It’s that time of year when the hotel I work for has all of its 6,350 windows washed.
Of course, my immediate and somewhat clichéd thought on seeing the window washers is “Well, at least my job description doesn’t include windows,” but after having an office-wide discussion this morning about the whole “what kind of guy cleans windows on a skyscraper?” we collectively now assume that these guys must be rock climbers/rappellers/crazy people who jump out of perfectly good airplanes/adrenaline junkies anyhow. It takes a set to dangle 723 feet above the ground, suspended by rope and harness and I can’t imagine it’s something you’d do if you didn’t wildly adore the rush. Let’s face it. There are other jobs.
While I do like heights, there’s about zero chance I’ll ever be joining them. Of course, as Sir Terry Pratchett said, it’s not the heights you should be afraid of, but the depths; so my worries wouldn’t at all be about being that high up in the air or the safety of the equipment, which assuredly goes through thousands of checks and tests before it’s used. My paralyzing fear would be more about the wild gusts of wind, whipping around the tops of these really high buildings, sweeping me up and squishing me like a bug against the glass, where I’d then slither slime-ily 72-stories down to the ground like Wile e Coyote after a failed attempt to catch the Roadrunner.
So in lieu of participating myself, I’ll make a point to enjoy watching them.
Amazingly, they look pretty calm and happy, so hanging from the sky just might be their way of staying grounded.
It turned out that when Miss Level had asked Tiffany if she was scared of heights, it had been the wrong question. Tiffany was not afraid of heights at all. She could walk past tall trees without batting an eyelid. Looking up at huge towering mountains didn’t bother her a bit.
What she was afraid of, although she hadn’t realized it up until this point, was depths. She was afraid of dropping such a long way out of the sky that she’d have time to run out of breath screaming before hitting the rocks so hard that she’d turn to a sort of jelly and all her bones would break into dust. She was, in fact, afraid of the ground.
– Terry Pratchett