GETTING MORE TALE #530: Sauna
Anyone who has ever shared a workspace, a home, or a car with another human has probably had this experience: It is sometimes very difficult to get two people to agree on what temperature it should be inside!
I walked into work recently on a cold November morn’. We were blessed with a mild fall, but now winter has come, so bundle up. I work in an office in an old building. I’m as far away from the furnace as you can get. I’m often very cold in the winter, and too warm in the summer, but certainly not always. The best way for me to control the temperature in my office is by putting a big 500 ream of 8.5″ x 11″ paper on top of the vent. I had to use the vent method to prevent my office from becoming a sauna.
The previous day, somebody cranked the heat up on the office thermostat. Whoever did cranked it way, way up. For whatever reason, all the heat seemed to be concentrated in my office. I could feel it in the hallway, which was warm, but my office was sweltering! Every surface in my office was hot: my desk, my filing cabinet, the walls, my computer…even the window was warm! Meanwhile, it was -2°C outside. It really had to be hot inside to warm up the window that much. I covered the vent blasting all that hot air. Then I removed my winter coat, and my dress shirt leaving only my Iron Maiden T-shirt beneath. I was still sweating. I had to crack open an outside door just to get some relief.
Whatever happened, it took a few hours for the room to cool down once the thermostat had been reset. The Maiden shirt was a hit; it was suggested I wear it to the office Christmas luncheon. I was able to work comfortably (and fully shirted) the rest of the day.
It reminded me of the constant thermostat battles at the Record Store. In the store I worked, there was a retail storefront and an office in the back. The office people would be constantly fiddling with the thermostat while the people up front doing the real work had to sweat it out. It wasn’t a winnable battle so I didn’t even fight. With hot lights beating down on the counter, I’d sometimes have to turn them off to stay cool. At night when the office people went home, we could at least control the temperature again. But if we failed to leave the heat on overnight in winter, there would be hell to pay! Though few people worry about it, temperatures under 20°C could theoretically do damage to a computer’s hard drive. Employees would constantly be warned of the penalties.
“Mike! Your employees forgot to leave the heat on last night! I could see my own breath this morning! Remind them if those computers break down they’ll be paying to replace them!”
A hard drive costs less than a hundred bucks. Heating a large store…that’s expensive. But I didn’t make the rules, and nobody asked my opinion!
As we Canadians hunker down for yet another winter, get ready for the temperature arguments. Fighting about tunes in the car will be replaced by “turn up/down the heat, I’m freezing/boiling!” Best of all are those days where you don’t know if you’re warm or cold. All perspective is lost on those days. You can’t even tell if you’re comfortable anymore. Join me in celebrating this joyful time of year, as some freeze and others work in a room hot as a sauna!