updates: thermostat wars, the admin work, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are three updates from past letter-writers.

1. Space heaters and thermostat wars

One thing I failed to mention in my original post is that I own the office building as well, so I get to set these perimeters on space heaters as both employer and building owner. The space heater is not disallowed by my building rules (but perhaps should be).

The space heater she uses is very small and does have the safety feature of turning off when tipped over. I am also the last to leave the office every night, so I make sure everything is off (which I’ve never had a problem with her turning it off before leaving). Her space is an office size of about 9×10 or so with 8’ ceilings, so fairly contained. Her office, though, is also attached to my office by a doorway. The heat traveling is definitely a matter of the office configuration.

The building’s thermostat sits on the wall just outside her office. While the heater is heating the space and traveling out of her office, it is also creating a constant use of the AC because of the thermostat reading (which was raising the electric bill while still not cooling adequately).

What I also failed to mention was that during the summer months, she kept her air vent closed in this space so there was no air (cold air) pumping in this space, making it even warmer and more humid. After this post, I discussed the concern over the office temperature with her and that she was the only one that needed the extra warmth (considering it was a sweltering 100 degrees most of the summer), so I would like her to close her doors when using the heater. Although I believe I was very direct but gentle in this request, my request went unanswered and the heater remained running with the doors open, presumably because if I was in another room besides my office, she felt it didn’t affect me while it was running. I would walk back in my office to a rainforest and she would then shut off the heater (as if it was only while it was running that bothered me).

I then had to have a more direct conversation that if that heater was running at any point, the doors absolutely must be shut. I explained the problem lies in the warmth traveling through the office that no one else wanted, as well as the fact she was creating a much warmer area directly in contact with the thermostat, making the AC unit run constantly and the bill going up. She mentioned she understood, and she would be bringing a warm blanket to wrap up in. I don’t mind a blanket at all, although I’m very concerned there is something wrong with her health if it is that severe she needs a blanket when it is 74 degrees. At the direct approach of explaining the effects on the rest of us – both our comfort and my pocketbook – I believe she took that to heart. She began closing her doors at all times when it is running, so the issue is only a small problem when she opens the doors and heat quickly billows out or when we have to go in there and do something that takes longer than 2 minutes while enduring the sauna.

Although now that it is freezing temps outside, she’s still not dressing appropriately warm. I believe that bothers me the most because the issue could be resolved in a very normal way that doesn’t affect anyone else. I have found I am strangely uncomfortable discussing her wardrobe and telling her to wear more clothes. One comment mentioned a rule that additional layers must be added before turning on the space heater. Is that acceptable to require? I do want to mention that just today she finally brought in the blanket she mentioned, so I have high hopes we are making progress!

2. I can’t get out of low-level admin work

Thank you so much for answering my question, and to all the commenters who chimed in! Seeing my letter published gave me the nudge I needed to start looking for jobs. I’ve been avoiding applying for any job that seems like a lateral move or has too much admin work since I don’t want to end up in the same situation again. And because I actually want to use my skills! I wish I had a nicer update, but … I am seven months into my job search and still looking. I’ve applied to about 70 jobs at this point, interviewed with many great companies, gotten second and third interviews, but no offers. I admit I definitely didn’t expect this to take so long.

I’m applying for jobs that usually say they require 3-6 years of experience in the field (I have 6 or 7) and require software skills that I have, so as far as I can tell I feel qualified for what I’m applying to. (Though I have had two different interviewers act surprised and annoyed when I didn’t have web design experience, even though I didn’t claim to have experience in that and the job description didn’t mention that – the job description for both specified graphic design experience, which I do have, so it seems those hiring managers must have thought web coding and graphic design were interchangeable phrases?) I’ve also had two experiences now where I’ve made it to the end of an interview process only for them to tell me they’re pausing the hiring process for the foreseeable future but will let me know if/when they can proceed. I’ve asked a few interviewers for feedback after a rejection and haven’t gotten anything specific, just a couple generic “we hired someone with more experience,” and I’ve been told before that I interview well so I’m not terribly concerned about that, but it’s still hard not to doubt myself at this point. For now, I’m forging on with my search, but I’m also considering whether I need to take a class or start a certificate program in my field if I don’t find something soon.

