Brrrs, I’m Freezing


Why, oh, why is it so cold in city offices in the middle of summer?  They keep the air conditioning so low that it feels like Antartica most of the time.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a penguin go strolling by.  I really don’t get it.  It’s not just one office either – every office is the same way.

If nothing else, you would think that offices would prefer to save money on utilities by not freezing everyone to death.  I have to wear a sweater nearly all summer and even then I am still cold.  I could use earmuffs and mittens, but it would be pretty hard to talk on the phone or use the computer.

Someone told me that offices are kept so cold because men wear suit jackets and they get warm.  Perhaps that is the case. Perhaps it is just another instance of female discrimination. If that is true, though, why are restaurants and movie theaters the same way?  I can rarely enjoy a meal in a restaurant without shivering thru the whole meal.

I suppose theaters operate on the premise that they must stay a little cold because the presence of a large audience will warm the auditorium and it will soon be uncomfortable.   I’ve pretty much leaned not to go to a movie without dragging a jacket along, no matter how hot and sweltering it is outside.

It isn’t that I don’t like air conditioning.  This is the South, folks, and it gets hot here.  We need air.  In fact, it can be a real emergency when it quits working.  I’ve tried complaining about too much of a good thing. But apparently it is just too hard to keep large buildings evenly cooled.  After technicians “fix” the air, it seems colder than ever. I secretly wonder if they are teaching me a lesson about complaining.

Maybe the office is really a science fiction movie and my body temperature is being gradually lowered so I can be put into suspended animation. Bring me some hot coffee, quick!  My brain cells are definitely beginning to slow down.  Am I the only person being frozen to death at my desk?

It really is difficult to use a keyboard when my fingers are stiff with cold and my lips are blue.  I am sure one of these cold mornings when I come in to work; I will need an ice scraper for my monitor.  It is really no wonder that people are sick all the time.  It is freezing cold inside, but when you walk out the door the heat smacks you like a blast from the furnace. Someone suggested reversing wardrobes and wearing sweaters and boots in the summer and lightweight dresses in the winter.  Maybe that would work.  My toes get so cold sometimes that I get up and walk around to prevent frostbite.

You are probably thinking that I am just “cold natured.” Maybe I am, but I don’t think I am the only one. Other people complain of how cold the air conditioning is too. I don’t know if the cooling and heating technicians think they are doing us a favor by giving us extra coldness, or if they just want to be sure we don’t get too warm and go to sleep.  Or, maybe they are trying to build up the character of the office staff with suffering?  I don’t know what the solution is.  Maybe a portable space heater under my desk or a heating pad to put my on my feet?

I think I will take a “thawing out” break and see if I can find a warm spot any place.  If I don’t return, send out the rescue team with a thermos of warm brandy. I’m so wired from drinking hot coffee I can’t drink any more. Maybe I could light a fire in the recycle bin and keep warm like the homeless do.  I have always heard that death from freezing is an easy way to go.

On huskies, I think there’s a blizzard on the ninth floor and it’s moving our way!

©Sheila Moss 1999

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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6 Responses to Brrrs, I’m Freezing

  1. Peyton says:

    The same can be said of a doctor’s office. I always believed they were trying to control disease by freezing it to death.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps cold offices prevent people from dozing off! Talking about the ‘lure’ of air conditioning, even within a single home, thanks to the wonderful world of thermostats, adjacent rooms could be like the Arctic circle and the Sahara desert in summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lois says:

    That is one problem that I have not had at my office. At our old location we did not have any a/c and had to keep the door open to suck in air from the hallway and have five fans running. Now we have an office with a/c and sometimes it can get chilly. I work with my husband and he likes it warmer than me. I told him he can wear a sweater or I can remove some clothes, choose wisely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Moss says:

      At least you have some control over it. All we could do was complain, and when maintenance came it was, “You want it hot? I’ll give you hot!” Then we had to call again for being too hot. Crazy.


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