Several midtown restaurants, coffee shops and delis closed late this afternoon to allow their employees to get home safely due to inclement weather. I for one am consumed with disgust. Remember that line in the Rolling Stones‘ “Shattered” that went “to live in this town you must be tough tough tough tough tough tough tough”? No longer. People who went home early today are babies. They probably lack the character to feel ashamed of themselves so let me invoke it on their behalf.

What kind of a flabby-bellied managerial mentality decides that wind gusts, falling snow, smallish snow drifts and annoying slush puddles are exceptional threats to pedestrians? I’m sorry but this is a measure of the backbone and resilience of the mainstream work force, or lack of I should say. I’m sure it was mainly middle-aged and older women employees who expressed concern to their bosses. I went out last night with a woman who suggested yesterday afternoon that walking two avenue blocks to the subway at Eighth Avenue and 23rd Street might be a little too challenging and that perhaps we could call a cab or a private limo?

61 thoughts on “Pathetic

  1. I bet the man who was crushed to death by a falling tree in Central Park doesn’t give a damn about your disgust. Or what Jaggers/Richards et. al consider “tough tough tough tough tough tough tough.”

    Give me a fucking break.

  2. These restaurant managers are clearly thinking about their employees’ safety. You want to be the idiot that roams is shitty weather bitching about everyone else, that’s fine. That’s your right. But it isn’t their job to cater people like you if it puts its employees at any kind of unnecessary risk.

    Just because you’re “brave enough” to walk from your apartment to the movie theatre doesn’t mean everybody else should.

    It sucks, but live with it.

  3. When I was your age…”

    In truth, though, I agree with you and this is coming from someone who has never lived in any sort of snowy clime.

    I do, however, live in an envvironment that requires a minor hike on a narrow dirt path (uphill, reallly!) just to get to my house so I’m right there with ya.

    This, and our incresing paranoia about germs (Swine flu notwithstanding) is getting plain rediculous.

    It’s almost as if we’re wiillingingly giving ourselvers AIDS!

  4. Do you ever get tired of complaining?

    I guess it’s better to write about these things as a form of catharsis rather than bottle them up inside, but the majority of your posts have become overwhelmingly confrontational and negative – it doesn’t make for great reading imho.

    Sincerely hope you’re not as miserable as you come across. After all you watch movies for a living.

  5. “Employees safety”? You’re exactly the kind of wimp I’m talking about. It’s snowing outside and there are slush puddles…BIG DEAL. Welcome to New York City in the wintertime!!

    I hate people who insist on comfort and neck rubs and easy living 24/7. People who get upset in the summer if the air-conditioning isn’t just so. People who wear hush puppy slippers around the house in the evening.

    And as for that poor guy who was killed by a tree…well, I’m sorry. Tough break. But accidents like this happen ever day. It has nothing to do, in any case, with what I’m talking about, which is the state of grit and strength and intestinal fortitude in the citizens of this once-tough town.

  6. Totally agree Jeff. We had a little snow in the UK in January and all number of schools shut. Just pathetic. It is not as if it is raining napalm.

  7. “… the majority of your posts have become overwhelmingly confrontational and negative – it doesn’t make for great reading imho.”

    I think it does make for great reading, actually.

  8. Wells to larry braverman: Did I mention how happy and delighted and…well, just plain ecstatic I am about simply being alive? Oh, God, please…I can’t stand it! Alpha waves of cosmic pleasure are surging through my heart and soul. The subtle shadings of the snow in central Park, the glistening ice in the trees, the shape of this or that woman’s leg on the subway. I’m as giddy as a drunken man. I’m as light-hearted as a schoolboy. Life is just one continuous orgasm, and I can’t stop talking about it. I have to share my feelings of joy!

    Is that enough or do you want more?

  9. lol@”People who wear hush puppy slippers around the house in the evening.”

    Like it’s some kind of test of fortitude or manliness to clog around your house in (emotionally vivid?) cowboy boots during the winter, messing up the linoleum and carpets.

    P.S. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a job where they spend 80% of their time SITTING DOWN.

    You are so grouchy sometimes it really does boggle the mind!

  10. Jeff, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don’t have to take a 35 minute subway ride every night – or, at least, what should be a 35 minute subway ride (on a normal day, that’s how long it takes me to get to work in the morning, assuming the subways are running correctly).

