This morning at work, I was busy doing..well, work, when a coworker-Charles- came into my office.
“Do you know who keeps turning down the thermostat in the lunchroom?” He asks
“I might”, I replied with a knowing smile (It’s me)
“Don’t say that you are the one who has been doing that.It’s freezing in there!”
Here is some info on the lunchroom. It’s on the second story, with giant windows. Charles, an older male employee, gathers there with other older, male employees twice a day to blab and complain. Despite the light coming in from the windows, they turn on all the lights and crank up the heat to 30+. At lunch time, the room fills with them and early twenty-somethings, some of whom are temporary employees. The scene would be akin to dining on the surface of the sun with loud, harsh laughter and overlapping conversations, complaining on the “older” side of the room and plenty of ‘likes’ and ‘omygods’ on the “young” side. (It is quite the study in age stereotypes.) After an hour or so, all of them leave and go back to their respective offices. Oh and they leave the thermostat at 30+ for the remainder of the day!
Once everyone has left, I sneak into the room, turn off the lights and turn down the thermostat to a more reasonable 22-23 C. If I snuck in while they were still there and turned it down, I would have four cranky old men bleeting at me, so I wait. I have probably saved management a bundle in energy costs by doing this daily.
So back to our conversation.
Me: Do you have to crank it up to 30? Can’t you turn it up just a few degrees?
Charles: “We’re cold. You’re all bundled”, he motions at my sweater. (He’s wearing a thin long sleeved shirt)
Me: “I’m wearing winter clothes since it’s winter”
Charles: “Well we’re mad about this.”
Me: “Then you need to find something else (ie. something important) to complain about”
Charles mutters and walks away. Another coworker comes in and says “Well that’s Charles. He likes to complain”
Me: “Well, normally I like him..”
Coworker, astounded: “You do??”
Most of the time, I do like Charles and his buddies. While, I don’t eat lunch in the lunchroom, I do like to chat and joke with them while I reheat my lunch. But they seem to be under the mistaken idea that this room is theirs alone and no one else should be comfortable.
Of course, this is a more extreme example, but in general, I just don’t understand the whole “lunchroom culture”:
Inane conversations/loud arguments+blistering heat+fights over microwave use and unwashed dishes.
The main time I use this room is for my morning break, I eat my morning bagel or oatmeal and peruse through the magazines. It’s very nice. But by lunch hour, the lights are all flicked on, the heat is cranked and it gets LOUD! Some people at my work consider me “weird” for not wanting to spend every lunch hour moment with them in said uncomfortable environment. But how anyone can enjoy this situation is beyond me.
Anyways, the point of this post: I know it’s cold out and sometimes it’s grey. But if you are lucky enough to have a lunchroom with windows, you don’t have to crank up the heat to greenhouse levels and turn on all the lights. Also, call me crazy, but I think wearing sweaters in the winter is probably a good idea.