A Job History Part 8 - It's a dry heat

My first impression upon arrival in Phoenix in July is that it's damn hot. It was a different version of hot from Houston, though, and both versions were way hotter than anything I had ever experienced growing up in Illinois and Indiana. I never understood the concept of "dry heat" until I experienced the difference between Houston, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona. 

The average humidity in Houston, Texas is about 75%. In Phoenix, it's 35%. That makes all the difference. High humidity feels like a jungle. It's a wet heat where you feel like your sweating never ends until you get inside and cool off. The whole idea behind sweating is that your body temperature cools off as a result of sweat evaporating off your skin. This is less likely to happen in a humid climate vs a dry climate where sweat evaporates almost immediately. If you want to know what Arizona heat feels like, turn your oven on to 250 degrees, let it warm up, and open the door. That blast of dry, hot air is what it feels like to step outside in the summer.

Starting in 7th grade, I was having difficulty reading what the teachers were writing on the chalkboards. In 8th grade, I asked the teachers for the overhead sheets to write my notes because I could not read them even from the front row. My mom surmised that I needed glasses. I remember the first day I went to school with my new glasses. I felt so self conscious, especially because a girl I had a crush on would see me first thing on the bus. She said the glasses made me look even smarter. I guess that was a good thing, although nothing ever happened between us.

I had been wearing glasses since I was 13 years old. In my first year in Phoenix, I decided it was time to upgrade to contact lenses. I chose the good ol' Walmart Vision Center, mainly because I was looking for the least expensive option. After my eye exam, the technician explained the options for contact lenses. The most common option was the contact lenses designed to be worn for two weeks and then thrown away. The technician was able to put them in my eyes relatively easily, but then in order to walk out the door with them, I had to prove that I could put them in and take them out on my own. This proved to be quite a challenge.

I don't like anything coming close to my eyes. I don't even like using eye drops. I was struggling for over an hour trying to put them in. Finally, the technician suggested that I try long-term lenses that were slightly smaller and a bit more rigid. These lenses were more expensive and required more cleaning, but they might be easier to put in. I switched to these lenses and wasted another hour. After a total of two hours, I finally had success putting the contacts in and taking them out on my own. I popped them back in so that I could walk out the door with what felt like superhuman vision sans glasses. 

My eyes were wrecked after two hours of poking and prodding. As soon as I got outside, I was blasted with the summer heat. Blinded by the sun and the heat, I hobbled my way to my car, opened the door, and plopped down into an absolute oven. To this day, my least favorite thing about Arizona summers is getting into a car that's been parked in the sun. The memes with people using oven mitts to hold the steering wheel are actually true. By this point, my eyes were on fire, and felt like someone was holding a hairdryer on full blast one inch away from each eyeball.  Even though I despise eye drops, I needed some relief, any relief. I reached blindly into the paper bag to grab the small bottle of eye drops. I quickly opened the bottle and held it up above my face as I looked up and forced my eyes open. As soon as I felt the first drop, I knew I screwed up. 

My eye went from on fire to some small version of a nuclear fusion reaction. I had mistakingly pulled the bottle of the protein cleaner for the contact lenses instead of the hydrating eye drops! One hemisphere of my brain was launching expletives out of my mouth while the other hemisphere drove my motor cortex in a priority search for the real bottle of eye drops. I found the small bottle and quickly squeezed half of it into my eye to avoid a nuclear meltdown. I used the other half of the bottle to quell the other eye that was at least spared the additional protein-remover assault. This is a vivid memory I have and one of a few examples that I associate with a "Welcome to Phoenix."
At first I thought there's no way a 
Walmart
employee would stick with you that long but then I realized that you probably were just in the corner by yourself doing this as they serviced other people? lol
2021-06-02 15:19:51

A Job History