Sunday, March 8, 2009

Do You Need Some Ice, Sir?

I am attending a conference sponsored by the organization I work for. The conference is being held in a hotel in Washington, DC. It got rather warm today outside (about 70°F, 21°C). Since I would much rather be riding my Harley, I compromised. I rode my Harley to the conference, since I'm staying at home and not in the hotel.

Today it got hot inside the hotel. They weren't expecting outdoor air temperatures to get so warm this time of year, so they did not have cooling on inside.

Our big boss expects all of the staff to wear a suit -- "business attire" -- throughout the conference. Bleccchhh. Oh well, I do what I have to do. (Don't worry, though, I still had boots on. I really don't own any shoes.)

After an uncomfortable morning, sitting there in a shirt and tie but with the jacket casually draped across the back of my chair, the boss noticed and "suggested" that I keep my jacket on. I looked around, and noticed that most men who were dressed up had their jackets on. Well, since I was "asked...".

In the early afternoon, I was sitting in the back of a room observing a meeting, and felt rather clammy. I looked down at the front of my shirt, and noticed that it was all wet with sweat. As I was noticing this, a colleague came up to me and asked, "are you okay?" He said that my face was all red and there was a lot of sweat on my forehead.

I stood up and removed my jacket. I discovered to my dismay that my shirt was completely drenched in sweat. Then I was even more shocked to see that I had sweat stains below the waist. I was burning up!

I left the meeting and went to a more private area to try to cool off. My colleague was very worried about me, and came with me. He was suggesting that perhaps I needed to go to a doctor, as I was still sweating like crazy. A hotel staff person walked by, looked at me, and asked, "do you need some ice, sir?" I said "yes!"

I sat there for about an hour drinking ice water and cooling down. I put an ice pack on the back of my neck and on each wrist. Eventually, I cooled off. Another colleague loaned me a dry shirt, and I recomposed myself to finish out the day.

I don't know how men do it -- wear a jacket, shirt, and tie all day. I just can't. I figure my reaction was a combination of the heat inside the building, my strong discomfort in the clothing I had to wear, and my concern about the situation causing me to react.

Tomorrow -- shirt, but no undershirt. Lighter pants. Lighter jacket (I only have two, so what I have will have to do). And I will carry that blasted jacket and only put it on when I see the big boss.

It's odd that I can wear leather and not get so overheated. But close up my neck with a stupid necktie and smother me in a suit jacket, and something goes flooky in my mind or something. Uggghhh... three more days of this. Wish me luck!

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