Consequently, what looks like a huge storm ends up being a total bust.


And vice versa. In the years I've lived in the Northern Virgina I've seen as many storms that were "no big deal" stall out over DC and dump twice what was expected. And the winds were howling yesterday and last night so it's treezapalooza with all the heavy, wet snow. It came down like potato chips and popcorn and goose-down for some time, but it was too warm and wet so it turned immediately to a slushy mess. Could have been a whole lot worse.

Bottom line is this: You'll get a whole lot more grief if you under-predict than if you over-predict.
 
2013-03-07 12:54:35 PM  

degenerate-afro: Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall.

People have to commute to DC because living in DC means you are either making around 100k or willing to live in a run down mouse infested apartment house.

"Hey come live in DC where 'cheap' rent is only $900 a month without utilities!"
Meanwhile minimum wage in the area is 7.25 with most DC area workers making in the $10~14 range.  Lets see, so you make around $1500 per month.  $900 goes to rent $150 goes to gas and electric.  Leaving you with $450 per month for every other expense you may run across (bus/subway fare, food, clothing, etc).  Hopefully you didn't get sick and lose out on a three or four days worth of pay.

Meanwhile you can get a house in West Virginia for around 100k.  Have a mortgage of 700~750 dollars and not have to rent. I think the choice is clear for many people.  Rent for 900 or own for 700.


Whodathunk the cost of living is muuuuch less in WV than in any major city.  Next, well discuss what the average household income in the state of WV versus those in Northern VA, DC or otherwise.

To be fair, I do know two guys who commute from Martinsburg, WV to Washington DC back and forth, every day for work. farking Ew.
 
2013-03-07 12:58:28 PM  

trickymoo: degenerate-afro: Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall.

People have to commute to DC because living in DC means you are either making around 100k or willing to live in a run down mouse infested apartment house.

"Hey come live in DC where 'cheap' rent is only $900 a month without utilities!"
Meanwhile minimum wage in the area is 7.25 with most DC area workers making in the $10~14 range.  Lets see, so you make around $1500 per month.  $900 goes to rent $150 goes to gas and electric.  Leaving you with $450 per month for every other expense you may run across (bus/subway fare, food, clothing, etc).  Hopefully you didn't get sick and lose out on a three or four days worth of pay.

Meanwhile you can get a house in West Virginia for around 100k.  Have a mortgage of 700~750 dollars and not have to rent. I think the choice is clear for many people.  Rent for 900 or own for 700.

Whodathunk the cost of living is muuuuch less in WV than in any major city.  Next, well discuss what the average household income in the state of WV versus those in Northern VA, DC or otherwise.

To be fair, I do know two guys who commute from Martinsburg, WV to Washington DC back and forth, every day for work. farking Ew.


We've got a programmer that lives in VERY north PA and he commutes to DC twice a week.

The client demands that he is occasionally on site.
 
2013-03-07 01:01:26 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: What do you even mean that an opinion is "invalid". What are "unknown facts" ? Are they different from "known facts"?


I'm saying nobody is entitled to an opinion that's based on anything other than factual information.
 
2013-03-07 01:02:12 PM  
i5.photobucket.com
 
2013-03-07 01:06:39 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: There are a lot of non-essential employees, but it might better to lose them to attrition and just not backfill their positions than to try to cut them all at once. Shoving a bunch of otherwise unemployable government workers into the work force is just going to make things worse for everyone else.


The Federal civilian workforce is approximately the same size that it was in 1985.   Source.
 
2013-03-07 01:09:08 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: firefly212: most government workers is that they took a pay cut to move from private industry because they thought the government would be a more stable employer.

Looks like your friends did it wrong then.
Fed employees make more than their private sector counterparts...and they get all that cushy job security (compared to the private sector) and they don't work as hard.

Link


FTA: <i>When including wages and benefits including Health Care, and pensions, state governments pay on average 6.2 percent more per hour.</i>

So in net they are making probably less money but after benefits are making a freaken 6% more. OMG the horror.
 
2013-03-07 01:15:28 PM  

SurfaceTension: First, there was some snow, just not as much as forecast.

Second, there are a great many people in this area that have no idea about or experience with driving on roads covered in snow and slush.

