The Desired Life: Working Without Air Conditioning – How did they do it?

Everyone loves the summer.  The suns out, your windows are down with music blasting to scare the old folks next to you, and most of the girls sharing the sidewalks around you are wearing garments that leave little to the imagination.  – Insert Quagmire, “Giggity.”  Despite all this, I’m already over Summer and wishing for Fall and Winter.  Sure, cold weather sucks, but at least you can put clothes on to keep warm. In the summer you can take all your clothes off and still be sweating profusely with no respite.

Then your air conditioning fails, its 91 degrees out, and the humidity index is over 70%. In the words of Cartman, “This is bullcrap.”  Well you are lucky that you may be able to find another place of local respite filled with sweaty people seeking refuge in their local Mcdonalds. For you yuppies or wannabe yuppies, Starbucks seems to be a preferable location.  I’m still such a coffee fanatic that I’m still drinking it hot while working in this humid hell.

I, however, don’t have the option of enjoying consistent air conditioning. AC for the last week has become a luxury for the chosen of which I am not apart of.  Pity me, as this unforgiving weather is a perpetrator of discrimination of which no one wants to be a target. 

There will always be unwilling targets though of which I am one. Apparently unstained and untouched wooden decks have been calling my name, or at least everyone else thinks so.  I’ve now learned that experience has it’s drawbacks. Concerning the paint crew I work on, I have the most experience with the exception of my direct boss. So if they want the job done well, the honor and pleasure of outdoor staining in this weather falls to yours truly. While my job at Trinity kicks the ass of any retail job any day, at least my fellow retail slaves had air conditioning.

After just a few minutes of applying the stain, I’m soaked in sweat. In fact, I’m pouring sweat from orifices I didn’t think were capable of shedding sweat.  On that note, I say this with a sweaty body – come get me ladies. 

At least this is somewhat offset by my current co-worker with who I’m enjoying conversations of every subject ranging from church history, philosophy, and sociology to food, South Park, and Asian cultural differences. It may surprise you, but talking with another person makes your time working pass so much faster than does music.

What may surprise some of you is how people managed in the glorious past with out air conditioning. While I consider this to be inconceivable, a fellow employee told me that he didn’t have the precious AC until he was out of highschool.  Another employee who grew up on a farm told me that you, “just got used to it” when you were younger and that he actually got chilly and cold when in an air conditioned environment with outdoor temperatures being over 90.   My boss has mentioned that growing up he also never had AC and was perfectly used to the hot weather in notorious Humboldt Park.

Perhaps I need to find a historical series that deals with not how the seniors built all the “cool stuff” and the buildings we see around us, but how they dealt with everyday outdoor living in their rural environments. 


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