Hollywood got the weather wrong. People don’t tend to have bad, depressing days when it’s thunder storming. Thunder storms tend to elicit a different emotional response from people than on a day of rain – not hard rain, and raining on and off throughout the day giving a real solemn, hopelessness atmosphere. On a day like today, one could just as easily stumble into a Hiller’s Groceries or a failing sports memorabilia store and find the exact same look on the employees’ faces. Desperate for conversation, knowing a sale is out of the question, the kid who stands behind the register at Comic City shouts “how are you?” as you enter, unaware of his own volume because he hadn’t a customer in hours. In short, days like today suck for work. When people start a conversation with you spontaneously about vacationing or a new position, take note of the weather. It’s extremely hard for most people to even get out of bed on a day like today (I know I didn’t).
Luckily, a day like today doesn’t just affect those of us who work, it also affects those of us who spend a day like this spending incredible amounts of money to feel better once we get off work. If you work on commission, an endlessly gray day is a potential gold mine from 3pm to 8pm. Once the sun goes down, people feel like they feel on any day, so your weather-affecting support will end around dusk. We are a nation who eats and constantly feels bad about itself. If you want to know someone before you meet them, call them and ask them what they’re doing. If they’re not eating, they’re probably going to tell you that they’re working or cleaning or watching television, and then tell you what and when they’re going to eat next. And as sick as we get of this clouded and cold climate in south-east Michigan, once we get a break of sunshine and warm temperatures, we become more sensitized to the next depressing day to come. Saturday was our glimpse of what most other states feel in April, and now here we are, back in the rut again, sitting uncomfortably close to Iowa.
The end of this article is now up to you, like those “choose your own ending” books the dumb kids would read for book reports (I read them): either you can see where this paragraph goes with a light-hearted, positive message, or you can skip to the one below with the cynical, exploitative yet beneficial message. Make your decision now….Ok. A great way to get over the sorrow that comes with inevitable bad weather in southern Michigan that makes you feel helpless and serves only to make us recall our broken dreams of going back to grad school or astronaut-related stuff (if you start to recall astronaut/cosmonaut dreams, don’t fret a whole lot, they’re fairly impractical considering the numbers of people who actually become space-people), is to focus on your benefits. If you were hired into a position that included a benefits package, great. Make a doctor’s appointment for something benign; schedule a day off on a Friday to enjoy a longer weekend; leave work early for a paid sick day and see a movie around lunchtime. Already you’ve done more than enough to break up the monotony of your usual work week and it reminds you that even though you may not have your dream job, you do have some pretty sweet benefits. If you were hired without a benefits package, even better – your position may be more trivial than you think. A “benefit” of such a position is the strictness of labor laws; enjoy your two paid 15-minute breaks, they really break up the latter part of the day.
As noted earlier, people tend to feel bad about themselves on days with poor weather and because nobody ever likes to feel bad, they will reach out to the quickest and easiest way to feel better (similar to how hungry children ads work). The easiest way for someone to feel better immediately, forgoing the chore-like steps of scheduling appointments with psychotherapists and signing up for a gym membership, is to spend money on something unneeded. So for those of you who work in waiting tables, selling electronics, or getting people to upgrade their cell phones, this is great weather for you to make a little extra cash. Now granted in general customer traffic is low, but for those few that are out and about, they’re probably looking for an easy fix to their day. Act unaffected by the weather and surprisingly chipper, and your customer will treat you like some sort of happiness vending machine. Hopefully the metaphor isn’t lost on anyone who isn’t a bar tender.