    It’s a fact of life – during bad weather, particularly snow, the subways run slower and with more delays, particularly the ones that travel over the Manhattan Bridge (I take the D because it saves time and lets me off close to work). And there have been times during heavy snow in the 9 years I’ve been living here that I’ve been stranded at 36th street in Brooklyn, 50 blocks from where I live (now that I moved, it’s almost 60), and had to walk home, in the snow, hoping I can flag down either a car or a bus, and more often than not, unsuccessful at it (I remember one trying time when a car service car stopped for me, but charged me double).

    So why do businesses close early during a heavy snowstorm? Well, I know our boss let’s us close early so we can get home at a relatively decent hour on the chance a 35 minute subway ride (or however long one has to take) doesn’t turn into twice that long. Deal with it.

    And as far as “middle-aged” goes, I’m 42.

  11. This from the pussy who constantly complains about his internet connection?? The same guy who almost blew off an entire film festival because of some surreal temper tantrum? Gimme a break. It was a snow day in NY, which means that a lot of people with kids had to stay home from work.

    Plus, fewer pedestrians out and about means less business, which makes it more financially feasible sometimes to shut down. Sorry you couldn’t get your hot Reuben on rye or whatever it is you eat. Who eats in midtown Manhattan anyway? That’s some nasty overpriced tourist shit right there.

  12. You are clueless Wells.

    These companies that send their employees home early do it for a number of reasons:

    1. Because it would significantly help people get home before the bad weather hits. That’s goodwill from management to the staff.

    2. Because if someone got hurt commuting to work because of weather, the company could have to pay for the employee’s health care and time off.

    3. Because people’s safety are more important than your fucking bagel.

    You want to brave the weather to watch movies; I get it. I also bet you live in an area where it isn’t too much of a bother to walk.

    You were also the little kid that whined when school got snowed in, didn’t you?

    The fact is all the points are more important than your fucking bagel between movies.

  13. That’s a great movie/industry write-up. Oh… Wait. That isn’t a movie is it. That’s just an episode from life. Got it.

    Well, in that case… Someone is a very angry person. I guess that makes sense, though. I mean, you go to a favorite restaurant where they have really good food, and you’re all hungry and looking forward to a nice hot delicious meal, and then you get there and find it’s closed early because of a little snow and wind, and now you have to go someplace else, or maybe just sit on the curb and starve until the snow melts, well, who wouldn’t be mad.

    You know, now that I think of it, that reminds me of a story.

    ONCE Upon A Time…

    I was at work and it started snowing. Forecasts were bad and, just after lunch, my boss offered to let some of us go home early. One of us had to cross a bridge that sometimes slows to a crawl when it snows (read: 1-4 hours delay, and a lot of times there’s accidents mid-span and traffic just sits there).

    Another person couldn’t afford snow tires in the winter so the boss was worried they might have an accident.

    There was this elderly lady who, well, just got the jitters driving in snow and the heater in her car had just broken down that morning so if there was a delay or if, god forbid, she had an accident, she would be really cold in that car, and, you know old people — they can’t stand the cold.

    One guy lived at the top of this steep hill and there was really no way he could make it up that hill after more than a few inches accumulated. Plus, his wife and kid had the flu and this guy wanted to stop at the store for supplies — fruit, soup, sick stuff like that — because, even if he could make it up the hill that night there was no damn way he could have made it down the hill the next morning (where the supermarket was) in all that snow. So, he would have had to stop at the store on the way home or walk down that hill the next day — not that that’s too smart a thing. You can fall or get hit by one of those cars you see totally out of control sliding down hills on snowy days. Not that this guy would have been hit. I’m sure he would have heard the car come, horn honking crazy, and gotten out of the way in plenty of time and dove behind a tree or around the corner of someone’s house.

    And, anyway, the boss also offered to let me go home early — for no real reason.

    Well. Let me tell you. I declined! I said you’d have to be a baby to go home early because of a little snow and wind. You’d have to be some kind of a big spineless baby who also lacked character to go home early just because it was snowing a little. I called my boss a flabby-bellied loser for even suggesting it (I meant figuratively, in the managerial mentality sense, not literally, as he was actually very trim and in good shape. He was proud of it).

    I stayed and worked. Everybody else went home. I just stared out the window the rest of the afternoon because the power kept going out and the computers wouldn’t work. I watched the snow fall. Pretty.

    I got fired the next day for calling everybody names.

    I guess that’s not too good a story.


