Global Warming in the Office
It was a particularly cold Wednesday morning. The forecast for heavy snow had proved incorrect, for a change, but it was bitter cold. I was late for work, the train got derailed, yet again. As I entered the office I noticed Pat sitting at her desk wearing gloves and a cashmere scarf.
"Central air has gone havoc again." She explained.
"Did you call for Sam?"
"No, I'm in practice for the trip to Antarctica. Of course I called Sam. He promised he'd come up after he'd finished down at accounts. They're experiencing a heat wave. "
The Central Air-conditioning System is one of those great inventions designed by somebody who obviously meant well but was having a bad day. Unfortunately one bad day for him resulted in living hell for everybody else. The principle behind central air is that one system cools or heats an entire workplace. The problem is that due to long air tunnels that transfer the air around, in one office it might be 20C while in the cubicle immediately opposite its dropped to freezing point. My office, unfortunately, tended to belong to the latter group. As there was a piece of solid ice resting on my monitor that didn't feel like going away I opted to run for cover in the coffee room. Larry, of course, had already beaten me to it.
The coffee room hadn't heard of the blizzard 100 yards down the hall and was acting like it was a vacation retreat in the Caribbean. I took off my coat, jacket, and rolled up my sleeves.
"Larry, this climate thing is getting to be too much, Have of our computers have frozen to death, the phone system now redirects all calls to Taiwan, I've got two programmers out with severe frostbite, a dehydrated analyst and a secretary with sunstroke."
"You mean Jane, she got that outside of office hours so she doesn't count."
"Look Sam's a nice guy but maybe we need to call for professional help?"
Just then I caught a glimpse of Sam running by with a ladder. I returned to winter-wear and rushed after him. Sam stopped opposite Fred's cubicle, mounted the ladder as if it were a unicorn and started fiddling with the air-vents.
"Fred," he shouted, "tell me when you feel warm air coming your way".
"Sam!" it was Janet, "I think a hurricane's hit my office."
"Just a sec and everything will be fine."
We then got the opening bars of Dr. Zhivago and Sam paused to answer his mobile.
"Yes Mr. Zackity. No Mr. Zackity. Definitively Mr. Zackity." He replaced the mobile in his pocket.
"That was Mr. Zackity."
"Tell us something we don't know." Larry had joined the party.
"It's snowing in the datacenter."
"How can it be snowing in the datacenter" I asked, "We’re talking about a central air problem?"
"Tell that to Mr. Zackity, he's two foot under and losing the battle."
"Look Sam, we have to stop this. There must be something you can do." My voice may have seemed a little shaky but I was trying my best to sound calm and under control of the situation.
"The problem is the maths." explained Sam. "If I turn up the heat over April over there, then June gets a touch of May and of course for summer the whole thing becomes a nightmare. I tried closing the vent beside Barney but that just caused a headache for Marney and please don't get me talking about Carney."
It was then that Sam passed out. I paid a visit to him yesterday. The nurse told me that he's likely to be discharged from the psychiatric ward in a month or two, but I'm not entirely convinced.
Meanwhile for lack of a better solution we have allowed sleds in floors two, four and seven and adjusted the dress code for the