Thursday, June 9, 2011

98 Degrees

It's 98 degrees here today, which makes the balcony of Jadwin Gym rather hot.

TigerBlog likes to leave the door to his office open. With the temperature so high, he can't do that, because it defeats the purpose of air conditioning.

Speaking of air conditioning, there was a long time here that the air conditioning in Jadwin didn't work so well. In fact, for some summers, it didn't work at all.

The offices that have an exterior window have always had window air conditioners, so they've always been nicely cooled. The offices on the balcony, though, have windows that look out across the lobby and through the huge glass windows into the football stadium and track complex, which affords a lovely view but no place to put a window unit.

As a result, there have been many summers where it's been rather hot in this office.

One year, when the air was turned off completely due to asbestos removal in the lower levels of the building, the OAC was given a portable unit that looked like what TigerBlog assumes an old fashioned iron-lung looked like.

The machine made a weird humming/gurgling noise, but it did cool things off a bit. The only problem was that nobody told anyone here that the machine created condensation that was collecting in a huge pail, and so when everyone left the first night and didn't turn the machine off, the pail overflowed and the office flooded, resulting in new carpet at least.

At one point during a particularly horrid summer, Vinnie DiCarlo called the local OSHA office, who referred him to his department supervisor, Gary Walters, and suggested he voice his concerns over the heat in the office to him. DiCarlo's response was: "I would, but I can't chisel the ice off his door."

Through the years, TigerBlog has had a small fan with the words "air duracraft" written cross the bottom on a table near his desk. TB always puts the fan on low, even in the winter, as much for the hum it gives off as for its cooling effect, though it does a surprisingly good job of that.

TigerBlog isn't 100 percent sure where got the fan. If his memory is correct, he had two of the same fans, except one was black and white and one was blue, and he can't remember what happened to the blue one. It's possible that the fans date back to when he lived in Trenton with Jim Chesko, back in the house on Chestnut Street that didn't have AC.

Eventually, the air conditioning here at Jadwin was replaced. Today, it works pretty well, to the point where the balcony offices are well-cooled throughout the summer, which technically is more than 10 days away.

As an aside, TB wishes he had a dollar for every person who made the requisite "how was the one day of spring we had" joke.

The down side of having the air conditioner work well is that it forces TB to keep the door closed. He's a big fan of having the door open, so he can interact with the people who walk by. With the door closed, he feels a bit isolated.

He can hear the people in the mail room, but he can't really make out what they're saying or who they are, unless they speak loudly. He can hear laughter, which happens a few times a day.

What's the point of any of this?

Well, except for eight track and field athletes who are competing through Saturday, the Princeton athletic year for 2010-11 is over.

Preparations for the 2011-12 school year began a long time ago, in every area that Princeton athletics deals with.

But in reality, when the events stop, everything else slows to a crawl. At least for a little while.

TigerBlog doesn't really have a good understanding of how much of the working world functions on a daily basis. If you're in sales, or you're in finance, or you're in something like that, how do you know when the day starts and when it ends? Do most professions have down time at this time of year? Probably not.

For TigerBlog, it's only ever been the newspaper business and this. The work schedule is dictated completely by the time of year.

And this time of year is easily the slowest around here. The second-slowest is the last two weeks of December or so, by the way.

There is a routine flow of people in and out of Jadwin through the school year. The number of people on campus skyrockets during Reunions and graduation, and the amount of work that builds to that point is significant.

And then, just like that, it's over. Almost everyone leaves campus for the summer, leaving behind only those who actually work here year-round.

It's a time to catch your breath and all, but it's also a bit weird.

Walk or drive across campus, and hardly anyone is here. Even the summer camp crowd hasn't arrived yet.

Eventually, the camps end, late August rolls around, the athletes start to return, practices start, games start, school starts, and all the noise comes back, starting the process all over again.

For now, though, the normal sounds of the school year are gone. In their place is just a strange silence.

And a lot of heat.

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