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Cold Temperatures Difficult For Outdoor Workers

Reported by: Send eMail Dave Benton
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Dec. 11, 2013 4:45 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 11, 2013 6:49 PM EST

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Working In Cold
Eyewitness News Photo

Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia

When the temperatures dip into the bone-chilling digits, it makes a life a little more difficult for all of us, but imagine if you have to work in the bitter cold.

Many occupations require a lot of time outdoors and that takes a lot of bundling.

For example, the curb servers at Stewart's Original Hotdogs at the Fifth Avenue location spend hours in the cold serving customers. It's basically an open air hotdog stand.

Rachel Harris is a server at Stewart's.

"You have to wear layers and make sure you have backup clothes in your car in case it starts raining," she said. "Gloves, hats and ear muffs are a must. We have a heater in the back it does keep us a little warm, but we're still running back and forth between cars taking orders."

Then you have maintenance workers like Dave Freeman who battle the cold working on heating units. This time of year, that can be tough, unless the unit is inside.

"A lot of times, they're under a crawl space of a home or in an attic which is tough,” Freeman said. “But maybe that's not as bad as being outside when it's below 20 degrees or something. Outside units are really tough to work on. You have to really be dressed for it."

Even though Freeman deals with the elements, he provides a special service to make sure he's able to provide heat for his customers.

"We can help with delayed billing and extended payment plans or something so they can get heat back on," he said. "I hate to see anyone in a situation with no heat being as cold as it is."

As unpleasant as a job like working as an outdoor server may seem, Rachel Harris said it's worth it.

"When you fight through the cold you end up making quite a bit of money during the winter and the tips are good," she said. "It's a great job."



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