  14. Wow, two potentially controversial posts in one day, and twice I more or less agree with Jeff. Here in Chicago they don’t close things for shit, ever – not schools, not trains, nothing. Never. We deal. I have friends in Baltimore complaining that now, thanks to the dozen-plus snow days already, their kids will be stuck in school for a hunk of the summer. Same in NYC, I imagine. Amusing to note, too, that they closed the schools in NYC once again for this snow, and yet city workers were required to show up. So who’s watching the kids? Every time a city shuts down, or closes early, or whatever, all sorts of social/economic stuff is thrown out of alignment. Supposedly each day DC “shuts down” costs $100 million. It’s one thing to shut down because the bridge is out, or there was a landslide, or the roads have been completely covered. But a city? A major metropolitan center and linchpin of the easy coast? Please. Bunch of wimps. Next thing you know they’ll be shutting down in the spring and summer because the subway urine smell is too strong.

  15. ps — would suggest you not ever go back to that place. There’s going to be employees (not to mention weak-minded managerial types) whose feelings were hurt by your write-up and they might spit in your food.

    pps — thank you for wading through the slush, standing out in the middle of the street, and taking that picture in the public’s interest. Very principled of you.

  16. Comment #14 was delightful. Had I been eating a bagel while reading, I might have spit it up.

    What I want to know is where Wells stashed the corpse after he strangled that woman who balked at walking two avenue blocks to the subway.

    Yes, Mick Jagger had been living in New York when he wrote “Shattered.” That was during the ’70s, when the city was nearly bankrupt, around the time of the Summer of Sam. He wasn’t thinking about snow days. And in any event, I sincerely doubt if he ever took the subway. Even once, as research.

    Similarly, he most certainly was capable of giving it away on 7th Avenue at the time.

  17. How old are you anyway, Wells? You sound like a grumpy old fart with faded dreams of his own toughness, slogging his way to school through sleetstorms. Your prostate must be the size of a grapefruit from all that sitting and bitching. Not that I intend to check.

  18. gogocrank10, do your research before you post. City wide public school closings are a VERY rare occurrence in NYC. This was their second snow day this month, but only the fourth in SIX years.

  19. This is precisely why I read Jeff. I WANT THIS. Being from NY, now living in LA, I NEED THIS. Why do any of you hating ( you know who you are ) douchebags show up? What’ the point? I can only hope that tomorrow’s weather is even shittier! God know what it’ll produce!!!

  20. If someone has an accident of any kind on the way home because of weather, well, sorry that’s life. You can have an accident if it rains too. Or if it’s foggy.

    I lived in Montreal for most of my life. Any of you ever been there? It snows. A lot. For about 5 months. And guess what — you’d listen to the weather report the night before, wake up really early, and go the fuck to work. Also, I lived through the ice storm in Quebec, in ’99 I believe it was. Anyone remember that? The entire province was covered in raining ice for weeks. Parts of the city were blacked out for a week. After about 3 days, we went back to work.

    Unless you’re in grade school and school is closed, if it snows life goes on. There won’t be any snow on the ground tomorrow.

  21. I think Jeff’s forgetting that Los Angeles essentially shuts down WHEN IT LIGHTLY SPRINKLES. Some mild rain has people bailing on work at 2pm to beat traffic, not to mention STORM 2010 news coverage of multiethnic Pasadenans out and about SHIELDING THEIR FACES like swarms of locusts are attacking them.

    And God forbid you’re on the road, because the first split second that FIRST raindrop hits a windshield, *guaranteed* that a Guatemalan motorist in an ’89 Turcell is gonna roll that fucker like the Fall Guy and cause a 40-car pileup out of the Blues Brothers.

  22. I went to college in NYC (that little one around Washington Sq Park) and my first year had a job for a copy house delivering ad sheets. I had gotten one of those knock-off Russian caps and when the first big snow storm hit, I had a ball trudging through the city. DTG is a Southern boy, so it was a gas dealing with that much snow.

    That said, I also used the subway to my place in Brooklyn, so it wasn’t that much of an inconvenience to get home. I probably would have felt different if I was pulling in minimum wage in a crappy coffee house or burger joint and looking at a bus transfer or 2 to get back.

    Wonder if Wells goes all Steve Buscemi over tipping folks like that?

  23. You know, on a certain level I DO understand where Wells is coming from…it’s all about HIS convenience, along with his ever-burgeoning hatred of the service industry and its workers. Aris, on the other hand, seems interested in nothing more than one-upping ass hattery. He reminds me of that Monty Python “Four Yorkshireman” bit: “You were lucky to have a lake!” etc. Bonus: his fake-stoic “if you die in an accident, that’s life.” You just know this fellow expects that if HE dies in an accident, wailing and gnashing of teeth will be his due.

