It is sweltering out. The temperature is in the high 90's. You can see the humidity in the air, lurking; waiting to envelope you as soon as you venture outside. It will jump into your hair molecules to make them stick out in every direction like tiny electrical wires, while ironically, at the same time infusing lackluster limpness. The streets in the distance shimmer with the heat like a mirage. The sun sears the clouds, until there is nothing left but an expanse of empty blue sky. There will be no reprieve from the sun today.
I am wearing a fuzzy white turtleneck sweater. With thick socks and boots. I am almost certain to stroke out from heat exhaustion before reaching my car. Why am I dressed so inappropriately? Simple: I'm going to work. Where no matter the month or the temperature, rain or shine, it's always Antarctica.
I really hate being cold. There is something just very wrong with wearing a sweater in June and still having your arms turn into gooseflesh as soon as you walk through the door. I regularly complain to HR about this "hostile environment" where my nose runs all day and I get back aches from contorting around my space heater trying to starve off frostnip. They insist the thermostat reads 68 degrees for my office. It feels more like 48 degrees.
"Why don’t you get one of those ratty office sweaters like Sally over in Operations?" one of my direct reports suggested. Um yeah. I'm desperate but not crazy. Leave it to a man to suggest such a thing. Men are never cold. Every time I ask my male staff members to come to my office they complain that they become immediately incapacitated by their eyes drying out from my space heater.
Meanwhile, my only female direct report has an identical space heater in her office. I was offsite a few weeks ago for the entire week and she sent me an email: "I took your space heater while you’re gone, I hope you don’t mind. Two is SO much better than one".
At lunch, I race out to my car's black leather interior, which has been super-heated to 800 degrees from the sun. I jump in and shut the door, trapping all the heat as I try to coax my core body temperature to return to at least 90 degrees. Unfortunately, the nirvana point doesn’t last long and once the chill has been chased away, my turtleneck starts to feel a little thick. Then I have to throw operations into full reverse and open the windows and blast the A/C.
Thankfully I only go into the office 3 days a week. If I had to be there everyday, I might seriously consider one of those ratty office sweaters.