Another dreary winter in Leafton meant lots of warnings about adverse weather. Flurries, freezing rain, extreme cold, harsh winds and huge snow squalls were constantly impending. None of these things were ever as bad as when they hit right in the middle of the already messy rush hour commute.
“They’re calling for 30cm of snow across the afternoon and evening,” announced the weather man on the TV in the activities lounge. I shuddered as I entered to teach my third class of the day. He went on, “Expect full white-out conditions on your way home this evening. Leafton police are warning the public if you don’t have to go out today, stay home..”
Great. My mind wandered back to the morning the previous year with similar foreboding messages from the media. They had been right that time. I had tried to make it to work, and ended up totaling my car trying to get there. I fucking hate winter.
When I finished class, I was startled to find my manager Percy waiting outside of my class for me. Was I in trouble? The soft smile on his face ensured me that I wasn’t. Instead, he said, “with this storm they’re calling for, I was wondering if you would like to go home one period early today? I’ve already asked another teacher who lives more locally if she would be willing to cover your class. She said she would, but of course, it’s completely up to you.”
I was suddenly overwhelmed. Percy was probably remembering my accident too. He knew about my commute. He cared about my well-being. It was a sweet feeling. I thanked him profusely before I accepted his generous offer. It was the very first time I felt truly cared about at work.
Simple gestures go a long way.