Air-Conditioning Wars in the Retirement Home

After 3 months of searing heat we seniors at the retirement home are welcoming the one degree drop in the summer heat. More important is the drop in the humidity making life more bearable. It’s been 3 months of living in the air-conditioned building with the windows closed and the temperature set to ‘low’. This may sound trivial, but when you take into account that there are about 250 souls here, two-thirds women, and all between the ages of 75 and 100, you will understand the war that raged.

In the summer heat everything is, or was, air-conditioned. That includes the corridors, the elevators, the lounge, the dining room and all other public areas. The apartments are air-conditioned but inside one’s own apartment, one can choose how one wants to feel. It is not like that outside the apartments.

“I refuse to ride in that elevator and arrive at my floor frozen blue. I’ll take the stairs!” Marge. She lives on the 5th floor and the elevator ride, stopping at every floor, is about 30 seconds.

“I won’t eat in that dining room! The food’s ice cold!” Jessie, third floor.

“Never mind the dining room; have you tried a cup of iced coffee in that lounge? Impossible to drink the stuff!” Katie, fourth floor.

At the start of the summer it was a delight to walk along the air-conditioned corridors. Then someone, no names, decided the corridors were too cool, so she (it had to be a she) walked along five floors of corridors opening the windows and letting the hot air in and the cold air out. Management hit the roof at the waste of energy and money and promptly switched off the cool air in the corridors. From then on these superheated areas became a sort of sniper’s alley – you could see the seniors hobbling along them at incredible speeds to get out of the heat.

The air-conditioning season has ended in a draw. Us against them… I wonder if there will be heating in the winter?


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