is it insensitive to be excited for snow at work? — Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I love winter weather and snow, always have. I live in a large city in the northern hemisphere, so it’s good I like winter since, you know, it’s a solid 4-5 months of my year. Due to global warming, though, our winter has been increasingly warmer and wetter, which drives up my excitement for a true winter snow when it finally arrives.

I was recently told my someone at work (above me in rank but not my supervisor) that being excited about our impending snowfall was “insensitive” as cold weather is a problem for so many people, ranging from annoyance (shoveling cars out) to actual danger for unhoused people. This made me see red, to be honest. Of course winter weather is dangerous for unhoused people, but so are heat waves and rain, and more importantly that fact never stops people at my office from being excited for warm weather in the summer or spring. Also whether I’m excited or not has no impact on people’s winter hardships, which is why I’m politically active and donate to causes to help unhoused people and others. But it does impact my ability to enjoy where I live for essentially half the year.

I’m not an idiot — if there’s a true blizzard or there are reports of frozen people/car accidents I’m not going to jump in with “but it sure is fun, amirite?” But this was at the end of a zoom meeting — when asked what I was looking forward to, I said “finally getting some snow! We’re so long overdue!” and mentioned some winter activities I enjoy. The other person responded by essentially telling me that was insensitive and immature as “adults recognize snow is not a good thing” and creates hardships for others. Is this correct? Should I not talk about liking winter at work? Does this apply to other weather — when coworkers get excited for hot weather should I tell them all the ways the sun and heat hurts me and ask them to be more sensitive? Am I right to be annoyed at this or am I missing some key thing other adults know?

What on earth.

You are right to be annoyed by this. Seeing red might be a bit of an overreaction, but certainly not more than scolding you for being excited about snow was.

I mean, I’m a redhead and the sun actively wants to kill me, but I don’t take issue with other people enjoying a sunny day.

You’re allowed to enjoy weather. You are allowed to talk about enjoying weather at work. Obviously if someone mentions some kind of cold-related tragedy, you shouldn’t respond with “but I’m so excited to go sledding!” but otherwise you are fine.

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