Temperature and Irritability on the Rise | Bring positive change for UIYB

The Heat!!!! This week the temperature hit 100 degrees in Little Rock, Arkansas, and irritability has run amok. Is there science to back up this claim. Yes. In August, 2013, Nature published a study that reported the following:

Analyzing 60 quantitative studies across fields as disparate as archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science and psychology, University of California researchers found that throughout history and across the world, higher temperatures, less rainfall and more drought were consistently linked to increased violence. The correlation held true for aggression between individuals, such as domestic abuse and assault, but was even more pronounced for conflict between groups.

At we often refer to ourselves as family but calling us a group works too. In the past, I attributed our consistently high, June employee turnover to seasonal stress. May and June are the flag making industry’s busiest months of the year. But after last Friday’s heat wave, I am rethinking my previous assumption.

For a company of 25 employees, we do a lot. Just think about this. With only 25 co-workers, we manage seven very different departments: Marketing (ie Social media, TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail and on and on), Sales (ie telephone, retail, internet), Purchasing, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Shipping, Invoicing and Human Resources. I think that’s more than seven! Divide that by 25 people and that puts only a few key people in each area of work. I say this all the time, “In a small company, everybody matters.”

Fridays are normally one of my favorite days of the week, and not because it is the last…geez people. I like Fridays because it is Up In Your Business radio show day. I rise early (at 5 am) and review my week’s research for the upcoming show and put on the finishing touches. It feels very much like completing homework and I have a sense of accomplishment having had the discipline to research, learn and write about that week’s guest. Next, time permitting, I go to the gym to work out any nerves and to think. Then, its back home and time to play “dress up,” a hobby of mine since I was a child. “Dress up” is putting on your make up and clothes with a purpose. Don’t assume this is easy; you must have a passion for fashion or its work.

This past Friday everything seemed to be clicking along normally when, about 11 am (3 hours before the show), Comcast cable went down in the city and communication with my staff was hampered. Also, on the way to the radio station traffic was backed up because of a train that was stopped right in the middle of Little Rock. Weird.

Meanwhile, my support staff was arriving at KABF an hour early to set up for the show. They found the studio hot, I mean really hot. It was so hot that it was hard to think and everything seemed harder than usual, even some of our equipment overheated and just quit working. We wanted to do that, too.

When I arrived late, everything was chaotic. Usually, I am one of those people that grows calm and gets the clarity of tunnel vision when under pressure. But this day, the heat accelerated the pressure in my brain and blood which made me irritable with no one to direct it towards except the managers of the studio, who won’t fix the reoccurring air conditioning problem!

The show went off with little visible mistakes to our listeners, but underneath, my staff and I were seething from heat exhaustion.

The good thing about anger is that it can also give you energy. After the show, with my hair, make-up and clothes soaked from sweat, I spoke to the station manager who suggested I contact another host on KABF (my underfunded public radio station) to talk about using his cooler room at the station for broadcasting Up In Your Business. I did.

Break down, break through. I may have found a new friend, a professional audio engineer and a nicer location to host my show.

Thank you heat wave > anger > action > new friend > possible solution and better program.