Inter-Office Drama

So.  Normally I wouldn’t use my blog as a forum for venting, but something happened the other day that I could just not contain.  There is something to be said about general human etiquette and compromise.

My coworker, Kristen, and I share an office, and we control the thermostat for our office and an office in the Accounting department.  For whatever reason, the temperature from the thermostat is different in both office.  It is supremely cold in our office, and apparently a bit warm in their office.  Whatever.

Regardless, this guy Joe, shows up in our office about a month ago, informing us that we are not allowed to turn the temperature higher than “-1”, because he and his coworker dislike being warm.  I politely explained that winter was approaching and I had no intention of sitting in the office with a coat, mittens, and hat on for the next four months, so “-1” was a little over the top.  With a scathing look, he agreed that “0” would be acceptable, and then stalked out.  Kristen and I made faces at his back while he walked away, spent the better part of the afternoon making up nerdy insults for him, and then agreed to always leave an extra coat in the office.

In case no one else noticed, once October hit, the lovely 70 degree we had been having dropped twenty degrees.  Already forced to wear our coats in the office and realizing how difficult it was to type with gloves on, we knew we needed some heat.  Instead of just changing the temperature without asking however, we decided to be the bigger people… please see the below mini email thread:

Please notice that it was 11:21 when I sent that email, meaning I was requesting for the heat to be turned up for a mere 39 minutes.   His response is short, curt, and a tad rude if you ask me.  Kristen saw the reply first and I literally gaped at my computer like a guppie for a good five minutes when I saw it.  I growled silently to myself for another five minutes, and then spun my chair around to face Kristen.

Me: This has gone on too far.

Kristen:  Why is he being so rude?  Because we’re just interns?

Me: Let’s find him on Facebook.

Kristen:  Why?  What are you gonna do- send him a mean message?

Me:  No, but I’ll feel better about this situation if I can stalk his pictures and mock him.

Kristen:  I can’t find him.

Me: He’s probably one of those guys who substituted his first name for some nerdy character.  Search for Darth Vader, why don’t you.

I can be extremely immature when someone is being rude, that’s just me.  Regardless, we decided to email another coworker, who suggested we ask the company to buy a space heater for our office.  While usually, I’m all for someone else buying me things, this idea just didn’t sit well for me.  You see, while this was a form of compromise because we could be warm and they could be cold, he still got to be rude with no repercussions.  Not on my watch, and Kristen agreed with me.

She suggested that right before we leave at the end of the day, we switch the thermostat to “+6” so that when they came to work in the morning, their office would be a sauna, but we could feign ignorance and blame it on the nighttime cleaning ladies.  I guess that could work, but to me, it still wasn’t enough.  I mean, he was rude!  One day of sweltering heat was not enough in my opinion.

But what else could we do?


I had the best idea ever.

I carefully dismantled the thermostat, flipped the inner switch around so that is was sitting on “+2”, and then replaced the switch cover so that the red line (which indicates what temperature is on) was still resting on “0”. …like a boss.

A couple hours later, Joe comes bursting into our office looking like an angry hen, and starts snapping about how dare we change the temperature when he explicitly told us not to touch it.  I did a casual little turn of my swivel chair with a comically raised eyebrow and pointed at the thermostat.

Me: I believe the temperature is still at “0”, as per your explicit instructions.

Joe: Did you just turn it down?!

Me: Really?  Like I would have seen you barreling down the hallway… I’m not even facing that direction.

Joe: Well… it’s really hot in our office.

Me: And we’re sorry for that, but we agreed to “0”, and not any colder.

Kristen: Exactly.  Why would it be fair for you to change your mind every time your office gets a little stuffy?

Me: Sounds like you have a ventilation problem in your office… maybe you should call maintenance.

Joe gave us another one of his patented dirty looks, and then swept out of the office.  Kristen and I waited until he was clearly out of earshot, and then high-fived.

That’s right… don’t mess with interns.  We’re sneakier than you could ever dream to be and we hate rude people.

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  1. While I would have gone the no fuss no drama route of having the company pay for a space heater, it sounds like you had more fun with your solution. Let’s hope Joe and Marilyn don’t find out that you manually manipulated the temperature reader.

    – K.


    1. In retrospect, probably the smarter solution. We’ll fix it in a couple of days, but I am hoping that the dropping temperature will convince Joe that being warm really isn’t such a bad thing lol.



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