Get Smart: This Means War

A heating/cooling unit is mounted to the ceiling above my head. It is responsible for the climate both in my office and in a suite of offices next door. The thermostat to control the shared unit is not in my office, but next door. To access it I need to leave and lock my own office, unlock the suite next door, remember the combo for the inner hallway door, and then use yet another key to get into the office where the thermostat is mounted. That’s four doors. It’s like I work at Get Smart HQ.

Did I mention that the heating unit above my head sounds like a jet taking off? Well, not quite, but it’s very loud. Loud to the point where it’s hard to concentrate when it’s on. Loud enough that I’d rather heat and cool myself with sweaters and shorts, windows and doors. Because the people next door don’t have to hear it, they apparently don’t feel the same. They’d rather turn it up. Turn it way up. Turn it up to an ungodly (and utterly wasteful) 78 degrees. No typo.

Did I mention that there’s seldom anyone in the office next door? It’s used by visiting scholars and for special projects, and most of the time when I go in, there’s no one there. On the other hand, I’m at work most of the time.

Despite the fact that people are seldom there, someone has been going in and turning the heat up to 78 and disappearing. I walk into my office, it’s roasting and loud. Do the Get Smart thing, turn it down to 68, return to my desk.

An hour later I hear it go on again. When I go over I never see anyone. So I decided to leave a note. A really nice note. Not a nasty note, but an honest note, with my name and phone number. Ring me up. Let’s talk. I posted the note. An hour later I heard the jet taking off. Went next door. The thermostat was on 75.

I guess this means war.

Update: My “war” found its way to administration. They are going to address the issue by sealing the thermostat in a plastic shell that no one can touch, not even me. The temp will be locked at a comfortable and energy-friendly 68 degrees.

Music: Kristin Hersh :: Velvet Days

8 Replies to “Get Smart: This Means War”

  1. mnep: quite so. except i’d never get away with it.

    PJ: There is an office I covet with all my heart. But many political valleys stand between me and it.

  2. Tsk, tsk… Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s office.

    Exodus 20:17 (King James Version)
    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

    Well, OK folks…maybe you can covet his/her ass, but only if it’s really cute. Just don’t obsess about it, alright ? ;->

  3. “Well, I have to go save my ass.” – Shrek

    It’s like I work at Get Smart HQ.

    Important safety tip: Try to avoid using the telephone ;-).

    A former employer of mine moved into a building which had a large central temperature-controlled room of the raised-floor type (which BTW was never used for actual cooling tasks). The multiple AC vents to this room came almost straight down from the main AC unit. Guess where the thermostat for this room was?….

    On the wall of a large conference room with outside windows, separated from the raised-floor room by a wide hallway. The result was that whenever the conference room got “too hot”, someone would turn the thermostat down to 68 degrees F. Fine, except that the conference room had one AC vent and the raised-floor room had at least four, so that 68 in the conference room meant 60 in the raised-floor room! Since that was my work area, I used to freeze in there. (IIRC the solution ended up being that the HVAC people swapped around some ductwork between the two rooms.)

    I have absolutely no idea why any commercial buildings are configured this way; there’s no excuse for it.

    PJ: There is an office I covet with all my heart. But many political valleys stand between me and it.

    [JOKE] ;-)

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