Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Death by thermostat

Why must office buildings be freezing cold in the summer? It’s rainy and humid outside, so I am a sweaty, wet mess* by the time I get to work, having opened and closed my umbrella seven times for mini-showers while balancing my coffee cup and trying not to listen to even a small part of some of the crappy songs that are oddly on my IPod (um, Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood? I suspected that Grammy 07 album was a bad idea.) My toes are wet and muddy because I am wearing flip flops instead of rain boots like the smart people who walk next to me. As I open the door to my building, an icy blast of air conditioning hits me. It feels good for 1.5 seconds and then I am shivering in the elevator until I get to my desk where I have 4 sweaters, 3 of which I put on immediately. I try to brush the street off my feet before putting on real shoes, see how many times I can wrap my legs around each other, and then I just sit there for a few seconds, thinking mean thoughts in my head.
In winter, this whole experience will be reversed, when I slide through ice on my way to the jungle-hot office, take off my coat, sweaters, and boots and sit at the desk in what is probably an inappropriate tank top, pulling a sweater over my shoulders and cleavage anytime someone approaches. Like a total spaz.
I used to live in San Francisco, where there are also temperature differentials. But in San Francisco, the key is layering. In New York, the key is working from home.

*This reminds me of how my friend Natascha used to order gyros in college after the bars had closed. “Um,” she would say, squinting at the big slabs of lamb and extending one finger towards them, “Can I get some of that sweaty, wet meat?” I would shake my head in embarrassment, and she would wrinkle her nose as though someone else had called the gyros a gross name and the whole process disgusted her. And then she would eat the entire plate.

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