Workers brave Indy’s sub-freezing temperatures

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Downtown Indianapolis just looks cold, from the steam on street to all of the people bundled up to their eyeballs trying to get around.  Now imagine having to work outside in these temperatures.

Eric Schwartz works at the corner of frigid and bone-chilling as the bellman at the Conrad Hotel.

“Very cold, 2-degrees,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz not only has to work the front door in the cold he has to do it with a smile on his face and doesn’t even wear gloves.  But, he says he has a secret warming system.

“Our secret here is to take rotations and drink a lot of coffee,” Schwartz said.  “We have four of us on right now so we’re in the hotel, three of us. One of us is outside the hotel at all times.”

So for now Eric drew the short straw and has outside duty.

“Except when it’s busy and we all have to be out here,” Schwartz said.

Lloyd Jessee has to be out in the cold to wait for his bus.

“Mostly I just keep moving back and forth,” said Jessee.  “It keeps it from getting too bad.”

Jessee says he’s heading back home to Greenwood now and he says it cold but it’s not as bad as it was at seven this morning when he was waiting for his bus into the city.

“I’m only just now starting to get numb in the legs and this morning I was outside for about three minutes and I just lost all feeling,” said Jessee.  “It was crazy.”

As for Eric, well he’s still out in the cold, working the door at the Conrad with a smile.  He says basically you have to be mentally tough to get through days like this or think about beaches and palm trees.

“Ha, that’s funny,” Schwartz said.  “We were all just sitting in there, talking about if there were any hotels in the Houston or Florida area we could transferred down to.”


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