  24. Hell, it was only the ninth time NYC closed schools for snow since 1982! Doesn’t change the fact that it’s just snow, or that the impact of closing said schools is pretty huge. I mean, there’s a reason why they rarely close schools there. Anyway, I only mentioned it because Jeff was talking about NYC. DC and other cities south of the Mason-Dixon line are much, much bigger pussies when it comes to cold weather. It’s winter. It snows. Sometimes not much, sometimes a lot. And it’s usually cold. Deal.

    And yeah, Angelenos in the rain are a hoot.

  25. Mr Wells

    You are right when you say the City has gone soft. The pansies that are whining about your harsh indictment would never have lasted in the NY that I lived in 30 years ago. Now that was a City! Murder and mayhem around every corner. Funky filth and greasy grit filled the air and it felt like…paradise.

    Now you have urbanoids with plastic eggs clipped to their ears telling them how to have a metrosexual shopping experience. They no longer know how to live but they sure know how to whine when their flabby asses are made to do a little work.

  26. I’m just amazed at how many of the same people keep falling for this shtick. Jeff is a bit of a curmudgeon, this should be obvious by now. Do you guys really need to tell him to fuck off each and every time he posts something like this? Say what you will about Jeff, at least he’s entertaining; you finger-waggers are a complete bore.

  27. “I went out last night with a woman who suggested yesterday afternoon that walking two avenue blocks to the subway at Eighth Avenue and 23rd Street might be a little too challenging and that perhaps we could call a cab or a private limo?”

    well then, i hope you refused to pay her……

  28. It was easier to not shut down when the people who ran the stores or diners or butcher shops in Manhattan lived above them. But now it’s not a cheap city and there’s no way the average griddle guy can rent a fleabag. So folks with the jobs that don’t involve hedge funds aren’t merely wandering around the corner to work at the neighborhood store.

    And far as getting a private limo for the lady – suggest she gives you a little Sean Young action in the back to make the trip worth your expense.

  29. Hey, what’s the matter Wells? We’re gonna come around twelve with some Puerto Rican girls that are just dying to meet you.

    Gonna bring a case of wine. Let’s go mess and fool around you know like we used to.

  30. Well…I will admit that those out East and South do keeps us here in the Midwest, you know, where we have snow and below freezing temps constantly, very amused. Granted, the Eastern side of the country seems to have been walloped a bit more than us this winter season, but I still get a giggle out of the people in Washington DC freaking out. Funny how we can have a blizzard in Chicago and it gets no coverage on the national news, but Lord help those poor members of congress who have to find a pair of boots. Or, God forbid, learn to shovel the snow.

    Hey, if you gotta drive in it just buy a couple of huge bags of softner salt, kitty litter, or dog food and put ‘em in the trunk over your rear axel. Great for traction.

  31. Here’s the thing: Most places that close for bad weather for “employee safety” are just looking to save some money.

    In most systems now, you owe your employees a minimum shift’s-length worth of pay even if they don’t work said length – presumably with the coverage of basic travel expense in mind. And since actual business tends to go down in these situations, they’re looking at likely scenarios where they stay open, NOBODY buys anything, and even if they end up being forced to close an hour later they still owe the staff for a three hour shift. In these cases, calling off for snow is just sound business.

  32. “Wells is old man Eastwood from Gran Torino.”

    Eastwood should TOTALLY play a cranky film blogger.

    “Get outta my mood pocket, ya pansy!”

    Tell me you can’t hear him selling that line like he means it.

  33. Jeff, my grandparents kept their restaurant open during the blizzards of ’67 and ’68. My sister owns the place now and she closes when they close the schools. Most of her employees, unlike our grandparents, cannot afford to live in the neighborhood and commutes are much longer than two blocks. Plus, short notice school/and nursey closing are a bit more difficult for many employees than shoveling a path on the sidewalk. New Yorkers don’t measure toughness by walking a couple of slushly blocks. We know tough.

    Oh, my sister the owner/manager is thin and competes in long distance marathons all over the world.

  34. The thing that strikes me as odd about all this — I’ve never heard of somebody moving from LA to NYC and then complaining about people complaining about snow! Kudos for finding a new thing to complain about — “Oh, I just moved here and the snow is so terrible” is so old hat.

  35. “Wells is old man Eastwood from Gran Torino.”

    Eastwood should TOTALLY play a cranky film blogger.

    “Get outta my mood pocket, ya pansy!”

    Tell me you can’t hear him selling that line like he means it.

  36. The main reason I peruse the comments is to read when Jeff yells back at the snarky comments aimed his way. Always a good time.

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  40. moving from LA to NYC and then complaining about people complaining about snow! Kudos for finding a new thing to complain about — “Oh, I just moved here and the snow is so terrible” is so old hat. itunes cards

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