174. Cold Feet

I’m getting cold feet at the office. I’m talking about literal cold feet, like my toes are losing heat kind of cold feet. I cannot imagine myself getting metaphorical cold feet on the job; not in this one, at least.

When January rolled around and reports came in from the United States that the polar vortex was freezing everything over, I could empathize. Well, sort of. See, as I read the updates on how Hell had literally frozen over, I, too, was shivering while seated at my desk in the office, suffering from the cold. The only difference between the Americans and I is that I have no trouble getting out of the cold and just going home after 5P.M.

(I learned a friend who used to live in Canada that over there, the winter sometimes gets so cold that you could get brain freeze just by standing out in the open and breathing in the frigid air. Sounds like a lovely way to die, it does)

At the previous office where I did some part-time copywriting and video editing, I was assigned to the computer they named Force, which happened to be the most powerful computer they had available (built to edit HD videos in real-time), and also the computer that was placed right underneath one of the office’s 2 air conditioners. In those days, I learned what it meant to be chilled to the bone, and I also learned that having cold fingers would eventually severely hamper my typing speed.

The recommendation was for me to wear a jacket to work. But what was I going to do with a jacket? It wasn’t my torso that had a problem with the cold, it’s doing just fine under all those layers of fats. My poor, unprotected fingers are the main victims here.

(there’s a statement here to be made about class equality and social justice, using my torso fats and skinny fingers as metaphors; but I’ll leave that to another writer)

It wasn’t until I started working at the present office that I found the need for a jacket.

I found out from the other folks that my office is already one of the warmest places to work, owing to the fact that two of the four air conditioning vents are sealed off with cardboard. Still, when the temperature drops outside with the arrival of the frequent afternoon rains, I find myself with my arms wrapped around my sides, shivering with a bitter cold in my middle. And that’s with the jacket on. The cold is getting to me through three layers of clothing, and even my feet are feeling it through my leather shoes.

I have found that I can fight the cold, however temporarily, by brewing tea in a thermo flask that I got for Christmas. It has very little to do with the hot tea itself, but a lot to do with how the flask eventually becomes a nice, warm thing to hold and defrost my fingers when it gets too cold. I suppose I can achieve the same effect with plain hot water, but there’s a special place in my heart for tea, perhaps. Besides, it’s nice to know that when the flask becomes just kinda-sorta warm on the outside, it means that the tea on the inside has cooled to that perfect temperature for drinking, where it’s hot enough to warm you up, but not so much that it scalds the roof of your mouth.

In the meantime, I’m just glad that the polar vortex hasn’t hit Malaysia as badly as it did the United States, however lovely a way it is to die.

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