This job teaches life lessons

Last Thursday's snow event (January 12, 2012) reminded me how we learn life lessons from others. Those who act in a way we admire, we emulate. Those that offend us, we ignore. In my business, as in many others, stereotyping is one of those behaviors I choose to ignore.

Gather ten people in a room and they will each have their own unique story of how people put them in a box. The home contractor, the lawyer, the nurse, the daycare worker, the stay-at-home parent.......everybody is stereotyped. Fill in the blank and you'll see what I mean. All contractors are ___________. All lawyers are _______. You get the idea.

Here is another stereotype: all weather forecasters are always wrong. Or a more generous person may think all forecasters are wrong most of the time. We hear it all the time and it is part of our profession. No whining. It just comes with the territory, and every meteorologist in Milwaukee has heard it. It's our common bond.
I heard it a lot last Wednesday, the day before the snow fell. After our forecast was posted on line and on air, some comments included this: "It won't snow. They're always wrong." Or "I'll bet we get no more than an inch of snow." Or "This is hyped. It won't snow."
Having an opinion is great, whether it is about politics, religion, or weather. That's the nice thing about a free society. But opinions about weather forecasts and the meteorologists who issue them remind me why I should never stereotype anybody....ever.

Each person is an individual and should not be defined by what they do for a living. We should each be judged by our individual actions. A simple lesson learned each time I issue a forecast.