Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Hot Deaning Action
I am not a happy camper.
The rest of the building is hit-and-miss; one professor actually stopped me in the hallway today to complain that the chocolates she had left in her office for a week had melted. She seemed to think that I have some sort of control over building temperature. If I did, I’d start by getting my office temperature down into the double digits.
At one point it got so bad that I actually moved a meeting out of my office into another building, just to escape the heat. If it gets much worse, my office will start to look like a Dali painting.
I’ll just admit it: I simply don’t understand the apparent national mania for moving South. Leaving aside the red state/blue state thing, the NASCAR thing, and all the various cultural signifiers, it’s also *#%#)% HOT down there. (And I’m not fooled for a minute by the whole “palmetto bug” scam. I know a cockroach when I see one. They also have hurricanes and Republicans.) I’ll take cold over hot anytime. At least with cold, you can add layers.
It’s hard to look appropriately decanal when you’re visibly sweaty. I don’t think the college is ready, culturally, for a dean in shorts, but I’m _this close_ to trying it. (Last week Danigirl did a post about a supposed no-miniskirts-after-35 rule. I may have to do a no-deans-in-shorts query. Nothing lycra, just some tasteful long khaki numbers. Waddaya think?) And a fan is out of the question, given all the loose paper in here. But I need to do something, because it’s hard to maintain the appropriate external quietude when you’re too close to a literal boiling point.
Oh, Blogosphere, I seek your wisdom. Assuming the windows don’t open, a fan isn’t realistic, and the a/c is mostly theoretical, how do you keep cool at work in July?
Might I suggest that you find a way to secure the loose papers (folders, perhaps) and put the fan low to the ground/on the floor. That would provide some meaningful circulation.
Shades/blinds might prove useful--or those tinted "stick ons." Especially a tinted stick on with a posted "E" rating.
Perhaps a work order, as well? Get that AC problem looked into? I suspect it
The A/C is broken in my building, too, if it makes you feel any better.
I spent two years living in the South, in a blue city, and you couldn't pay me enough money to go back there. The palmetto bugs, which are basically huge cockroaches that can FLY!, and roaches were bigger than my fingers. On the up side, it's so bloody hot there that the they must install super-duper A/C, because I never had an instance in the South, at work or home, where the A/C broke.
Have I mentioned that our rental house in Hilly Hamlet has no A/C and I walk to work? Yeah, it's damn hot.
I have to admit, it is nice being able to wear a short(ish) skirt and sleeveless blouse to a meeting and still look appropriate while my male colleagues swelter in ties and long pants.
I'd say my response to you would be the same one the blogosphere gave to me - if you've got the legs, go for it! I'd stay away from those capris for men, though. That crosses a line that nobody over 20 should cross...
1. Wear shorts to work.
2. Wear a skirt to work.
In either case, you blow the "dean look" but it's not like the weather or your HVAC system is a help.
Have you tried wearing some sort of neck cooling gel pack (like this). I used one during my pregnancy and boy did it help! (I didn't use that one exactly, but it was similar.)
Blinds sound like a good idea.
I like the archive idea!
My old school had its flaws, but it had a truly great HVAC system. (Since so much of the place was computer labs, it pretty much had to.) In my first summer working there as an adjunct, when my little apartment felt like a Turkish prison without the charm, I used to go there and just hang out in the adjunct room, mooching off the a/c. Heat is not my thing.
I'll admit to being a little surprised at the virulence of the accusations of stereotyping. Rereading what I wrote, I expressed a personal preference for cooler weather and Democrats. Neither should come as a surprise to my regular readers. Some people like the South, and that's their call. It's just not mine. I remember regularly visiting grandparents in Memphis, TN, as a kid, and wondering how they could stand the heat. (I also didn't understand why they insisted on such spicy food when it was so hot.) It's almost certainly true that the a/c systems in newer buildings there are heavy duty, which would be nice. As my regular readers know, I'm a BIG fan of central air.
Anyway, no offense intended. It's an expression of a personal preference, no different than saying I don't like tomatoes. I don't advocate banning tomatoes, I don't think any less of people who do like tomatoes, and I don't think there's anything immoral about tomatoes. I just don't like them. Not my thing.
Just to rib you a little, it's cooler here than in your part of the country this week.
Wear cotton. Forget the suit and tie. Bring a sports coat and tie to hang on the back of your office door for emergencies.
Wear a short sleeve shirt.
Turn off the lights unless they're flourescent. Block the sun - tape posters over the windows if necessary.
Take a long lunch during the hottest part of the day.
And the high today in Houston, Texas, is only going to be 92 and we never have to shovel snow.
I also think that "dean day at the movies" isn't a bad option for the afternoon :) --- and deans in tasteful shorts are great -- what I can't handle is men over the age of about 20 in sandals or flip-flops, so don't go there.
Anyway, what about a handheld misting fan? The ad says it's "like having your own personal air conditioner that you can carry anywhere...and...Also doubles as drinking bottle." What more could you ask for? :)
Have you tried finding an empty basement area you can do some work in? Basements always tend to be reasonbly cool in summer.
Bood luck on the heat.
Seriously, why not use a fan at floor level? Keep a cool washcloth or damp paper towel at hand for the back of your neck.
Sorry to hear about the misery.
My boss, The Dean, has been known to wear shorts in the summer as his office is also lacking a/c.
Finally, get the papers bolted down and get some fans. I have one blowing in the window, and a second one that clamps on to my desk (about 6" diameter blade) that blows directly on me.
The hell with priopriety. Just repeat this little ditty:
Buy the fan / cool your pits
Wear the shorts / avoid the schvitz
selling something called a "Personal Cooling Device". I actually bought one
for my sister, an engineer and gadget freak. It fits around your neck, you
fill it with cold water and it has a
little fan that blows cool air down your
BUT--fans are really important. Get rocks; get folders; get a large piece of plywood to put on top of the papers on the desk; but get a fan!
Also, tightly woven, good-quality cotton shirts (so you don't need a t-shirt) and khaki pants are the best clothing.
And at nites, get a sheet soak it with water and lay down on it, bare, and cover yourself with another wet sheet., it works great. oh, i forgot add a fan to blow on you, that that really work.
fans might help?
anyways, thanks for the info you shared
from, safety straps San Diego guys