Friday, August 30, 2013

Fashion Comes Easy When Your Office Has Air Conditioning

So the *(correction) Pres. of where I work told me I was "scummy looking". That's a fucking morale booster.
Every pay day the guy comes by and hands everyone their check personally as a sort of "the company cares" deal. Which is nice because they generally know who all the workers are by first name and not just because the name is on the check.

This past week has been brutally hot if anyone didn't know. I've done my best to stay cool in the stifling, syrupy thick air of the warehouse. Brought a big fat 1.5 liter of ice water and I wore shorts and a tank top.
Even in those I was battling heat exhaustion the entire 5 days. I almost threw up numerous times during and after work.
I rarely sweat which makes being hot very difficult. This week I was so overheated that I was sweating a lot! That indicates to me that it's not just normal hot, it's insanely stupid hot.
Monday I wore my company shirt which is lighter than cotton and is suppose to breathe better. I was dying, nauseated, dizzy, exhausted.
It was bad.
So the rest of the week I wore some tank tops, nothing vulgar or anything. Run of the mill shirts that helped give me a modicum of relief. Yesterday the Veep came through the warehouse and I guess noticed that I wasn't wearing a company shirt. Neither were a few other of my co-workers, they had random t-shirts that were cut offs as opposed to tank tops made for summer wear.
Today when he comes through I was working on shipping some boxes so I didn't notice him coming until he was right next to me and gets even closer but not quietly says very very dryly "two days without wearing a company shirt?"
To which I replied, "well, it has been pretty hot back here."
Not what he wanted to hear from me.
He seemed to expect me to apologize profusely for my mistake by what came next.

First he gave me the line about being a team and the company shirts are part of that team.
To that point, I agreed with him that it made sense and told him as much. But then he went into how yesterday there were "important clients" that came through the warehouse ( i saw them taking a tour and they didn't take a second look at the workers, they were looking at the storage space for product) and since I didn't have my company shirt on I was "scummy looking" and gave the impression I was some part- time scrub who didn't care... and he kept going with more insults about my looks but I began shaking with rage at being insulted straight to my face and there was nothing I could do about it if I enjoy having a steady paycheck.
My face was burning and not because of the inferno like conditions.
I was just staring at his mouth not knowing what I should say in response.
I was just stunned that I was being talked down to in such a way.
Next thing I heard him say was to talk to someone in the front office if I need more shirts.
All I could muster was "ok then" through my blinding anger.
THEN he, instead of handing me my pay stub like he does EVERYONE else, he put it down right in front of me and as he walked away said "I'm not saying this to be a hard ass" with a delivery of a robot.
Actually YES, that is exactly the reason you went on after I agreed with your initial point.
I've seen him come down every now and again previously and check if I am wearing company clothing.( I always bring my hoodie with the logo on it but it gets too hot after a half hour of being there.) Most days I try to until they get smelly and MUST be laundered.
I was fucking pissed.
Not only by the condescending and insulting things he said to me but that he was so damn close to me and wouldn't even HAND me my pay stub. It was a total bullshit move.
I looked back after a few minutes at one of my co-workers who had been wearing a shirt with cut off sleeves with the huge logo of some local bar. All of a sudden she had on a shirt with the company logo. She obviously saw him before I did and said nothing. Then as soon as he left she was back wearing the cut off bar shirt the rest of the day.
Just fucking stupidity.
Putting aside the actual insult to how I look, those "important clients" he mentioned walked right past our work station NOT looking at us. And I can venture a pretty damn good guess that had they seen me in a normal tank top they wouldn't have said "wow some of these workers aren't in company shirts, maybe we should rethink doing business here".
I'm going to guess that like any rational person walking into a work space that is hovering around 100 degrees they would be more apt to think: "Man, its hot as hell in here. Glad I don't have to endure this on a daily basis."
And my second point is that I work in a warehouse.
Specifically NOT to deal with the general public.
I choose to work in a shitty, hot, no air flow tin hot house so I don't have to worry about how I look.
I as well as any of my co-workers should be cut a little slack on our choice of shirts if it is going to keep us cooler on scorching humid swamp ass days like this week which would allow us  to be more productive hence better for the company.
I totally get dress code and the reasons for it but mid August is exactly the time that exceptions should be permitted.

Also the warehouse is the ONLY spot in the entire massive layout of the building that doesn't enjoy even the slightest benefit of air conditioning. The second you walk from any other walkway that leads to the warehouse, it is immediately 10 degrees cooler at least. Not to say that working in those other areas doesn't get hot because you know, you're working. The body tends to get hot doing any type of work. But us warehousers get no relief unless you are within 4 feet of a fan or have something cold to drink. Those are temporary solutions though.
I would not normally complain about working in a warehouse because it's obvious that you have to deal with the more extremes of temperatures. I've been working in this field for two years or so. I don't mind working in these conditions because I've chosen to do so.

What I fucking hate is when men who get the privilege of spending 99.98% of their day in air conditioning talking shit to the grunts in the trenches. Part of me thinks that it's because I stand out thanks to my colorful art-filled skin that I'm an easy target but I cannot be sure.
I don't know what I can do about how I was talked to, probably nothing seeing as how high up the food chain the person insulting me was so I vent on here.
Obvious advice is : start wearing a company shirt no matter what. And yes, I plan on that. I just hope that if I have to do so in weather like this past week, I randomly collapse at my post from heat stroke. About the only way my point could be made without my risking my job security. I like my job but I do not like being treated like I was today.

OK I got that out. I can drop it now and move on fresh come Tuesday.

And in an hour or so I begin the drive up north to the lake cabin. And fun time with my wife, daughter and In-Laws.

Final summation: If you work in the freezer, don't tell what's cooking in the frying pan to put a lid on it. 

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