Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thanks You Guys

I decided to go out to run an errand today just as the temps got to their hottest. I waited for that because I felt as though, if I really like the heat, I should test the limits. My weather widget said 100 when I hit the bricks. Yeah, it felt like the whole city was one big blast of hot, muggy bus exhaust but I honestly didn't mind it. After the arctic cold of the office my 15 minute walkabout didn't see me even breaking a sweat. It did, however, get me thinking. There are some people we ought to raise a glass to on days like today.

1. Firefighters. On a day where I strongly considered not wearing underpants at all and finally decided, "You know, if the sweat starts to pool I'm going to want something absorbent, I'll wear the panties." these guys are putting on 50 lbs of waterproof gear and a plastic oxygen mask and walking toward the hotter part of the city.

2. Police, especially the beat cops. I remember many summers ago walking along 42nd Street on a melting day and seeing a beat cop with his shirt unbuttoned to reveal his lavender kevlar vest. No one ought to have to make  a decision between heat stroke and a bullet wound.

3. Delivery people. From the messenger who hauled ass with my documents to the Fresh Direct grocery guys to the deli delivery men and everyone in between if you deliver something all day on a day like today so none of us lily livered pansies have to go out and get it I salute you.

4. Con Edison workers. The energy provider projects that today and tomorrow NYC will demand record setting amounts of power. I suspect that means that a large percentage of customers will demand all that power and a smaller percentage will do without power at all and not by choice. The first outage of the day was in the Bronx this morning and Con Ed is working to have power back on by 2:30 (read: World Cup game time). The people doing those repairs aren't lounging about in air conditioned offices, they're climbing poles (CLOSER TO THE SUN) and playing with electricity in heavy, grounded gloves and hard hats and jeans and work boots so we can all lounge about in the aforementioned AC playing our Wiis and watching TV and waiting for some guy from #3 to deliver us a meal so we don't have to cook.

5. Lifeguards, parks personnel and anyone else keeping us safe and happy and clean in public recreational areas. It's cushy on a 75 degree day when everyone's tempers are chill. On a day like today it's got to be like refereeing the World Cup in hell.

6. The Food providers. Guys on the line, short order cooks, pizza makers, bread bakers and everyone else making the aforementioned meal we don't have to cook. You can probably drop about 10 lbs of water weight putting in a day like today in front of the pizza oven. Mmmmmm, pizza.

7. Doormen, porters, maintenance men, etc. The guys who shovel my snow in the winter are out there moving garbage and polishing brass and waxing floors today just like every other day, all in the least air conditioned parts of our world. I love them when they shovel snow so I don't have to. I love them more in any kind of weather when they tote garbage. I hate toting garbage.

8. Speaking of which, the sanitation workers. It can't be any picnic heaving heavy barrels of other people's refuse on a regular day. On a day like today in a week like this week when your body is about to spontaneously combust and the aforementioned refuse has had a chance to properly steep in its own hateful juices you are to be commended for not simply walking away and leaving us all to stew in our wastefulness.

9. The dog walkers. You might think a day like today would be a perfect one for dog walkers. No dogs should go far or fast when the thermometer is approaching the temp for the warm setting on your oven. However, I think it adds an extra bit of emotional pressure. You need to make sure all the dogs are properly tired and you need to get to all the different places you go to which usually involves getting certain dogs to certain other dogs' homes and you have to be a thousand percent sure that no one gets injured in the process. Is there enough water? Should they have a treat or will it make them ill to eat in this heat? Are their paws burning on the hot sidewalk? It's a lot to be in charge of someone else's heart.

10. Anyone else I haven't listed here who, through the fault only of their profession, has to be productive in the face of this breath-stealing heat. I love it, but like many of the men I've loved, it can kill you, so we need to treat it with all appropriate caution and be grateful for everyone who makes our heated lives a little easier. (Feel free to add your own nomination for #10 in the comments.)


  1. Road construction crews. Not sure how many you see in NYC, but out here in the "sticks" of northern Indiana you can almost set your calendar by them. "Orange signs and cones? Must be May!" They're out in the sun 8-10 hours a day on BLACKTOP dealing with loud, hot, noisy machines and even hotter, smellier tar-laden materials. We bitch about pot holes and construction delays but how many of us would be willing to do that job to repair our roads? Not many.

  2. Gah! I forgot the paramedics. A friend of mine got off her train this morning to wait for the express and happened to be standing near 2 paramedics working on a gentleman who did not recover. As well as the regular ailments people are succumbing to the heat and the paramedics are treating them where they fall, so in the hotter, muggier, more difficult places around. We salute them, too.

    Auntjone, hear hear on the road crews!

  3. I LOVE this list; thank you.

    I'm going to add postal workers to the list. I'm about as sure as I can be that none of those little boxes on wheels has anything even approaching AC, and I do love getting my mail.

    I'm also going to send a shout out to people who scoop ice cream. I had my attitude adjusted about ice cream trucks (a post is to follow) and I'm in love with the ice cream shack teenagers (I hope Punkin' becomes one!). I imagine it's a bit of a consolation working over freezers on a day like today, but I'm still offering up the gratitude.

  4. Roofers and toll collectors.

    Still haven't turned on the AC. Today may be the day.

  5. ooof, yeah, the trash collectors earn every damn penny alrgith

  6. Great list, Kizz. I also say a huge THANK YOU to the guys who are out repointing our building in this blazing heat. Though I question why it needs to be done a third, yes a THIRD time in a decade, they are out on scaffolds 14 stories up pointing bricks.