Saturday, July 8, 2017
A day late.... a summer reminder!!!!!!
I started my new job this last week. I am in Sales, and have always, ALWAYS been a desk jockey in a controlled climate. In all of my jobs EVER, I have NEVER had a job requiring me to work outdoors for extended periods of time. Call me weak, call me soft, that's just a fact about me and my career choices. Simple as that.
My new sales job requires me to learn an entire new line of products that I am completely unfamiliar with, totaling more than 12,000 SKUs. So, brilliance that this company is, they decide to stick me out in the warehouse to help me become familiar with the products. Well, that's all fine and dandy if I am learning product, but not simply doing the job of the warehouse because they are short-handed. And, they were short handed. So, I find myself standing in a steel building with no air conditioning, just a couple large fans. I found myself on my feet for 10 hours a day, when normally my ass is parked in a chair. I'm pulling, wrapping, loading products that range in weight anywhere from a few ounces, to hundreds of pounds, 98% of it without any sort of mechanical assistance.
This really wouldn't be an issue for me, because I am not allergic to work. I am more than willing, mentally, to do the job. I've always been a hard worker and a team player. But, my body began to tell me otherwise.
The temperature here over the past week has averaged about 95 degrees a day. My soft body is simply not used to that sort of climate and physical exertion, and it let me know. It started on the very first day with sore feet and legs, followed by heat. By the end of the week, yesterday, it felt as if my body had been beaten with baseball bats all over. Yesterday, I drank 12 bottled waters while I worked, and didn't pee a single time. Within 20 minutes, I would be drenched in sweat, pouring down my face. by lunch time, my body was done. Unfortunately, the work was not. I continued to work through for 5 more hours in these dangerous heat conditions.
Research states that the human body will acclimate to whatever climate/environment it has to work in over time. In heat/cold related environments, it is expected to take the body 7-10 days to adjust. Until that time, you shouldn't start working 100%, take frequent breaks, and stop when your body says it's time to stop. ALL of the men I am working with in the warehouse have been there for years, and they were pounding through the day without a pause for consideration. When I complained about the heat, I felt they took it as an excuse that I was either lazy or soft. Fuck that.
So, yesterday, I was determined that I was not going to "let the team down," and I wanted them to see that despite it all, I was willing to put in the effort that they did. By 4:45 pm, my body overrode my brain, and shut itself down. I got dizzy, almost fainted. I felt like throwing up. My heart started racing and I got shaky. My hands felt numb. I got angry and emotional, and very confused. I kept making the same simple mistakes over and over again, and my performance showed it. When my body finally said enough is enough, I stumbled into the break room, in the dark, grabbed 3 bottled waters - one to drink and the other two to hold and roll across my neck, head and torso - took off my shirt and laid on the floor. I thought I was going to die.
One prick walked in while I was laying on the floor and said "what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger." Well, that's right, mother fucker. It almost killed me.
I drove myself home, which was a challenge itself, and rather dangerous. I had this emotional issue going on, feeling like I wanted to cry. I was disoriented and dizzy, even in the air-conditioned car. When I got home, my wife had prepared a cool bath for me, and I got into that and lay there for 45 minutes. Even though my body had begun to cool down, I still felt physically sick, with a severe headache, nausea, disorientation, lack of fine motor skills, exhaustion, inability to string words together in an articulate sentence without effort, heart racing.... It was fucking scary.
I fell asleep about 630, woke up at 815, fell back asleep about 10pm, woke up at 11pm, only to get my ass into bed and sleep until 930 this morning. I got about 10-11 hours of sleep. I normally only sleep 7 hours.
My time in the warehouse, fortunately, is done. Now I will move into the office, to learn their computer systems, and begin helping their clients. Honestly, if I knew that I had to be in the warehouse anymore, I'd have to say something about it.
Heat exhaustion is a real and very serious thing. I've never gotten that overheated before, so this was a real eye-opener to me. If I get this hot again, I will say something. Fuck anyone who thinks I'm a puss or lazy. Just because I'm not built for heavily physical manual labor in extreme heat, doesn't make me less of a man. If anyone thinks that, they are just ignorant, not stronger.
Keep yourself safe in the heat this summer. Take care to notice warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Take them seriously! Don't worry about what other people think, even if they can endure it. Only care about what your body needs, to keep yourself from getting hurt or dying.
I will make my post for yesterday later tonight, so you will get some music from me today. I'll talk more at you then!!!!!