Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Fear no more the heat o' the sun.




It's been hot and damnably muggy this last couple of days and we were sent guidelines, set down by some kindly soul in Human Resources, for surviving such hellish conditions. We are in the West Midlands of England, not the Taklamakan Desert, but you can't be too careful.
   

TO ALL STAFF: GUIDELINES FOR SURVIVING THE TWO DAYS EVERY OTHER YEAR WHEN THE TEMPERATURE RISES TO TEN DEGREES BELOW WHAT MOST CHINESE AND ARABIC SPEAKING STUDENTS EXPERIENCE FOR THE WHOLE SUMMER.

1) Keep windows and doors open to encourage air flow. Amazing! We’d all been near to fainting in the heat and you know, opening the window really helped!

2) Use fans or mobile air conditioning units if possible. OK, install air con and we will. (Then you’ll need to issue further detailed guidelines on how to activate it without risk of electrocution or mental breakdown from trying to decipher the instructions.)

3) Where you have blinds keep them closed to keep excessive light/heat out. So THAT’S what they’re for!

4) Avoid extreme physical exertion. I took an executive decision and skipped the Pyongyang Happy Comrades Collective Aerobic Tai-Chi warm up yesterday. Students came in, sat down and the lesson proceeded normally. Hope that's OK. Bit of a glitch today though - see 6) below.


5) Take regular breaks from the work/the area you are located in. How?

6) Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. The student who died this morning was found to have been wearing a parka and thermal drawers under his T-shirt and shorts, and I didn’t notice. Mea culpa. It won’t happen again. Well, probably not.

7) Drink plenty of cold fluids, and avoid alcohol (???), caffeine (???) and hot drinks. Fuck off.

8) Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content. Haven’t seen anyone piling their plates with bangers, spuds and gravy today – and it’s all because you care, H.R.



9) Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment (including computers, printers, scanners, photocopiers etc.) – they generate heat. So they do, so they do – you really know your stuff, don’t you?

Someone is paid to churn out this patronising bilge. It is probably the work of the same person who composed the note on the lift doors asking us to cede our places to the infirm, the elderly, the unfit and other such Untermenschen that we might otherwise contemptuously kick aside. The note adds reassuringly: 'Nearby stairs provide access to upper floors.'



6 comments:

Bo said...

oh God!.....oh good heavenly God. It's utterly befuddling.

Steve B said...

Utterly. Thank heavens for the caring souls of HR - without them, it'd be more like Carandiru than a univerity.

CJB said...

You see now, all that insufferable nannying just to make sure you know how to cope with WEATHER. I swear to God if it isn't beige, bland or lukewarm, there's a warning attached. Apparently below 12 degrees is too cold to work and above 30 is too hot. Now you know.

Steve B said...

It's been well above 30 in some of our classroooms. One day last month I transferred us to an air-conditioned computer lab. everyone was shivering.

CJB said...

According to some watchdog or other, the company should have provided you with appropriate clothing and/or hydration options....... That would have allowed you to remove your cardigan lest you lost the benefit and/or have a drink which obviously you didn't think you would need. See, everyone needs a nanny and if you don;t have one, some gurning bureaucrat will step up to the plate.

Steve B said...

Heatwave next week will probably elicit more advice.
Oh, and someone's been paid to relabel every disabled bog in the university 'accessible / gender neutral toilet' instead of just 'toilet'.

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