The randomness of sidewalk shoveling strikes me as rather absurd in a country where winter can extend from mid-October until early April. The newspapers have written about it the problem, droves of people complain about it, but every year, nothing changes. I don’t get it. The last newspaper article I read about this problem discussed whose responsibility it was to shovel the sidewalks; in some cases it’s the city’s responsibility, in other cases, the owners of the buildings. I can personally attest to the fact that most apartment building owners seem to do little or nothing to keep the sidewalks in front of their buildings clear; perhaps they figure that these are city sidewalks so the city should take care of them. The city fines the owners for not clearing the sidewalks, and so it goes. In the meantime, people are slipping and sliding on their way to wherever they’re going.
Shop and restaurant owners in the downtown area of the city complain that they are losing business to the large shopping malls that ring the city. There may be multiple reasons for this, but one thing is clear to me. If shop or restaurant owners in the downtown area don’t care enough to get out and shovel a path to their doors, if they can’t clear snow from the sidewalks in front of their stores, don’t expect my business. I don’t want to hear your complaints that malls are taking all your business. I like to shop in the downtown area of Oslo, but I can tell you that the icy sidewalks discourage me from doing so during the winter. But again, this is a random affair. Some shop owners do shovel snow, others don’t. Why is that? Why do some shop owners care more about their customers than others? I think they all need to get on the same page—prioritize your customers. We potential customers don’t care whose responsibility it is to shovel the sidewalks, so stop arguing about it. Just get out there and do it, like the Nike commercial says.