Springfield, MO

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Opinion: Treacherous weather resembles business cycles

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It snowed so hard last week that I had to beg my husband to drive me to the office.

Even though I grew up in Michigan, I’m a big chicken when it comes to maneuvering the streets of Springfield when it’s snowy and icy. It’s wonderful having a chauffeur on call.

Once safe and snug in our office downtown, I was grateful to staff members who braved some of the worst weather in decades in order to do the heavy lifting of getting both the Springfield and Joplin editions ready to go to press. Despite the convenience and possibilities of e-mail and filing stories and ad copy from home, it still takes elbow-to-elbow and head-to-head communication to make the Springfield Business Journal happen every week.

I’ve long preached that if we don’t get our papers out, we can’t get paid. The SBJ staff has proven that they take this admonition seriously. I am proud of the way everyone puts their shoulders to the wheel to take care of business and bring our papers to print – no matter the personal or weather problems that might arise.

Once the surge of gratitude for arriving in one piece subsided, the pressing business of getting our mail and making the bank deposit became top of mind. When it comes to keeping the liquid in the cash flow, I’m as devoted as any business owner. I urgently desire to make the payroll, pay the bills and the taxes, so I put on my coat and hat, tightened my scarf and set out on foot to the post office.

Never mind that the wind was blowing the snow horizontally. The only problem developed when I was facing north and couldn’t keep my eyes open against the wind. Keeping my head down and following the tracks of the few cars that had previously passed showed me the way to the post office door. Once I had the precious mail in my hands, the mailman at the counter offered me a Walmart bag – just after removing from it the snow boots he had purchased on the way to work – so I could carry things back to the office without leaving a trail of envelopes all the way down Campbell Avenue.

Back out on the street, it was an easy south-facing walk back to the office. Along came another generous man who stopped his car, rolled down his window and asked if he could give me a ride somewhere. I kept on trudging, thinking how many people have helped me out during the years and how these days seem so similar to my early years in business.

The terrible, cold February weather, the too-silent office, the constant reminders of an economy slowly and painfully struggling to get going again, the daily trips to the post office and later to the bank, the worry, the hope, the gratitude for help from family, co-workers, strangers and friends, all mixed together. It’s all so familiar. The years between 1980 and 2011 have melted away. We show up, and we keep on. That’s how we all take care of our businesses and our lives.

Once upon a time, I drove into a ditch (OK, three times) on the way to the bank, but now we use Digital Check’s CheXpress to transmit our deposit to the bank. Everything and nothing has changed.

Keep in touch. The SBJ staff is here for you.

Dianne Elizabeth Osis is publisher and president of Springfield Business Journal Inc. She can be reached at
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