As record breaking high temperatures impact the world and the Tampa Bay Area, most professions that require people to work outdoors continue to operate on a business-as-usual basis.
Sherman Berman, owner of Herman’s Roofing in Tampa recently took time to demonstrate how much one of his employees, a man he identified as “Robert”, enjoys his job.
“My guys thrive in these conditions,” he said, gesturing to the man spreading hot tar on the roof of the garage behind him. “He’d actually prefer to be up there than in some stuffy air-conditioned office, believe me. He’s in his element.”
“Hey Robert! You’re doing great! Keep it up, big guy!” he said, as he waved to the sweat-soaked man on the roof, who was grimacing in considerable physical pain.
“I think I’m dying,” replied Robert, gasping for breath. “The tar… the sun… it is all so hot.”
“This is important work that has to be done, this being hurricane season and all,” said Mr. Berman, ignoring Robert. “Incidentally, this increased, urgent demand allows us to charge premium fees for the service we provide.”
When asked if his employees make more money as well, he replied, “Robert knew the pay was $19 an hour when he took the job.”
“Isn’t that right, Robert?” he yelled to the man on the roof, who appeared to be noticeably smaller than he had been when we started talking, as though he were actually melting.
“Ha ha! He loves it,” added Berman. “It really is a great job to have. You can dress casually. How many jobs do you know where you can wear shorts and baseball caps at work? Plus, there’s water, yes, with ice, provided free of charge to my guys when they take breaks.”
At that point, Robert had passed out and fallen off the roof, his body landing on a pile of debris below.
“Oh, he’s fine. Hey Robert, break time isn’t for another half hour, okay buddy?” Berman yelled at the unconscious heatstroke victim.
“All right, I gotta get back inside. This heat is ridiculously brutal,” he added.