I hate being wrong. Sure, most people do, I suppose, but the librarian in me specifically hates giving out wrong information, especially when it's not my fault.
We've been having some nasty weather around Albany recently. The snow and ice storm that came on Thursday meant that after-school activities were called off, my Bible study and choir were canceled, and it took forever to get home, as one totally full Western Avenue bus drove right by me before I caught another. Generally, Albany calls a snow emergency when the snowfall hits six inches, which involves alternate side parking and towed cars. It was 6.4" at the airport, but the city demurred, probably in anticipation of a second storm Saturday into Sunday.
So, how does one find out about these snow emergencies? You have to dial (518) 476-SNOW when it seems that conditions are likely. So 11 a.m. Monday, I called and got the recording that there would be an emergency starting Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. This was VERY unusual, for while the city's webpage said that it COULD start snow emergency at 8 a.m., I have no recollection of this taking place in my 28 years in the city; snow emergencies always started at 8 p.m.
So I sent a blind e-mail to some Albany folks to let them know. One writes back, "How do you know? The 476-SNOW number's not working, and nothing's on the city page." So, I called the main number of the Department of General Services around 11:30 a.m. and the woman I spoke to said that she knew that 476-SNOW wasn't working, that they were working on it, but that the snow emergency would take place Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. I sent an e-mail to this effect to a couple of the TV stations' websites and posted it on a blog.
About 12:45, I check the Channel 13 website, and it's stating that there is a snow emergency in Albany starting at 8 P.M. ON MONDAY. What? I called 476-SNOW, and that's what the message now said. Sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., someone in the Albany bureaucracy CHANGED his or her mind? This meant that I had to re-send an e-mail to everyone I had previousdly sent an e-mail to, with the new information.
Did I mention that I hate being wrong?
P is for phraseology
6 hours ago