Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recipe for Disaster: The Day Without AC

When you’re a 40-something woman, residing in the South can be dangerous when hormones conspire to make internal furnaces push the limits on how hot a person can feel before she spontaneously combusts.
Add a desk job that requires a 30-minute commute to and from work.

Combine with a summer heat wave consisting of temperatures consistently cresting above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
An image of the internal
workings of my body.

Photo courtesy of
my imagination.
Sprinkle in relative humidity above 85 percent with nary a cloud in the sky.

Now, imagine for a moment that this recipe for disaster is compounded by the air conditioning in one’s office building being out of service.

This is not a cutesy description of a hypothetical situation. Rather, it was my life one recent day. And, to add a cliché insult to injury, it all went down on a Monday.

To cool off, I headed to the gym during my lunch break. You’d think I’d choose to sit in a cool restaurant or meander through the freezer section of the grocery store. But I decided to hit the gym for two reasons. Firstly, I figured it would be really cold there, as they keep the temperature way down and run lots of fans. Secondly, I’m usually really warm when I leave the gym, so I thought maybe by comparison, upon entering the office after my workout, it’d feel a little cooler inside.

What I failed to consider was my post-workout beverage. I pulled my personal-size milk out the fridge and choked it down. While it was cold, it wasn’t the most refreshing beverage to sip in our sauna-like environment.

In my over-heated delirium, I considered suggesting to top management that staff be permitted to wear bathing suits on days the AC unit was in need of repair. We could have a sauna party to boost morale and pull folks out of their sweaty lethargy. Fortunately, I never got around to making the suggestion, as I spent much of the afternoon burping up milk and trying to keep busy enough to avoid passing out on my desk.

An angel of mercy did swoop down to aid us in our time of need. It took the form of a soda delivery man. Apparently, as he was filling the soft drink machine, he pulled out an unusually high number of nearly expired drinks. Cold drinks. Drinks that had to be given away to overheated office workers. When word reached us through the company Intranet, we flocked around the angel of mercy and graciously accepted the cold beverages.

Of course, I wasn’t interested in floating a sugary soft drink on top of partially digested milk in my delicate digestive system. I was relieved to use the bottle as a cold compress to cool my neck and hands. It was relief enough to get this middle-age woman through the rest of the day.
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Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer and content manager is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books.
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  1. I can hear the mockery, Micki! Haha! It’s understandable to go crabby when in the same situation as yours. Spending the day without an AC can bring turmoil to anyone. Sometimes, we overlook this “tiny” unit in our home that we forget how important it is when it’s become useless.

    Bernie @Evo-Air.com

  2. I agree. It’s such a nuisance if you have to spend a day without a working AC. One can get easily annoyed and irritated when the body heat and warm weather mix up. However, it could also wear down pretty quick due to overuse. That’s why it’s important to keep it well-maintained, so that situations like you had in your office can be prevented.

    Georgia Fuller @ Day Aire HVAC