Hot Work – Close it Down

Hot WorkThank you to the men and women who endure the heat on days like this and shame on employers and the rest of us who demand people work in such conditions.

There was a segment on the news tonight about the heat and how people are coping with it.  Part of that news piece was about the construction workers who were out in this ridiculous heat today.  Good for them and for all the other workers who have to endure these temperatures.

I’m not sure I know who all the people are who were working in the heat today but here’s my little list.

  • kitchen workers in hospitals and hotels who seldom have any air conditioning and even if they do it is almost impossible to regulate on a day like this
  • the teenagers and adults who work in tourist towns in the food places along the beaches.  They not only have heat to endure but also flying things that try to get into the food.
  • construction workers slugging and digging and holding up those signs to keep us from running over one another to get home.
  • farmers cutting wheat and bailing straw – some have those lovely air conditioned combines but they still have to be outside a lot of the time
  • lawn maintenance crews who are out on public spaces, golf courses and private lawns trying to make them look lovely for us to enjoy when it’s not quite so hot.
  • recreation staff and camp staff who are working in camps and playgrounds around the country trying to entertain children
  • public transit drivers who have to endure the sun pounding through huge windshields
  • green house workers
  • steel mill workers
  • …and the guy who is now asleep on the couch as well as his faithful helper who were outside under the big maple today painting the side of the house.  I tried to change their minds but they would not be moved.

I’m sure I missed some.

When I was a student I worked for the government one summer and if it got over 93F in the office we were dismissed and sent home.  I don’t know what the labour laws require now but I do know many of the workers listed above must not be included in the legislation.  If they were the world might come to a halt.

I think it might be good if we took as much care of people when it’s too hot to work as we do when it’s too cold.  Why can’t we close everything for heat?  I know heat doesn’t produce snow banks that are difficult to navigate but making people travel and work in conditions like today is every bit as dangerous.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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