Wednesday, December 21, 2011

‘Cuz You’re Hot N’ We’re Cold

Everyone has their own standing temperature, what they are comfortable at in both hot and cold weather.  I prefer to be warm in the summer, not sweating, but warm enough where I do not need to wear a cardigan indoors (obviously one of the reasons why they call it summertime).  In the winter I prefer to be comfortable, meaning my nose, hands and feet are not cold, again indoors.   Here’s where it gets tricky.  In an office setting, in the summertime, men get warmer before the women do, so they jack the AC up.  Some women have the same body temperature as the men so they aren’t complaining.  The rest of us are chilly.  There’s also the theory that businesses keep the air conditioning on full blast (and/or do not turn the heat on to a comfortable setting) to 1) prohibit those who are fit to wear classy business attire that may consist of a sleeveless shirt and skirt to distract the workers around them (just because they work hard to stay in shape and be healthy aka have a right to ‘bear arms’) and 2) to keep us awake.  One good thing about #1 is I haven’t had to buy anything new for work in a few years and unfortunately #2 puts me to sleep (many of us do not sleep with the heat up to normal in the winter).  #1 also provides me with the opportunity to wear a skirt but have to sit at my desk with a blanket over my legs, and keep a heavy sweater or fleece handy at all times. (I have seen men walking around in their coats and sweaters, so at times its not just the women who are cold.)  I can also see the point in #1, this is where the double standard comes in.  When its too warm, number #1 also prohibits the others from wearing clothes from their teenage daughters closet, going against company dress code policy in general.
Yes I sit in a bad spot, I not only have the breeze from the hall that leads from the lobby area, I am surrounded by 3 vents, so the constant air on me is not healthy to begin with.  I can’t complain too much though, I can wear my winter clothes throughout the year (can you hear the sarcasm?)  And thanks to a sign posted by office management on the thermostat closest to my area, the temperature gastapo has stopped moving the dial below 70.

So there are a few good things that come about from this daily inconvenience.  Not only has the inconsistent temperature saved me money from buying new work clothes for the change of seasons, it also makes me spend more money to keep warm in the winter months because you never know if the heat is going to be on when you walk in on Monday.  There are only so many layers of clothes you can wear to work before it gets to be ridiculous, sitting at your desk in a turtleneck, sweater, plus your coat, scarf and fingerless gloves for half the day draws the line.  At times its more comfortable outside in the sun. 

Some say if you get up in the morning and dread going to work you’re not having fun or you don’t like your job, the only thing I dread is knowing what the temperature will be.  Because its not healthy or good for your posture if you are hunched over your keyboard shivering, trying to keep warm, or leaning in because the draft is too much.  I don’t think we’ll ever win this battle (since things haven’t changed since I’ve been here so I’m quite used to it), but at least we can avoid it by working from home/Starbucks/Panera where its comfortable.

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