Three, I'm willing to bet that payroll employees and most IT folks are considered non-essential, yet the essential folks would be none too happy to see those non-essentials leave.


Meh. I've lived in D.C. and now live in Montana. There are still plenty of accidents here, for people who "know how to drive" in snowy weather. It's just that Montana has a million people TOTAL, so it seems "better".

Add in that the snow in D.C. is much wetter, and you quickly realize subby is a clueless dick.
 
2013-03-07 01:16:03 PM  
Sorry. Subby is a clueless dick with a childish, transparent agenda...
 
2013-03-07 01:18:27 PM  

SurfaceTension: Well, it kinda is this time. The NWS was pushing forecasts that showed up to 14" of snow in a wide area of northern virginia. I saw the maps myself.


So we are a go on the cannibalism. Cause I am starving.
 
2013-03-07 01:19:24 PM  

Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall. Considering that all of NoVA was expected to get over a foot of snow, it made a lot of sense to close offices ahead of the storm.


Nah. This is a "government always bad, no exceptions" thread. So what if a few people might have died had they been on the roads during a snow storm? Government is bad, all government employees are lazy, and none are needed...
 
2013-03-07 01:21:22 PM  

MindStalker: tenpoundsofcheese: firefly212: most government workers is that they took a pay cut to move from private industry because they thought the government would be a more stable employer.

Looks like your friends did it wrong then.
Fed employees make more than their private sector counterparts...and they get all that cushy job security (compared to the private sector) and they don't work as hard.

Link

FTA: <i>When including wages and benefits including Health Care, and pensions, state governments pay on average 6.2 percent more per hour.</i>

So in net they are making probably less money but after benefits are making a freaken 6% more. OMG the horror.


It also misses the free market economics truth that it also means the best will gravitate to those jobs more.
 
2013-03-07 01:23:26 PM  

degenerate-afro: Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall.

People have to commute to DC because living in DC means you are either making around 100k or willing to live in a run down mouse infested apartment house.

"Hey come live in DC where 'cheap' rent is only $900 a month without utilities!"
Meanwhile minimum wage in the area is 7.25 with most DC area workers making in the $10~14 range.  Lets see, so you make around $1500 per month.  $900 goes to rent $150 goes to gas and electric.  Leaving you with $450 per month for every other expense you may run across (bus/subway fare, food, clothing, etc).  Hopefully you didn't get sick and lose out on a three or four days worth of pay.

Meanwhile you can get a house in West Virginia for around 100k.  Have a mortgage of 700~750 dollars and not have to rent. I think the choice is clear for many people.  Rent for 900 or own for 700.


Then spend $250 a month on fuel and waste 3 hours of your day commuting.
 
2013-03-07 01:28:37 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: degenerate-afro: Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall.

People have to commute to DC because living in DC means you are either making around 100k or willing to live in a run down mouse infested apartment house.

"Hey come live in DC where 'cheap' rent is only $900 a month without utilities!"
Meanwhile minimum wage in the area is 7.25 with most DC area workers making in the $10~14 range.  Lets see, so you make around $1500 per month.  $900 goes to rent $150 goes to gas and electric.  Leaving you with $450 per month for every other expense you may run across (bus/subway fare, food, clothing, etc).  Hopefully you didn't get sick and lose out on a three or four days worth of pay.

Meanwhile you can get a house in West Virginia for around 100k.  Have a mortgage of 700~750 dollars and not have to rent. I think the choice is clear for many people.  Rent for 900 or own for 700.

Then spend $250 a month on fuel and waste 3 hours of your day commuting.


AND live in West Virginia....
 
2013-03-07 01:29:01 PM  
Of course she should be fired and could be, easily, under civil service rules. My guess from your whole post though is that you are prone to exxageration

trickymoo:
/ Contractor in DC here, so I get to be harassed by my government overlords when I cant do in a week what takes them 6 months.
// farking watch this fat biatch down the hall show up at 10, leave at noon for lunch, back by 2, leaving before 3 and does jaaaaaaaack shiat while here. And I'm supposed to care that she gets furloughed?
 
2013-03-07 01:41:05 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: degenerate-afro: Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall.

