Winter Is Coming (at Work)

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Sep 14, 2016

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Dear Swaddle Team: I sit in a centrally air-conditioned office, and it is always too cold at work. It feels sub-zero. My socks and hoodie come handy, but the fingers… they need to type! I am often found pleading with the office admin to make the temp fit for human habitation, and sometimes he obliges. But then someone melting from the heat outside barges in, takes his case to the admin and I freeze again. How do I find my way around this tundra?


MM: Don’t suffer in silence! Put up a poster in your office inviting anyone who faces the same temperature troubles as you, to form a group of AC-rebels. I have heard there are several in every office. Once you’ve rounded up a crowd, demand an AC-free zone, where no one is allowed to mess with the temperature.

… You might need to stock up on some air freshener though, or be treated to the scent of your fellow rebels.

KB: I say go full guerrilla style special-ops tactics on this one. Stop playing by the rules. Who says the office admin has to hold all the power?

Find where the temperature is controlled and take matters into your own hands. Once you locate the thermostat, you can surreptitiously sneak over and remedy the situation any time the temperature is not to your liking. And no one has to know it’s you — that hoodie will come in handy when you need to be incognito.

SB: It may be time to take matters into your own hands instead of pleading with the admin on a temperature control power trip.

The answer, go prank-style: 1) point all vents in the direction of the office admin who controls the AC, 2) hide the sweaters that allow him to keep the room at subzero temperatures, 3) offer him cold beverages intermittently.

Or, instead, with all the energy you would put into that interaction, buy some gloves to keep your hands warm, grab a cup of tea and carry on.

SH: I say use social media to your advantage. Post a picture of your hooded self, a mug of steaming coffee in hand, on Facebook (make sure the admin is your friend). Ask a few friendly, fellow frozen colleagues to tag the admin in their comments asking him why he’s turned you into an Eskimo. Keep the thread alive so he can’t ignore your plight any more.

Finally, you are in the company of Nobel laureates here. Share this Amartya Sen interview (in which he rues about too-cold air conditioning in India) with the admin, and get set for a balmy office temperature.

LG: There is no authority more difficult to bend than the petty kind. So, get some armour a blanket, because whatever course of action you choose, it’s going to be a long battle toward warmth.

To back up your quest, drop Game of Thrones (“Winter is coming!” “The North remembers ….”) references until people begin to look at you askance. Then, make your request — the admin will be so unnerved he’ll probably hand over the figurative keys to the A/C without a Red Wedding.

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