When you get down to it

May 20th, 2007 · 24 comments

Thanks to Rachel for bringing to light another key battleground for office passive-aggressives: the thermostat.

Folks, as you know, we have control over the office thermostat above, but please, let's never turn it down to 55 degrees. Turning it to this temperature does not make the office cool down more quickly; it simply makes the air conditioning never stop pushing cold air. This thermostat is located too far from the A/C to reach such an extremely cold temperature (which is what would turn the system off and on to regulate the temperature). And when you get down to it, 55 degrees outdoors is coat weather anyway. In the large room at the end of the office, this endless blast of cold air can make it almost unbearable to work — things on our desks even turn cold to the touch! Come and stand near the windows and the A/C vents and you'll see. If there's an area of the office or a private office that isn't cooling properly, please have Nina help out by calling building maintenance and getting it fixed. But the general thermostat should not go below 70. Those of us sitting next to the A/C vents thank you very much!

related: This is your friend the thermostat

FILED UNDER: "helpful" advice · New York · office · temperature

24 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Graham

    Ya know, this one is pretty darn reasonable. I’ve witnessed some much less productive AC-related conversations in offices I’ve spent time in…

    May 21, 2007 at 4:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Wedge

    yeah, this one isnt too bad imho. i once had a roommate *superglue* the thermostat to like 72F in early autumn.

    May 21, 2007 at 5:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   paul

    do you have to note that this is reasonable? what the fuck has the internet become?

    May 21, 2007 at 7:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   John

    Better yet, what is up your arse paul? Take a pill.

    May 22, 2007 at 12:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   sbrainb

    put a fucking sweater on!!!

    May 22, 2007 at 11:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   melisa in boston

      it’s a pretty huge waste of money and energy to be running the a/c at FIFTY-FIVE degrees (most guidelines suggest keeping it no lower than 68) when there are people sitting around with sweaters on. why not just reduce the a/c and save the money?

      Jul 2, 2008 at 10:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Marcy

    Oh, dear. I am guilty of scribbling a note at my office and taping it over the thermostat. Mine was many words shorter, and far more…er, pointed.
    Our system can’t handle the load during high summer, but we have ONE executive who against all natural law, insists that turning the thermostat down to 60 degrees or below when it’s already overloaded and can’t keep up, will actually make it 60 degrees within a few minutes.

    No matter how many times it doesn’t work, he keeps doing it. I finally snapped, because I’m the one who is here first in the morning…and who then has to turn on the heat, because the office is 58 instead of 72 where it’s supposed to be.
    Oh, well.

    May 22, 2007 at 4:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   angie

    My old boss had a west facing office. I was in the office next to him and faced north. His office heated up in the afternoon to over 80 degrees. Mine was cooled to 55 since he controlled the AC. I used to drink hot chocolate in the summer, bring wool blankets in and have to run my hands under hot water to be able to get the joints to move. I find male employees to be the worst – They are hot, therefore all must be cooled…as opposed to having an icey drink or taking off a jacket. Women, who run cooler are told to deal with it, have a hot drink and put on a sweater. I live in LA and I hate AC with a passion.

    May 23, 2007 at 12:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Kelsey

    You had to do all that in *55* degree weather? That’s not cold at all. You LA people are crazy :)

    May 23, 2007 at 3:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Lis

    Who wears a coat when it is 55 outside?
    Or am I nuts since I’m moving to Fairbanks?

    May 23, 2007 at 10:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Melissa

    Did anyone else notice the menacing shadow of the thermostat over the note?

    Jun 5, 2007 at 2:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Beth

      Great observation! The crux of the issue looming above!

      Jan 17, 2009 at 10:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   anon

    Man, 55 is swimming weather where I come from… Haha, I remember I was visiting relatives in California once… they all freaked out about how cold it was when it dropped to -gasp- 60.
    And then they ran for cover because it started to drizzle. o.0

    Jun 12, 2007 at 2:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Spruce Moose

    Please remember that in California the plumbing freezes at 60. But then, we don’t complain about the 100+ summer days, either.

    Jun 26, 2007 at 3:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Joey's Stinky Foot

      Yeah? Try 100+ with the humidity level at 100%. You’d be bitching, too.

      Jul 2, 2008 at 4:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   JD

    Spruce Moose,
    While I realize that some would say that California is in a parallel universe, I’m pretty sure that everything freezes at the same temperature there as it does everywhere else.

    Jun 26, 2007 at 9:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Mark bang

      Technically, it depends (slightly) on the air pressure. And on the quantity of dissolved solids in the liquid.

      Jul 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   jerryskid

    In most offices men are stuck having to wear wear suits and ties, while women can wear short skirts, coulottes, and other cooler clothes. This is why men are usually the ones who are hot.

    Jul 25, 2007 at 12:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   GatorCat

      I know this is a year old, but did you actually refer to coulottes as “cooler clothes?”

      Aug 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   amy d bang

      I think he meant cooler as in to be cool in hot weather.

      Aug 22, 2008 at 5:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Abigail

    Who in their right mind wears coulottes anymore?

    Sep 12, 2007 at 10:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   phoenix bang

    i had a coworker that used the “turn it all the way down and it will cool faster” logic…
    our poor accounting woman’s office was right under the first vent…

    i can still hear her beautiful russian accent “what are you trying to do?!?! turn me into a popsicle?!?!”

    Dec 31, 2007 at 7:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Alfred

    My girlfriend is also of the doesn’t-quite-understand-how-a-thermostat-works variety. She’ll insist that setting the furnace to 80 will actually make it reach our desired temperature of 68 faster, and she will further insist that setting the AC to “9-Coldest” will give our overloaded AC a better chance of fighting the overwhelming mid-afternoon heat, when all it really does is make us freezing in the morning. I have tried to reason and argue with her, but she continues to defy all my attempts to help her understand how these systems work. Her difficulty with math doesn’t help, nor does her stubbornness.

    I have a theory that some people, no matter what, will never truly understand how a thermostat works. Perhaps it’s a genetic thing, the ability to understand this. That would explain why she’s an arts major and I’m an engineering major.

    Jun 16, 2008 at 1:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Mark bang

      It doesn’t change when you get married. My wife insists on turning off the heat on spring days (the thermostat is set at around 62° year-round — no AC) because during the day it gets warm enough that the heater is not necessary. Then, of course, at 4 in the morning it is about 50° inside. I’ve explained many times that when the temperature goes above 62, the heater will turn itself off, that is the very reason for the existence of the thermostat! But NOOOOOO…

      Get used to it, says me the engineer.

      Jul 2, 2008 at 4:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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