Excuse me if I s-s-s-stutter a bit. My teeth are chattering and it is hard to control my speech. I’ve just returned from a full day of errands. This is satisfying in itself, getting through the to do list, but first, I had a doctor’s appointment. I felt a bit light headed and hungry from fasting all night before a clinical test.
They finally called my name and ushered me into the examination room after sitting almost 1/2 hour in the COLD waiting room,
The instruction was to undress and wait lying prone on the table wrapped in a thin paper robe, desperate to keep warm,
The medical test was administered and then, still wearing the paper excuse for a robe, I had to carry my belongings into another examination room to see the doc. She appeared after another eternal wait, prone in the COLD room. The next step was to dress and venture back into the waiting area only to stand in line at the cashier while the two people in line ahead of me had to solve insurance problems—teeth still chattering, I was still shivering in the COLD dry air conditioning.
As I approached the exit, an LED readout on the thermostat by the door glared at me—“AC 62F. “
The next stop was the blood-drawing clinic, doctor’s order in hand. I sat in the COLD waiting room one more time and then was called into the blood-drawing room. The technician took the blood, and thankfully, I could stay dressed this time. I felt as if my blood sample was below 70F and I was beginning to turn blue. Back into line I went to check out of the clinic, hugging my sweater around me . I headed for the exit to find my car.
Ah, what heaven it was to step into the fresh, hot, withering air, 90F at 9:30 AM and bright sunshine. I wanted to stay there for an hour to defrost, but I was free and determined to do my errands. I had to pick up my photographs from the framer. As I opened their door, I could feel the frigid air spill out of the doorway. I had to drop off a form at the library. Not knowing where to go, I was directed on a wild goose chase in the chilly air-conditioned building until someone rescued me and headed me to the correct office. Then back into the sun for a brief and delightful respite. I climbed back into my car, windows open, air conditioning off and drove to the next stop.
This destination, a big box to pick up books for my grandsons and then onto another big box for supplies for our up and coming RV trip. Next stop, to the grocery/pharmacy to drop off my doctor’s prescription, grocery shop and then pick up the meds. Grocery stores in my opinion win hands down as the coldest of COLD places; no question about it. It felt like a dry 55 degrees F.
Yes, I understand that the majority of you are complaining loudly about the heat wave. You are hot; you are sweating, maybe loosing your temper, feeling dehydrated. You crave those blasting gusts of wind from air conditioning vents experienced in most facilities, offices and stores. I appeal to office managers and building maintenance staff, not all of us are made to tolerate such temperatures. It feels like abuse. I can understand and would welcome cool along with everyone else, but frigid, intolerable blowing air? There is something wrong here.
I am not alone. I have heard many office workers and retail clerks complain that it is much too COLD. Yet, they stay on the job and never request or give up asking for a little movement of the thermostat knob to raise the temperature to a livable level. So many people I know speak with a hoarse voice or rasping whisper, sneezing and coughing and complaining of a summer cold, of skin that is freezing to the touch, fingers and toes that feel numb as if just off the ski slopes or suffering the icy blasts of a winter storm.
Have you read the latest report that the more upscale the store, the colder the temperature in the store? Please explain that theory to me someone. Please tell me why we are so addicted in this country to blasts of cold air, when moderate air would be comfortable and so much healthier?
I wish to start a grass-roots effort fighting AC Extreme. If not for your own comfort, then for the environment. Millions of dollars would be saved, millions of watts of energy, vast amounts of hydro power, fuel, and more would be saved or spared by regulating our air conditioning. Let’s warm it up a little bit, stop shivering and enjoy summer. Fall will be here in the shake of a political curb sign.
Whenever I encounter a sister-sufferer in the dairy aisle of a supermarket, Hallmark lane in a pharmacy or in some office somewhere standing stiffly, hugging herself and rubbing her chilled arms, I just want to give her a hug, and shout out loud in grand chorus; I have company, I am not alone in this quest. I have found male sufferers as well. Have mercy on us shivering souls and give the thermostat button a tweak upward past freezing. Save medical bills, save the environment and diminish the amount of used Kleenex tissue thrown into the land fill. Thanks for listening, I have stopped shivering for the moment.