Thursday, April 15, 2010

Winter clothes in summer, again

We’re entering into another summer season, which, in most parts of North America, can get quite hot. In my part of North America, it rarely goes above 25°C (77°F) because my city is on the water. I feel comfortable wearing shorts for maybe 2-3 weeks/year. I am a person who is always cold, I am also thin and don’t have as much body fat as other people.

In my office, our thermostats are networked. Despite having my own office, I don’t have much control over what the desired temperature should be. When we first moved in, the thermostat was capped at a maximum of 74°F (23°C). Then the cap moved to 73°F (22°C) and stayed at that level for quite a while. Today, I noticed that the cap has again been moved and is now at 71°F (21°C). This is happening due to the complaints of a couple of people, who are higher in rank than me, one of whom is constantly too hot. The placement of the building is such that on a sunny day, my side of the office becomes “superheated” and can reach temps up to 78-79°F (25-26°C). I am quite comfortable on those days, and on the off chance that I find it too warm, I remove the sweater I am usually wearing. The other side of the office is tolerable on a sunny day, and freezing on a cloudy day. Thankfully I do not work on that side of the building. Another co-worker has an office on the cold side of the building, and is constantly freezing.

What I find frustrating, other than not being able to control the individual temperature of my office, is that a good portion of the problem could be solved if the too-hot person swapped offices with the too-cold person. I have even suggested this as an option to both people, as it would keep the too-hot person from turning all the office thermostats down and making it colder for everyone. Office politics are involved in this, though, and thus no swap has ever occurred. I’m curious when the straw will break the camel’s back and the office swap may take precedence over other issues. Since the too-hot person is the boss of the too-cold person, this is a realistic option.

In the meantime, I’m usually ok if it is sunny for the morning, and my office gets heated naturally. On a semi-cloudy or overcast day, such as today, I’m now stuck somewhere in the 71°F range. I’m already wearing a sweater, debating a blanket for my legs, and have changed from shoes to sneakers because my feet are cold. I am also debating bringing in slippers to keep my feet warm, and possibly a bathrobe, since our landlord forbids space heaters as a potential fire hazard. It would look pretty silly, but it would get a point across.

I recently put away my winter pants and should move my winter sweaters to the basement. Now I’m not so sure that I should do it, from a comfort perspective. If I want to be warm enough, I may have to keep my winter clothes on during the summer, but that will likely make me feel even colder come winter.

I stopped into a clothing store the other day and saw some nice clothes, though they would be useless for me in this climate. Thin linen shirts are pretty much only good for vacations. How about something that is both summery and built for a cold office? I guess that’s never going to happen.

1 comment:

Lois said...

You don't want to know that it's well into the 80's with nary a cloud in the sky, do you. The Coachella Fest visitors are totally awed by the weather, as well as the venue and the music. Perhaps next year you should plan a vacation to that musical festival: I know a place where you could stay free.