As the temperatures rise, the German’s greatest asset suffers: the work ethic. Semi-fictional excerpts from the home office summer 2022. A comment.
8 a.m., early noon in Central Europe. At least judging by the oppressive heat that pushes through the window that was thrown open overnight and ties me to the mattress like a cold-blooded creature.
When cold water rolls over my shoulders in the shower, I realize: These are the best five minutes of the day. It doesn’t get any better, just warmer. I turn off the tap and it’s over, the bliss. Sweating starts.
It’s a new day in the summer of 2022, a new day in the home office desert of Germany.
Sweat Pour Homme: the fragrance for the home office summer of 2022
The red balcony marquise stretches like a Bedouin tent over my narrow balcony in the north of Cologne, which has moved significantly closer to the equator these days. While I drink lukewarm coffee and lukecold water, I open the laptop, which – just like me – is already sweating like sliced cheese at the Ballermann buffet. Sweat Pour Homme: the most popular summer fragrance in the home office.
I would like to know from my boss when we will be able to take a break from the heat. “When the crates of water are boiling in the newsroom. Before that, people work until they drop! Wink smiley!” he says. It’s easy for him to talk. With him in Hamburg, the Elbe should still have water, and there should even be green (!) grass. Here in Cologne, my shoes crunch as I walk the dog across the pale brown tundra that once boasted Park. Grass should not crunch. I feel sorry for the dog anyway. Later in the evening I sprint with her the shadeless 20 meters to the “meadow” so that she doesn’t burn her paws on the Teflon, sorry, on the asphalt.
I try to concentrate on my text. It’s about Afghanistan. Incidentally, it’s eight degrees cooler in Kabul today. By noon, the thought is gone like the nonexistent breeze.
Fan whirring: the summer hit of 2022
Lunch break, or as it should actually be called: Cooling Break. I’m not hungry, I don’t have the energy to cook anyway. Although, wait a minute. I could just throw a bouillon cube in my water glass and I’d have a vegetable soup. Without a kettle. Habeck would be proud. The soda stream is squeaking every half hour these days – festival beats for workaholics. While I’m sipping listlessly on my 47th glass of Eigensprudel, the doorbell rings. My girlfriend drags herself panting and loaded with a monstrous box through the hallway that has been mutated into a cold lock. She bought a fan. The monotonous whirring of the bronze-colored technological wonder lies picturesquely over the soda stream bass. This will definitely be my summer hit.
Back in front of the computer. In the meantime, Cologne has cracked the 37 degrees. When balcony and clinical thermometers can sing in unison, something is terribly wrong. Perceived temperature: 43 degrees, says the weather app. Good thing it’s too hot to feel. Still, one shouldn’t sweat just existing, in my opinion (eleven!).
But you still have it good, I think to myself. After all, some people have to work “properly” physically. A big bead of sweat runs down my nose trying to feel sorry, so I don’t. Suffering is something subjective.
Don’t worry: only five months until Christmas!
I look at the clock and wish it was the thermometer. Two more hours, then I can finally sweat in my free time. My shepherd is meanwhile pacing up and down in the apartment, panting. Every few minutes she stands in front of me with a big question mark over her snout, as if she’s wondering why the heating is on. I wonder with her.
Just in time for the end of the day, my WLAN router goes on heat strike. The fiber optic cable has apparently leveled off at Nord Stream 1 levels. Not so bad. Who needs Mbits when you have slip fingers in the freezer.
But don’t worry, it’s Christmas in five months. If things continue like this, I’ll be sitting in my swimming trunks in front of the Christmas tree, drinking Piña Colada instead of eggnog and listening to Ikke Hipgold instead of Rolf Zuckowski. After all, the matter with the lack of gas would only be half as bad. Sweating for peace and such.
Until then, I’ll orientate myself on one of the great thinkers of our time, Per Mertesacker: Off to the ice bin!