Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Sizzling on the Sidewalk vs. Evaporating in the Elevator
I just wanted to share a little of how my day began today. First, I just want to remind everyone that we are experiencing the hottest summer on record. Today was no different. This morning around 9am it already felt like 95 degrees in the sun. I rushed to work awaiting the glorious deep freeze created by the industrial AC's in the hospital I work in. Strangely, there was a crowd outside of the entrance I normally take in the morning. I brushed it off as a possible tour. I squeezed myself through the bodies that were radiating tremendous heat. "Excuse me. Excuse me." They looked at me as if I were crazy but I didn't care. I had to make it to the deep freeze.
Then I saw a familiar face exiting that worked on the same floor I did. By now I think I was stepping into delirium brought on by the heat. I asked him as he exited the door, "Is there something wrong with the door?" Duhhhhh...he probably thought. I just came out the door. But thank goodness he didn't voice those thoughts. He explained that we were experiencing a Disaster Preparedness Exercise. 'How come I didn't hear about this?' I thought. I stood for approximately 30 seconds with everyone banded together like asparagus in between the automatic sliding doors but I couldn't take the heat, so I braved the heat outside. It seemed to be the lesser of two evils. The sun was beating down on me furiously.
Then I saw a patch of human bodies huddled in a piece of shade created by a wall. I joined them, casually walking over as if my skin wasn't sizzling on the sidewalk. The shade helped a little but I had to dial my trustee friend Epiphany who no doubt was comfortable in her ice box of an office. I've never been so desperate to get to work! While Epiphany told me more about this Disaster Prepardeness stunt, a host of fire engines came rushing down the street, stopping at this exit and the next. All I wanted to know is which entrance was accessible. When she told me to try the entrance on the other side of the hospital, I took a deep breath because I knew it would be a grueling trek in the sun. Then I started down the road but something told me to try the exit that the fire men were at. It couldn't hurt. They looked like nice men and at that moment, I looked like a wet and tired damsel in distress.
I watched them cautiously as I inched my way towards the entrance and lo and behold, they didn't say anything. I rushed in to a blast of artificial, toxic cool air. "Ahhhhhh", I cried out loud. I really didn't care who heard me at that moment. I was in! When I got to my desk, I heard the tail end of an employee who was on the verge of tears complaining to my supervisor. She was stuck in an elevator the whole time I was outside complaining about the heat. Then I wondered, What is worst? Sizzling on the Sidewalk or Evaporating in an Elevator?
Sometimes we think our situations are the worst but then we hear about someone elses.....