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Has technology killed the professional snow day?

Posted by Jesse Singal  January 11, 2011 10:02 AM

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Growing up in a cold climate, nothing beats the excitement of an impending snow day: the constant, nervous glances out the window (accumulate, damn it!), the ever-updating accumulation estimates, and the final, triumphant moment when your town's name is announced on TV or the radio. Then, the next day, waking up to go sledding with all the other ecstatic, legally truant kids.

It's one of those childhood pleasures that, for many, survived into adulthood. When it gets really bad out, schools aren't the only things that close down. Offices, particularly those whose employees commute from far-flung suburbs, are just as susceptible to the power of a major winter storm.

But lately, it seems, less so. In an age where the vast majority of working people have computers of their own, and where email and other technology has made location much less important than it used to be, there may no longer be such thing as a professional snow day. Why would a boss give his or her employees the day off when they can work from home instead?

I'm not basing this on any hard data — just logic and some anecdotal accounts from my friends. Am I wrong? Will hillsides be swarmed not only with kids, but with their parents?

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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