Hot and Bothered

Quite some time ago, after moving to NYC, I began to see a correlation between weakness of air conditioning and crappiness of job. I know people complain about their offices are too cold in the summer and office ladies keep sweaters at work (is that long bathrobe style sweater finally out of style?) just for these trying times. But me, I've never been too cold at work. And yeah, I've developed that bizarre sweating disproportionately to the temperature condition (but only on my commute to work, not from) but I've never been a heat seeker, despite recent summer vacations practically on the equator. I hate summer and it's not even summer yet.

Hotpad_1 My first full time job here, in an academic library, had no air conditioning and it was brutal. I left it for a dot com venture in a real office building…that didn't have air conditioning. Everybody got fans for their desks and it was pathetic and unbearable and by the middle of the summer we all got laid off any way. I then went to another website, but a mom and pop operation out of store front. Yes, you guessed it, no air conditioning (one was eventually installed). Then came another academic library that had air conditioning that barely functioned, tolerable but still sticky. My last job was in huge office with a big corporation. Finally, we had real air conditioning, but my boss who had zero percent body fat (not in a trying to be sexy gym obsessed way, but a boney senior citizen fashion) had our department's cooling turned down because she was always freezing.

Well, duh, that's what blubber is for. I'm normally very passive at work, but the second she went on vacation I called maintenance and made them turn it up to a respectable level. And now, I'm also in a proper office building. And today was the first day hot enough to require artificial cooling and it was nice and chilly everywhere on our floor, except in my freaking cubicle. I am dead serious. No hyperbole. If this is not a sign of job craptitude, I don't know what is.

And it's not my imagination. My supervisor came over to talk to me and couldn't believe how hot my little space was (but then, she is menopausal). She had to fan herself with a magazine for the few minutes she spent in my presence. But if you walk ten feet in either direction of my cube, it's cold. I couldn't concentrate all day because of heat lethargy. This is the small type of thing that seriously makes me angry. She called maintenance and nothing happened. I had the hard ass results oriented assistant who sits next to me (to be fair, her space is almost as hot as mine) call maintenance again to put the fear of god into them (like I said, I'm passive and nothing ever gets done when I ask because I'm too polite–really, it's the Oregonian in me) and they hemmed and hawed, which means nothing is going to happen.

There is seriously going to be hell to pay if this continues throughout the summer (I honestly didn't anticipate still being there into the next season and that's depressing in other ways. The hard ass assistant, the only other employee with a sense of humor [no one else in the office would find any amusement in my story about a Girl Scout camp counselor self-nicknamed Hot Pad, who looked like an obese John Denver. It's funny how Boy Scouts are so conservative and homophobic, while Girl Scouts, at least in the NW in the '80s, was a giant, girl power, hairy, dyke fest. It was wholesome and surprisingly un-scarring], told me that she was crying while driving back to NYC last night from her CT home [yeah, even assistants can afford second homes-I guess that's the glory of moving here in the '80s and reaping the benefits of rent control] because she couldn't bear coming back to work). Either it gets fixed, they move me (I'm already resentful because I have the smallest, most isolated space on the entire floor) or I work from home. Er, or I quit. I mean, really the heat is the least of my problems at this place, but it's something as stupid as sweating while trying to work that would end up being the catalyst. Quality of life issues, I tell you.

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