It was 43 degrees when I left for work this morning. (That's 6 degrees Celsius for my non-US readers.)
It's September 15, and the cold season is starting. The season that lasts until, oh... April. Sometimes May.
Thus begins my annual hatred of going to work.
If you've been around since last winter, you know that the floor I work on is ridiculously cold in winter -- well, pretty much all year, because they blast the A/C in summer, but that's not as bad. Not the whole building, just our floor. (Something about "old buildings are hard to heat evenly.") To the point that I feel anxious all day long because my muscles never unclench.
What I have tried thus far:
- Buying convertible mittens/fingerless gloves.
- Wearing my coat all day.
- Buying thermal underlayers, like the kind mountain climbers wear.
- Drinking hot tea constantly. (Too much makes me sick, though.)
- Filing multiple Building Services requests. (This has been tried for years by my co-workers, before I even started work there. Sometimes things are better for a day.)
- Looking up the OSHA regulations. (They don't make any rules about office temperature, calling it a "matter of personal preference.")
- Asking to work from home one day a week. (Not directly in conjunction with this, but in any case I only succeeded in securing one day a month because "otherwise everyone will want to do it.")
- Buying an electric blanket. (Notice how much money I've spent on this??)
The last has been the most effective, but I still use it only as a last resort because of the comments I get. I honestly don't care if people think it's stupid and want to judge me as long as they don't say anything to me, but I hate having my work interrupted constantly so people can make jokes about my blanket. Also I'm technically not supposed to have it because of the electricity drain and the fire hazard. But I'm desperate here, people. Unfortunately it only keeps my legs warm, as I still need my hands for typing, so I have to make do with the gloves.
Here's the thing: I love my job. I love the work I do. I love the people I work with. I love the college I work for. Hell, I love my salary and benefits. I love almost everything about my job. And yet for six months out of the year, I dread coming to work.
It would seem silly to do it now, in September, but when we're farther into winter I think I'm going to have to lay it all out for my boss and see what he thinks we can do, because I'm out of ideas.
I hate that plan, though, because I know that everyone else is in the same position and has been toughing it out for longer than I have. But I'm also more sensitive to cold than most. The only other person on our floor who's as sensitive is our associate VP, but she can shut the door to her office and turn on her space heater if she needs to. She actually offered to lend me her space heater last winter when my fingers were turning purple.
Sure, I could probably get my doctor to say that I'm especially sensitive to cold, but again, I hate the idea that I would have to draw attention to myself as being special and needing special accommodations -- whatever those would even be. I have no idea.
I could ask to move onto a different floor in our building, but that would mean leaving the floor that the rest of our department is on. It would also be rather silly as my boss is just about to move back onto our floor after being on a different floor for the past year, and our division consists of just the two of us.
Eventually we will move to Seattle and escape the Chicago cold, but that's not in our plans for a few more years. And, as I said, I love my job and I'm not in a rush to give it up.
This is not meant to be a whiny, poor-me post. I am literally stumped. Is there a way I can keep my job that I love without being freezing every single day?
Anyone have a suggestion?