But now the cooler temps are here and I’ve got more than a few reasons to celebrate. Everything that is great about the end of summer does have its twists of irony for office workers, though. I tend to run hot temperature-wise. The A/C can never be cold enough. Some who have worked with me in the past know I prefer office spaces to be as cool as meat lockers (if I could have my way).
The fact is, though, office workers must yield to the consensus. It’s just like an election in that sense. Our people might not get in, so we have to hope who does will do the job well enough that they take as many people into consideration as possible when it comes to the decisions they endeavor.
I find building ventilation is mostly non-partisan if not apolitical. That is, in many offices in downtown buildings across the country where the changing of the season brings accompanying temperature differences, engineers must allow for the mix of air that pleases the most workers.
But I’m in the minority in these instances as I said I prefer it cold. Even when it wasn’t really cold when I was working in office buildings, many workers would say it was. Typically, it was women who articulated their chilly states. I can say that, because it was fact. The guys in these offices tended to run hot and the women cold regarding body temperatures.
To this day and most of the time, guys will just have to suck it up and endure the hot-under-the-collar temperatures that await them.
When I worked days in the winter, the building air would start out warm in the morning and get warmer throughout the day. When I worked during the summer, it started out feeling “close” early on and then it would become cooler towards late morning. It would seem like a blast of warmer air would arrive from the vents early afternoon before max cooling would coincide with the 3 p.m. hottest part of the day.
Guys would be most pleased if it was just freezing or at least cooler if not cold all the time. It used to tweak me when women would complain it was too cold and then something would be done to make it warmer.
“Now, it’s too hot!” exclaims Ethel.
I changed the name of this individual to protect her innocence, which, truth be told, she was not in huge supply of. But I digress.
“Ethel, what the heck do you want?” asks Bob. In this case my name is “out there” for all to lambast as appropriate.
“I want the office temperature to be comfortable, Bob, that’s what I want.”
“I think you only think that’s what you want, Ethel. I’m pretty sure you don’t know exactly what it is you want. That’s why I asked the question.”
“You’re just being difficult, Bob. Anyone here will tell you that this morning it was too cold. They made some kind of adjustment. And now it’s gone the other extreme. It’s too hot! What is wrong with you?”
This is where George Carlin would offer that at this point this thing is about to turn ugly and one or the other will end up using the F-word.
George would also know the difference of opinion could be ended once and for all by clearly stating, “F_ _ k you and anyone who looks like you, Ethel.”
But this was a professional setting and this kind of language is completely inappropriate.
So where to go with it now?
I quickly wiped the George Carlin reference from my planned speech.
“Okay, Ethel. Let’s just ask someone else what they think.”
I knew the likelihood of any of the rest of the women in the suite taking up with me was pretty much next to nil. Feeling as if I was about to make a big mistake, I turned to the remaining male in the office for support.
“Frank, how do you feel? Since they turned it up, do you think it’s too hot now like Ethel?” I was attempting to bridge the temperature divide.
“Well yes, Bob. I feel it’s too warm now, like Ethel.”
“Would you prefer we go back to how cool it was this morning?
“Well, now, um, Bob, I don’t know about that. Like Ethel says, that might have been a bit too cool for most.”
“A bit too cool for most? Really, Frank? A bit too cool? That’s perfect.”
I felt Ethel’s scolding, scathing words forming at the edge of her lips.
“Not only are you a dick for insisting we all freeze our asses off here, I just want to say you’ve been a pretty big dick, generally-speaking, throughout most of the week, Bob. What is wrong with you?!”
“F _ _ k you and anyone who looks like you, Ethel.”