Weather Wars?

The latest hot trend: Using bad winter weather to screw over people. Hand it to the New York City Department of Sanitation and the airlines to take this concept to an art level.

News surfaced yesterday that New York City’s inept efforts to clear the city’s streets of snow from that blizzard Sunday and Monday might have been intentionally bad.

A girl walks past an abandoned snowplow in Brooklyn, N.Y. after last week’s big snowstorm in New York City in this inmage from the New York Daily News.

The New York Post and other news outlets said the city’s sanitation department intentionally ignored snowbound streets, did a lousy job of clearing those they did go through, damaged equipment and worked slooowwwwly because they were annoyed by budget cutbacks.

Now, I can sort of see the logic, as loathesome as this stunt is. Mayors are routinely blamed, and sometimes drummed out of office, when a snowstorm unnecessarily paralyzes their city.

Since New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been doing the budget cutting, I can see how the sanitation workers want to get rid of him.

But these santation workers, if they are guilty of this job slow down, maybe could use a few tiny little lessons in public relations.

Now the whole city is really, really P.O’d at the sanitation workers, thereby evaporating any hope of public opposition to budget cuts and layoffs in the sanitation department.

I’m sure half the city’s residents are saying, “Screw ’em. Fire the whole bunch of them.” Way to go sanitation workers! New York City will now get rid of you guys and hire Rico’s Plowing Service of Bayonne, New Jersey or some damn outfit  to clear the city streets.

The New York sanitation department is already on people’s hate list, what with that  viral video of the sanitation worker wrecking cars, and the death threats to the guy who shot the video.

Makes it hard to feel sorry for the sanitation workers, no?

I suppose the people who organized the work slowdown didn’t intend for the public and political leaders to find out about it, but jeez, with that many people involved, somebody would narc.

So, if there’s any sanitation workers from New York who will now need jobs plowing snow, I’m not hiring you to clear my driveway, that’s for sure. I’d rather stay snowed in. Maybe Rico’s is hiring.

Then there’s the airlines. No, they didn’t do any intentional job slow downs, that I know of, to gum up the flights after Sunday and Monday’s blizzard. But notice the airlines crumble for weeks after every winter storm, like the one earlier this month in Europe, and now today in the Midwest.

Surprise! It snows in the winter. Who’d a thunk?

The happy scene at JFK airport in New York this past week after the snowstorm cancelled and otherwise screwed up thousands of flights.

I get it that it’s unsafe to fly in a storm, and there will obviously be flight cancellations, delays and inconvenience to go around during nasty storms.

The airline industry, however, has taken a talent for making a bad situation worse to a whole new level.

Let’s strand people out in a plane on the tarmac in the cold with little food for 10 hours!  Let’s make people stand in line for three hours, only to not give them any information once they get to the front of the line! Let’s really annoy the crowds stuck in the terminal by sending out a clueless employee to give nonsensical blather! Let’s make sure people can’t get through to us on the phone! And let’s charge you hundreds or thousands of dollars to be abused by us for days on end!

Makes you want to strand the CEOs of the major airlines at the Minsk, Siberia airport for the month of January after the terminal’s heating system has been shut off.

According to the Washington Post, airlines cut staff and flights so much during the recession, they left no resources to deal with problems, like weather.

True, airlines must make a profit to survive, but it seems they know we have to fly, so they can treat us however they want. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would be going ballistic if airlines treated cattle the way they treat people.

It turns out a big part of the problem at JFK airport  in New York was things were screwed up because employees couldn’t get to work, according to CNN. The problem? New York sanitation worker’s temper tantrum meant they didn’t clear streets where JFK workers lived, so that totally bolloxed the airport.

Why? Because New York the sanitation department failed to clear New York streets because they were having that temper tantrum over  budget cutbacks, as noted above, so the employees couldn’t get to work.

In any event, what I’m surprised about is how calm and rational the victims of these organizations are. Yes, there was yelling and screaming and anger, but I’m conpletely bewildered that there were no riots.

God knows I don’t advocate violence. But I wish there was a nonviolent way to really stick it to the airlines and the other outfits that treat us with such disdain.

Any ideas, readers?

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One Response to “Weather Wars?”

  1. gary rith Says:

    I don’t have any ideas to add, but I find it very funny that the callous and uncaring governor and lt. gov of NJ went to Disney just before the storm. All the teabag libertarian anti-gov’t types got just what they asked for. No gov’t help! Maybe some of those voters are remembering ‘oh yeah, when you vote republican, you get politicians who don’t even try to appear to care’.

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