Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sweltergate

My greatest fears have grown to fruition. My place of employment now has new thermostats, unalterable, set on 74 in summer and 70 in winter.

I spent yesterday melting into a pool of goo, much like the Wicked Witch of the West. That's the only resemblance I bore to her, of course. Nothing temperament-wise. If you had wandered in off the street, which we kind of try to discourage by chasing you around the building with a posse of emergency response committee members, you might have thought you had stumbled upon the finish line of a Mississippi marathon. I'm surprised we didn't have custodians mopping up pools of perspiration, and setting up the yellow CAUTION: WET FLOOR markers. That epidermis-originating deluge could have been put to good use in irrigating this summer's parched crops. At a cost, of course. It would have made a good fundraiser. Better than the exorbitantly overpriced gift wrap and candy.

An afternoon meeting almost led to a revolt. Yes. I know the jokes. The teachers are revolting! There. Beat you to one. Nobody whines more than a hot teacher. "It can't be 74 degrees in here! Maybe that box on the wall SAYS it's 74, but I guarantee it's not 74 over here. Imagine what it will be like with 25 kids in here all day long! How can we work like this? I can't even think. Are WE allowed to wear shorts to school?" Of course, part of the heating effect was caused by hot air.

I suppose it can't be helped. Costs are rising. We have been spoiled by years of being allowed to knock our thermostats down to 72 as needed. You wouldn't believe what a difference two degrees makes. That's because in order for the cool to kick on, the temp rises two degrees above the setting. It's the difference between sweating at 76 degrees, and sweating at 74 degrees.

The savings on utilities may not be as great as expected. I heard talk of a mutiny. Everybody investing in a fan to bring into the classroom, set on the teacher. Plugged into the school's electricity. Oh, how soft we've grown, our community of educators.

I remember the days of teaching without air conditioning, in a long double room overlooking the tar paper roof of the gym. One hundred and seven degrees. Inside.

It's a wonder I survived.

2 comments:

Sioux said...

This I promise not to utter (but it is the truth): our air conditioning CAN be set by the teachers, and it has been so cool in the morning, I even think of wearing a sweater or long-sleeved shirt or I even consider adjusting the temp. But I do neither...

Yes. Bring in a dozen fans, plug them all in, using a huge power strip, resulting in a anaconda-sized rope of electrical cords. Point all those fans at YOU.

Bring in a window-unit ac. Get one free from one of those groups that gives air conditioning units to the poor. Because there's nothing more poor than a hot, overworked, underpaid teacher. Plug that puppy in, and set it on high.

And while you're at it, if you have a little fridge in your room, switch it out for a large, family-sized freezer. Keep swinging that freezer door open, repeatedly, while you are teaching, so you can fan that frigid air your way. (Do this extra often when you're being observed by an administrator. Nothing gets a teacher higher marks than showing their ingenuity and forward thinking...)

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sioux,
But when will I have time for teaching? I appreciate your suggestions, of course. But they smack of actual physical effort. Are you trying to kill me? Don't answer! I have found that I often do not like the response to that question...

Like the time I asked a sweet little girl if she was trying to kill me by snaring my foot in her backpack straps, thus causing a great fall. And she replied, "No. I would use poison."

I quickly dashed off a Note To Self: Do not accept food or drink from Backpack Girl.