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Winter Weather Puts Freeze On Public Workforce

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RALEIGH, N.C. — While troopers and road crews worked overtime Monday, most local overnment employees didn't work at all.

Out of 115 workers in the Wake County clerk's office, eight skated their way into work.

Despite a packed docket of cases, courtrooms sat empty. The down day ensured that an already jammed-up court system gets even more crowded.

"The problem is when you deal with the public, they think it's your fault when they don't get notification of a new court date, etc.," said Jan Pueschel. "And it's more of a problem with us dealing with the public's frustration than our own."

On a day like Monday, state and most local workers go by the adverse weather personnel policy - which means, if they are not in mandatory operations, they have the option of showing up for work. But they are expected to make up their work at a later date.

The empty desks showed it was a vacation day for most at a state tourism office in downtown Raleigh.

"We typically have about 19 to 20 people here in the office and phones ringing constantly," Christine Mackey said. "And it's usually a pretty busy place."

Mackey was the only one to make it in Monday. She walked.

"I actually really enjoy the fact there's no one here in the office today," she said. "I'm really able to get a lot done."

That wasn't the case for most of the government unless you drove a plow or a police cruiser.

Wake County court was scheduled to resume regular business at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

It wasn't just the weather, but a holiday that kept postal workers and other federal employees at home Monday. Monday was President's Day.

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