Being menopausal, my body has lost the ability to tell what the actual temperature really is.
I call it “My Own Personal Summertime”, commonly called hot flushes.
I spend half my life walking around in a singlet or t-shirt, while everyone around me has a cardi or hoodie or jumper of some sort on. I’m fanning myself with anything handy, a sock, a tissue, a book, the bottom of my own shirt (which is fine when I’m at home, but when you’re out, the sight of one’s muffin top is probably not that great, but when you are desperate, you’re desperate).
It’s kind of like someone has lit a boiler somewhere in your body and its radiating outwards through your extremities. My hands burn, my feet burn, my face burns. It’s awesome….
Its bad enough when I have “Summertime” at work. But when the estimated temperature for the day is 39 degrees C ( 102F), you know there’s gonna be trouble in paradise. And by paradise I mean me….
So, yesterday it was 39 degrees. Something you should know about the office I’m in. Its got a 20 foot ceiling, a flat roof, and the entire office is floor to ceiling, wall to wall glass. Its light and airy and I can look out windows and get to watch the world go by. But. The air conditioning in said office is shit. The air conditioning tech guy told me that I need to set the thermostat five degrees hotter than I want it, or 5 degrees colder than I want it, depending on the weather. What?
OK, so its 39 degrees outside, I figure it should be 22-23degreesC but the thermostat only goes down to 19, so there goes that theory. So I wind it down to the very bottom, and hope that it works. The day begins to warm up. And so does the office. I’m sitting trying to work and I keep glancing up at the nice new modern digital clock that kindly tells me what the temperature is.
On top of that, “Summertime” decides to kick in. Yay.
Now my work days are Monday and Tuesday. Yes, I only work two days a week. That’s about all my brain can handle. It’s a large company that employs a lot of casual staff. We run group interviews every Monday morning. Yep. Monday morning. The day that I am least happy to be at work. Monday morning ruins every good weekend I ever have. Despite the fact that my weekends are five days long, it still manages to ruin them.
Group. Interviews. I’m saying it slowly because it warrants the drama. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to one of these, or seen one, but they’re, oh, I’ll just say interesting. There’s not that much that applicants need to do when they come in. Obviously they need to come up and say hello and tell me why they are messing up my reception area. You’d be surprised how many just walk in and amble around in a circle in the middle of the room and don’t actually look across to see me smiling at them. (to be honest, its me grimacing, but I’ve learned the art of making it look like a smile).
After waving my hand at them and resisting the urge to roll my eyes multiple times, I tell them they simply have to sign in. On the sheet that has their name already on it. With a nice space for them to sign. And then simply pick up a felt tip pen and write their first name on a sticky label, peel it off and wear it on their tops as a name tag. That’s all. You’d think that was a simple thing to do. Wrong!
Week after week, after week, after week, after.. oh you get where I’m going. There are always the ones that cannot follow a simple instruction. I’m sorry, if you cannot understand “Please sign in on the sign in sheet, then write your first name on a sticker and wear it on your shirt for a name tag and take a seat”, how on earth do you expect to get through an interview that includes standard testing?
Now, I’ve done this job for eight years. Eight. Long. Years. I have been saying the same line for all that time. I’m pretty good at it, Clear. Understandable. It’s one sentence with mostly monosyllabic words. I’ve lost count of the people that write their name on the bottom of the sheet because they can’t see it on the list, then either walk away and forget the name tag. Or. Write their name on the backing sheet with the black felt tip pen, and then spend five minutes trying to peel a non-existent sticker off the sheet. I used to stop them straight away, but hey, sometimes you just need a laugh. Or. My personal favourite. They peel off the sticker, pick up the felt tip pen and then look for somewhere to put said sticker while they write their name. I have also learned the art of keeping a straight face while watching someone gently put the sticker on the glass desk top, write one or two letters, realise its sticking, peel it off, gently put it down again, write another two letters, peel it off and so on until they have written their full name on the sticker. Ahhh, good times.
It’s a good thing these happen in the morning, because if this happened yesterday at 4:00pm while it was 36C I may have stabbed someone with the felt tip pen.
The other thing that I must deal with without fail are nutjobs. Now for those that don’t understand my terminology, a Nut-job is what I call someone who calls up for a number of different reasons. There are the ones that want to complain about food. ie: “My toasted sandwich was too crunchy” or “I spilled my coffee on my pants when I tried to take the lid off, while I was driving home” or “My son fell off his bike when the plastic bag with the milk in it hit his front wheel” (I must point out that her son was 34 and clearly not very good at riding a bike)
And then there is Harry. What can I say about Harry.
A lot actually. Harry came in with his mother last year to apply for a job. He’s a smoker and a good bloke and would be good at working for us. That’s it. That’s the extent of his qualifications apparently. I mean, I was suitably impressed, but you know, I don’t make the final decision. I tried to explain this to him, while being interrupted by his mother whom he kept telling to shut up because she was coaching him in what to say, while standing right in front of me. I should have just talked directly to her. Now, Harry is also in touch with the Anti-Christ. He clearly moves in high (or low) circles. And he apparently knows about everything that happens here in Adelaide. E v e r y t h i n g !! (I’m leaning in towards you right now for dramatic effect, as did Harry)
Harry didn’t get a job at that time.
So, guess who called me up again? Yep. My mate Harry. But this time he was not so friendly. He was demanding to speak to people in the building, the bosses, the HR people. He was aggressive and rather odd sounding. He was warbling about everything and nothing, but wouldn’t be put off. I put him through to one of the bosses PA’s. After a while she called me and told me the police were coming in to talk to me. About Harry. He had started threatening and talking about the devil worshiping aliens that were coming. Really? They’re coming today?
So the police arrived, laughing about Harry. They had phoned him, because he had happily given his name and phone number to us. They confirmed that the devil worshipping aliens were definitely coming to kidnap the women. Harry had asked them to report it to the Major Crime Squad. Which they said they would think about. Good to know the boys in blue are on the job! I asked if they could give me a date for this visit, because I’d like to be prepared and wear my anti-probing undies that day.. You know, just in case they pick me. Sadly they could not. I’m hoping Harry will call me if he gets a heads up. Pays to be prepared.
Oh, and Harry also told them he wanted a job here. Yeahhhhh, I don’t think so.
So getting back to my day in hell, I checked the outside temperature and it was 36C, inside it was now 27C, so essentially it was only nine degrees cooler inside. Well then, I might as well just pack up my crap and go sit in the car park under an umbrella…
My patience had all but worn thin by 5pm and I had an hour to go. My, ahem, shade blind was barely keeping the sun from shining across the desk and hitting me. That bloody clock was gloating at me. 27C…27.2C….27.5C… up, up it crept. Thankfully I knocked off at 6pm, just as it hit 29degrees C. I had no idea if I was suffering from “Summertime” or not. I was hot, sweaty and ready to punch something, or someone, whichever came into my line of vision first. Lucky for my husband it was not him.
I was extremely happy to walk out of that office, I can tell you.
I was also prompted to write a short, but heartfelt poem, which I shall share with you now.
In my own personal summer time
My face glows like a lamp
As my temperature soars
All my creases are damp
You could fry eggs on my legs
Or heat stuff in my pits
Menopause is a bitch,
And it gives me the shits
mmm.. it’s quite possible I was not happy when I wrote that.