I am not used to the cold, either indoors or outdoors. I have only worked in one air-conditioned office in my entire life. At my last job, you got a dinky little fan in the summer which had open blades and plugged into your USB slot. It didn’t hurt if you caught your hand in it. Yes, I caught my hand in it. Deliberately. Repeatedly.
It’s comfortable enough without the A/C on in the winter, and if it ever gets too stuffy, open a damn window instead of recycling everyone’s germs. The weather isn’t even that bad at the moment (well, until next weekend – see above), so I will be an even bigger cow when it starts to snow.
Surviving the A/C is actually much easier in the winter, since they tend to turn it down a bit. But Massachusetts is just close enough to New York that everyone is snobby yet liberal and stylish, but close enough to up North that they talk really funny and have a down-to-earth, “you asshole” way of saying “hello”. Therefore, it’s cold – so very cold – in the winter, and yet everyone still has to be stylish. Thankfully, there are ways to survive this corporate idiocy of always having cold air blasting through our systems to lower our morale.
The following are a list of tips I accumulated myself from myself:
- Down plenty of hot beverages and hot food. If it’s not hot, then zap it in the microwave, even if it’s meant to be served cold. Don’t underestimate the tastiness of nuked chocolate cake and fresh blackberries.
- On the subject of food – when consuming something hot, try to create a hot draft of air by protruding your lower jaw and exhaling the hot steam emanating from the food towards your face. If you already have an underbite, you’ve saved valuable energy already from not having to fashion it yourself.
- Find discreet ways to keep warm while still looking nice and corporate: try headbands made of wool; ear muffs to match your hair colour; hand warmers that stop just below the mid-point of your fingers (much in the way that pulled jumper sleeves do); two pairs of tights (a smart pair over a woolly pair); a heavy scarf that can be worn as a smart shawl
- Hold food in your hand while eating. Any warmth helps, and it’s better than blowing hot air into your hands every few seconds.
- Frequent hot drinks = frequent toilet trips = frequent trips to an area with no air conditioning. Toilets never have an a/c blasting. Also, the fecal contaminatants from years of improper office loo cleaning render this a haven for heat.
- Don’t make a mistake of sitting near a window, cat-like, ready for sunbeams. First of all, remember this is New England (there is no sun). Second, windows are prime spots for a/c vents.
- Declare yourself eskimo. This will warrant a significant yet convenient cultural wardrobe change
- Walking around will get your blood moving, so think of reasons to walk to the printer for important document revisions, such as that comma you put in that paragraph, but then changed your mind about, but then you changed your mind again.
- Think fitted layers, not necessarily just one comfy, thick, soft but baggy sweater. That cold air is going to get you no matter what.
- Wear long hair down; cut layers and fringes to use your hair as a stylish winter hat. If you are a man, then tough titties.
- Bring in one of those microwaveable oat stuffed animals things that keeps you warm (the ones that can also be cooled to use for hangovers).
Contrary to popular belief, cold weather does actually play a part in both developing and prolonging a cold or viral infection. Of course, it’s worsened by the fact that, during the cold winter months, people are going in and out of the cold, sharing confined spaces with others, and more people are in schools/work etc, so there’s a better opportunity for the virus to be spread. Especially by those disgusting people who do not wash their hands.
There are too many important holidays (Thanksgiving; Christmas; my birthday; New Year’s) to be thwarted by a virus that you can’t even see, so the best defence is a good defence.
The upside of the a/c is that the gentle whirring is soft enough to lull you to sleep when no-one’s around, and loud enough that you can eat moderately-textured food items without sounding like a pig.
Ignore the previous statement if you do not work in a cubicle. I’m still sick, so I am going to use the typical New England remedy of whisky and yelling at people. Now excuse me while I sneeze the sky: