Sunday, June 03, 2007

Oppressive Heat at Work

It’s been a sweltering heat wave here for over a week now. Temperatures have been in the late 20C, with humidex values making it feel more like 30 to 40C on some days!

When you have to go out in this heat, you feel the heat beat down on you like a hammer nailing you to the wall.

It is even worse for those who have to work in this heat. I know – my current client’s air conditioning has been busted all week. To make matters worse, the windows in the office building I work in don’t open, so I can’t even open the window to get some fresh air circulating.

It is mother nature’s way of oppressing us – to an extent. We human beings invented air conditioning and fans to control this form of torture, and continue with out lives despite the horrid heat.

Air conditioning systems, like all technology based mechanical contraptions, can and will break down over time. That’s just the way it is.

But to have the air conditioning broken all week is insane. The company should have sent us home on days when the air conditioning wasn’t working, and they should sue the building management to get out of their lease and move to another facility.

They should have done something – any something – a long time ago. Apparently, the air conditioning goes off every year just as the heat waves come. This 47-year-old company has been in the same building for all those years, and every year it is the same thing. The owners of the building don’t like to spend money on standard things – like life supporting air conditioning.

“Oh, they are looking for a new building,” says my colleague. “They’ve been looking for years.”

Why doesn’t this surprise me?

Lead by example – and management’s example is lazy-ass, do everything quickly, rushed, without planning and without thinking it appears.

It doesn’t take much time or energy to look for another place. When I was looking at apartments I took the time necessary to find the best place I could afford. It paid off, I live in a very well maintained, high security building, with a great view of the city. When things break, I call down to property management and they come up within a couple of hours and fix it.

Granted, locating an office is a lot larger of a task than looking for a place to live. For starters, you have to consider the hundred employees and their needs, the technology needs, and the room for potential expansion. But it shouldn’t take 47-years to find a place.

If it takes more than a year to find a place – well, they aren’t really LOOKING they are just goofing off. Which is the norm sadly – to goof off.

Monday, I’m working from home. I don’t like the isolation and the image of working from home. Perception is reality in business, especially company’s like the one where I’m at now and laziness is the norm. So, if you “work” from home, it really is a signal that you’re just being lazy and may or may not actually get anything done.

But, I’m sick and tired of having to shower twice a day – my usual shower when I wake up, and my detoxification shower to get rid of all the sweat and grime from working in a non-air conditioned office.

So, screw the perceived perceptions, Monday I’ll goof off – I mean “work” from home.

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