People have to commute to DC because living in DC means you are either making around 100k or willing to live in a run down mouse infested apartment house.

"Hey come live in DC where 'cheap' rent is only $900 a month without utilities!"
Meanwhile minimum wage in the area is 7.25 with most DC area workers making in the $10~14 range.  Lets see, so you make around $1500 per month.  $900 goes to rent $150 goes to gas and electric.  Leaving you with $450 per month for every other expense you may run across (bus/subway fare, food, clothing, etc).  Hopefully you didn't get sick and lose out on a three or four days worth of pay.

Meanwhile you can get a house in West Virginia for around 100k.  Have a mortgage of 700~750 dollars and not have to rent. I think the choice is clear for many people.  Rent for 900 or own for 700.

Then spend $250 a month on fuel and waste 3 hours of your day commuting.


While building equity in a house that you can one day sell if you need to.  Though I'm sure you'll say that's totally the same as just getting your security deposit back.
 
2013-03-07 01:46:35 PM  
Of course, these are the same people who screamed when they didn't cancel for the day,
and all the workforce got stuck down in the city and on the highways.


I grew up in the North too, but I think the people who don't know the area should keep their mouth shut.
DC is not setup for easy driving or good mass transit.


BTW, many still worked...the Feds have been encouraging telecommuting.
 
2013-03-07 01:56:02 PM  
In Charlottesville, about 2 hours south, 25% of houses are still out of power. Even worse a little to the east where I suppose ice fell. Tons of broken trees branches and debris. They don't always know exactly what precipitation will fall where. I'm ok with not forcing people onto the roads when terrible conditions are a possibility. They always do this after big predictions of snow, but this time they weren't wrong about the snow, just about where the boundary between snow and rain landed.
 
2013-03-07 02:06:33 PM  

Endive Wombat: How about the national weather service needs to get their shiat together and stop crying wolf every time a storm comes through.


NWS did fine elsewhere predicting snow amounts. They nailed it in western PA and western VA for example. I'd be more pissed at the local farkers like Topper Shutt who predicted a foot and were wrong by a factor of... a foot.
 
2013-03-07 02:11:42 PM  

StrangeQ: Smeggy Smurf: degenerate-afro: Bendal: Commuters to the DC area have one of the longest travel times on average of anywhere in the US; up to 90 minutes one way. That means commuters are coming from western PA and WV to work in DC, places that got hit really hard by this snowfall.

People have to commute to DC because living in DC means you are either making around 100k or willing to live in a run down mouse infested apartment house.

"Hey come live in DC where 'cheap' rent is only $900 a month without utilities!"
Meanwhile minimum wage in the area is 7.25 with most DC area workers making in the $10~14 range.  Lets see, so you make around $1500 per month.  $900 goes to rent $150 goes to gas and electric.  Leaving you with $450 per month for every other expense you may run across (bus/subway fare, food, clothing, etc).  Hopefully you didn't get sick and lose out on a three or four days worth of pay.

Meanwhile you can get a house in West Virginia for around 100k.  Have a mortgage of 700~750 dollars and not have to rent. I think the choice is clear for many people.  Rent for 900 or own for 700.

Then spend $250 a month on fuel and waste 3 hours of your day commuting.

While building equity in a house that you can one day sell if you need to.  Though I'm sure you'll say that's totally the same as just getting your security deposit back.


I've done the drive from Silver Spring to Alexandria - 35 minutes if you do it at 2am, but 70+ if you do it with a million of your closest friends. And if there's an accident, forget it - you may as well telecommute (if you're lucky enough to have the option).

Instead I moved to NW - I have 20-25 minute commute (in 6 months, there hasn't been anything severe on 395 during my commute, so I don't know what a slowdown would look like), I spend about half of what I did on gas (instead of filling up twice a week, I sometimes go 2 without a fill - of course, I'm dating a girl in Baltimore, so...), I get an hour per day back (and remember, time is money) and all in exchange for a higher sales tax and ~$200/month more in rent.

It's about break-even between the two, except that DC has an outrageous parking situation (which is why I'm moving back to MD in the summer).

// telecommuted the 6.5 miles yesterday
// and not a single fark was given
 
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