Dave here, writing to you from the polar north pole, also known as my office. Current temperature outside? 74 degrees farenheit. Current temperature inside? 55 degrees. Above me, a vent pumps nearly 400,000 BTU’s of frigid air per second right at my uncovered dome.
The best thing about working where I work has always been the T-shirt and jeans factor, or as I call it, TJ Time, ’cause I loved the Will Shatner vehicle of similar name. Modern man has reached the pinnacle of comfort with this most common of apparel. You can do anything when you’re on TJ Time: You can work construction, close a million dollar deal, write a movie, song, haiku, suicide note, whatever. Not here, not in this office anyways.
My TJ Time is enshrouded in a long sleeve shirt, polar fleece and scarf, not the greatest summertime look in any part of the world. I’m not comfortable, I’m not cheerful, I’m cold and I’m making typing erorrs.
Study Finds Colder Offices Less Productive
As I mentioned some weeks ago, I’ve always been fortunate enough to work in small offices. Along with unfettered access to a private bathroom we also had control over our personal temperature settings. Not now though. As we’ve moved into the belly of the financial beast we’re now at the whims of the dreaded building management. Not only do we have to share crap-space with strangers, but also climate control.
The more you think about it, the more ridiculous it becomes, for a few reasons:
1) We’re in the financial district, everyone wears suits. Including the women, only they wear those silly looking skirt suit things. Why would you want to do business with someone who looks like a federal agent? Now, say someone came up to you selling insurance and he was all pimped out, living large in TJ Time? Wouldn’t you be more willing to talk to him? Or play a game of pickup basketball or something?
2) We’re all on different sides of the building. My windows face east. I get a little sun in the morning, but the people facing south get it all day long, bright beautiful sunshine. Obviously they might need a little more AC. So while they’re baking in the afternoon sunlight, I’m getting the ass-end of their pumped up air flow being eventually directed right at my balls, and as we all know, cold helps keep your testes producing healthy, fertile sperm, and I’m not ready for kids yet, MOM! I swear, if I find out you’re behind this…
3) It’s a conspiracy. The religio-fascist-energy complex is behind it. Think about it? Who wins out when the AC is blasting? The power company, of course. But who else? LL Bean. They know you’re not wearing turtlenecks in the summer, but if you’re freezing like I am, you’re getting the catalog, ordering up some T-necks and bundling up. It’s also a little known fact that they’re a super-strict Mormon sect that has every interest in seeing every part of your body covered by cloth. “Mormons in Maine?” you may ask increduously, yes, Mormons in Maine are behind all of this.
When I figured this all out I was pretty depressed. Gone were the days of half naked, heightened jungle-style productivity during my summer months. Now I come in, put on my winter parka and ear muffs and just sit, slowly clicking through pictures of the outside, realizing I’m becoming as gray-faced and depressed as all the other robots in this area.
Then I realized there are some advantages to this frigid enviroment, slight though they may be.
Small Talk: I love meaningless small talk. You know, the kind of shit you just spew out of your mouth because you’re bored to tears with your life and you can’t bring yourself to lay out, “Oh God oh GOD I’m a failure and I’m going to be alone forever!” on some complete stranger, so instead you just talk about the weather? Right? right?
Well what better to fill that gaping empty void in a conversation after you’ve both painstakingly affirmed that it’s hot outside than a twenty minute shout fest about how frigid you are at your desk? It’s INDOORS weather! Brilliant! As you can imagine just from reading this far I could go on for hours.
Your Inner MacGuyver Awaits: Eventually, I got tired of slowly freezing to death, watching my loins surge with fertility and staring out the window at the tropical urban paridise denied me. So I got up and tore off the vent cover above my desk and tried to cover it up.
Well, as it turns out, my vent is the last vent in the air conditioning’s floor wide circuit. That means that the air NEEDS to come out, like swallowed chewing tobacco. I was more motivated trying to fix this problem than anything in recent memory. I first taped a piece of carboard over the now gaping hole in my ceiling. That worked for about ten minutes until the slowly loosening tape emitted a thunderous buzzing sound and the entire (now ice cold) home-made plug came crashing down on my head.
Then I shoved some paper plates in the hole. This only served to anger the beast as the winter blast contorted the waxed paper and found a wrinkle, slightly tore through TWO plates and is now jettisoning a Level 5 Cone of Cold right into my left ear.
Permanently Erect Nipples: This may be a little too much information, but as I write this, my man-teats are hard enough to cut diamonds. A feat which I’ve proven several times as I’ve taken out some side-work for a diamond merchant friend of mine.
These little headlights are good for all kinds of things. When it gets to around 55 like today, I can store a good six CD’s on them, that’s more than the collected works of Silverchair. I’ve got a personally located, portable one-hole punch, with just three swift ab crunches any report is good to go. Also, with a thin rubber coating, they do make for great erasers.
I could go on and on, but I think my mulled cider just got finished heating up over the bonfire in the server room. We’re setting up a skate rink in the supply closet, so if anyone wants to come over and sing some carols, I’ll be here till winter, when it will be, inevitably, sweltering.