“Snow!!!”

C’mon now, it never snows in San Antonio!!!

I remember when we moved to the Alamo City from Staten Island, NY in late October 1993. The first thing that immediately hit us was the weather.

Late October in San Antonio is not a lot different than summer in NY. I recall how very different both Thanksgiving & Christmas felt after spending my first 37 years up north.

And, coincidentally, the winter of ‘93 (and into ‘94) was one of the worst winters in history back in NY & actually, across most of the country! Seems we got outta there just in the nick of time, heh?

The Northeast just kept getting hit with one snowstorm after another. I was so worried about my Mom being snowbound in her home in Brooklyn, especially since my Dad had just passed away suddenly 18 months earlier.

And NY was hit hard by a devastating blizzard in March.

But never had any weather-related issues in San Antonio.

Oh, wait, I did forget one tiny (non-)event…

I believe it was either Dec ‘93 or Jan ‘94 when there was actually a “threat” of the white stuff falling here in San Antonio.

No, there wasn’t a 90% chance of getting a foot of snow, mind you, but even mentioning that 4-letter word on the TV or radio brought absolute terror & fear into the hearts & minds of San Antonians!

People were absolutely freaking out…and my USCC Retirement Plan Services Operations group was no different!

“What are we going to do, Mike?!?”

“Are we going to be closed tomorrow?”

“How am I supposed to get into work?”

“What happens if school gets cancelled? My kids!”

I wasn’t used to this sort of panic at the first mention of snow…and there was only a possibility, mind you, not even a good chance, of us getting any sort of frozen precipitation whatsoever.

I took all the questions & concerns from the people at a hastily-called staff meeting.

“Under no circumstances will we close the building.

“I mean, if we get hit with any snow, it’ll only be a very small amount, according to all the local forecasts. And even that’s a pretty remote possibility.

“Besides, this is San Antonio & I’d be laughed out of the bank if we ever closed shop due to a little snow!

“How would you get into work if it did actually snow?, you ask. Well, how did you get into work this morning? I’d imagine you’d do the same exact thing. And driving in the snow is similar to driving in the rain, just a little more slippery.

“Take your time. Drive slowly. Leave for work a little earlier. Be careful. Don’t worry if you’re late. Just be careful.”

“Regarding your kids & what to do if their school gets closed? Make plans NOW. Be prepared in case something does happen. No, it may not be wise to bring them into work with you for several different reasons.

“And if you’re encountering any problems whatsoever, pls make sure you call us. I’d rather have you come in late than not at all. But above all, make sure your kids are safe & will be taken care of properly.”

Now, of course, nothing ever transpired the following day.

Yeah, it was a little chilly, but if you looked at how everyone was dressed to battle the weather, you’d think we worked at Ice Station Zebra!

(Note: That was a 1968 movie about a Russian submarine, the North Pole, the Cold War (< < Ha! Ha!) between the US & the USSR, sabotage, military secrets, blah, blah, blah.)

People were all bundled up in big ol’ coats with the faux fur collars & hats & scarves & boots! Heck, I didn’t even think people down here owned this type of stuff!

And all I kept hearing about was the snowstorm that ravaged San Antonio about 9 years earlier.

That storm dumped 13.5” on the city & absolutely shut everything down for 2 whole days!

After all, that much snow is difficult for any place to handle, but when you consider the fact that San Antonio had/has absolutely no snow removal equipment whatsoever, you can easily understand why the entire city was completely crippled & everything came to a grinding halt.

Oh, before I go, just one more li’l tidbit about snow & going to work…

When I ran the CitiPhone business on Long Island for the Brooklyn/Long Island/Staten Island Region, for the first couple of years, I still lived in Brooklyn & traveled ~50 miles to work each day.

Considering traffic, it normally took me about 75-90 minutes to arrive in the morning. All things considered,  including the fact that the overwhelming majority of traffic was actually heading the “other way”, that is, from east to west (from Long Island INTO New York City), while I was driving OUT of NYC, that really wasn’t too bad.

Yeah, it could’ve been a lot better, but I practically spent half my life in construction zone traffic on the g-damned Belt Parkway!

But when I looked across the highway, especially on the Southern State Pkwy (after exiting the Belt), it was a pleasure to actually approach the speed limit on MY side while the other direction was usually mired in  bumper-to-bumper traffic!

“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

Helen Keller

Well, this one day, we got hit with a major snowstorm overnight that dumped a good 10” of snow across the entire metropolitan area.

Traffic was expected to be much worse than usual (duh) so I left extra early, around 5:45/6:00 AM.

“Worse than usual” turned out to be a huge understatement!

I eventually arrived at work a little after 10 o’clock! This was well before the age of cell phones, except, of course, for Maxwell Smart’s (CONTROL Agent 86 from “Get Smart!”) shoe phone.

(Everyone but us veterans will probably hafta Google that last one. C’mon, I can’t be expected to do everything for you guys now…)

Anyway, I’m walking up the steps @ our 100 Baylis Road site in Melville to the second floor where CitiPhone was located.

And who do I see walking down but Pete Fasano, VP, my boss’s boss.

I had worked directly for Peter for several years back in Brooklyn & basically, did just about everything for him, including writing annual performance appraisals for his other direct reports (VPs & Assistant VPs)…

…while I was still a management trainee!

So, after spending 4+ hours on the road to get to work & arriving totally aggravated, I’m greeted with “Well, it’s certainly nice of you to grace us with your presence this morning!” as he glanced at his watch.

I stopped, growled at him, then mumbled a “Don’t even!” & continued on my way.

What are the odds?

First off, I was ALWAYS on time getting to work when I ran CitiPhone.

Secondly, he almost NEVER, ever came out to our place on Long Island as he worked back in Brooklyn. But since he lived “in between” the two sites, in the LI town of Valley Stream, he decided traffic would be so much better heading out east, especially with all the snow, so he wound up being at the wrong place at the wrong time!

In my eyes, at least.

And, of course, it hadda be the one day that…

Don’t even go there!!!

 

As always, thank you so very much for listening!

Oh, I forgot one thing…

When I was speaking with my USCC Retirement Plans staff in San Antonio (ya know, when they were all terrified of being buried out in a snow bank somewhere < < < unintentional funny…snow bank…Citibank…🧔🏻 🥊), I was trying my very best to allay their fears.

“And don’t worry about how you hafta dress tomorrow with all this weather! You’re allowed to wear dungarees if you’d like.”

*Cue the “deer in the headlights” look across the entire group*

“Huh? What’s that, Mike?”

“What’s what?”

“What you said we could wear tomorrow.”

💡

“Oh, dungarees! You guys call ’em ‘blue jeans’. Back in New York, everyone calls them dungarees!”

I actually started to explain the origins of that particular colloquialism, but I quickly decided that discretion was the better part of valor as I figured this conversation would consume the rest of the work day!

“Ah, just one of those regional differences!”

Like purse vs. pocketbook…

hero vs. sub vs. grinder vs. hoagie…

cold cuts vs. luncheon meats…

soda vs. pop vs. coke…

you guys (youse guys) vs. y’all…

lollipop vs. sucker…

sneakers vs. tennis shoes…

gravy vs. sauce… (BTW, it’s GRAVY!!!)

b/hang a ‘uey vs. make a U-turn…

gettin’ ready to vs. fixin’ to…

*yawn*

“Enough already, Mike! Just hush up!”

Oh, you mean, shut up???

🤐

Posted in:

Subscribe to Mike's Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Comments

Leave a Reply