May I Take Your Coat Please???

Since I have been here, the hospitality has been great and all my qualms of not fitting in no longer exist.  Everybody is extremely nice and more than willing to help ~ always asking if I would like a beverage, if they can take my coat, and other unstinting gestures.  The work environment is just as warm and friendly.  The young lady that I work with is on a half-day schedule, so we come in the office around 9:00am and depart around 2:00pm, depending on the workload.  During the first couple of days in the office, I noticed that everybody was bundled in wool coats, scarves and some with hats.  My first thought was “oh, they must have just come from outside”.

Then I quickly learned…

The winters in South Africa are not nearly as bad or long as what some of us may have experienced, but I guess that is relative.  The temperature in the mornings and evenings are very cold and can drop to below freezing, but by daybreak, the weather is beautiful ~ averaging 68*F (20*C).  The weather is great outside; however, inside is a different story.  Due to cost and budgeting, building insulation is not a concern with most establishments, so if it is cold outside then it is coldER inside. This makes  relying on the sun to warm a building with minimal windows, virtually impossible.  With this new information, I too began to wear my coat and scarf indoors, which for me, is quite distracting. I seemed to be the only one distracted, often focusing on the numbness of my pinkies and not my workload; secretly hoping somebody would recognize my struggle and offer me a portable space heater (that hasn’t happened).

Working indoors, in outdoor apparel is the norm for those working here and although they too are cold they do not allow the temperature to distract them from being productive.  So to answer the question, no you may not take my coat; but if you bring me blanket, I would be ever so grateful!!!

Until next time…


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