As for my current job … my boss is kind of a tyrannical mess, so I haven’t talked to her any further about taking on additional responsibilities or what it takes to get promoted. If it helps explain anything, I related so strongly when this letter about a hyper-critical boss was published a few months ago. There’s not much productive conversation with a boss like that. Also of note: another manager recently had to tell my boss that yelling at her direct reports is not a good way to motivate them. (She disagreed.) Unsurprisingly, my motivation is practically non-existent at this point. She’s great at creating baseless drama so I’m just trying to keep a reasonable amount of peace until I can leave.

I remain so grateful to AAM for all the encouragement in this long process. Onward march!

Update to the update:

After almost nine months of job searching, I finally received a job offer that is 1) in an industry I’m passionate about, 2) a step up for me and a good fit for my skills — a mix of things I have experience in and some new-to-me things that I want to learn, 3) has good pay and somehow good benefits … and I happily accepted the offer yesterday and put in my two weeks. But the reason I’m writing this update isn’t even just because of that good news, but because I wanted to share that I successfully negotiated for more vacation time, something I never knew was an option until I read AAM. So thanks, Alison, for publishing letters about how to negotiate — and specifically negotiating more time off!

For context, the only downside of this job offer was that they were starting me off with a week less vacation time than what I currently have. I wrote back and explained how much vacation time I have now, and asked if, based on the experience I’m bringing to the role, they could start me at the amount of vacation time that employees receive after one year of employment, which would have been the middle between how much I have now and what the original offer was. I was afraid to high-ball them since I didn’t want them to pull away all together … but to my very pleasant surprise they responded quickly to say they were happy to match the amount of vacation time I currently have — more than what I asked for! I think it also helped my case that they told me the salary was set and non-negotiable (due to the position being funded by a grant), which they were kindly apologetic about. In general they’ve been very kind and flexible with me in the hiring process and I’m incredibly grateful. It’s already been a breath of fresh air and I have reason to hope things will be better there.

I’m not sure which I’m more excited about – starting my new job or leaving my current job… :)

3. I deeply regret joining my company’s leadership program (#2 at the link)

The short update is, I stuck it out, it blessedly ended, and regained my normal job that I really like.

The long update is, that hearing from you and from comments that I wasn’t doomed to the mailroom if I didn’t do this actually helped me put it in perspective. I definitely needed to get that confirmation that the pants were bananas full of bees. I reevaluated how much time and emotion I was putting into the project, and worked on treating it proportionally to its level of importance. I ended up really impressing some people with my actual contribution to the final product. I made connections in other departments that have been valuable. I was honest in feedback about the experience and found I was in the majority regarding this years cohort, so much so that the future structure is being evaluated. I wouldn’t do it again but I’m proud that I did it and broke my pattern of running from stressors.

Thanks for your support and reassurance, that paradoxically inspired me to get through. My reviews and supervisor check-ins continue to be great and my personal life and wellbeing are back on track.

{ 127 comments… read them below }

  1. many bells down*

    I confess I’m baffled by “I want to look cute so I won’t wear a cardigan … but I’ll wear a blanket?”

      1. Not Always Right*

        I used to work in a building that was cold year round. Space heaters were not allowed, BUT, we could bring in an electric blanket. I found one that was the size of a lap blanket for about $30. It kept me nice and toasty warm. It would turn off automatically after 4 hours, which was perfect timing. I would be warm from eight to noon, go to lunch and be warm from one to quitting time.

    1. Baby Yoda*

      I had an employee like that– she drove me nuts. I just wanted to yell at her to wear sufficient clothing and she’d be fine. Ugh.

      1. Just Another Cog*

        I had an employee just the opposite of that, sort of. We kept the office at 78F and she was still always cold. She wouldn’t close her AC vents in the summer and would wear a down jacket and blanket on her lap and fingerless gloves when she was in her office. She never turned on the radiant under-desk heater we bought for her. She’d just complain and sigh heavily ALL DAMN DAY about how cold it was in there. It was exhausting to try to accommodate her. I do think she wanted to make a point(?), about what, I don’t know. She was let go for so many other reasons after we put her on a PIP.

      2. Lorraine*

        I have a roommate like that! Space heaters are forbidden, but she throws tantrums over the thermostat while insisting on wearing thin t-shirts all winter long. (She also doesn’t move all day, so of course she’s cold, but I just focus on: we’re not contributing to climate change and PG&E’s exorbitant price hikes because you won’t put a hoodie on. I NEVER thought in a million years I’d end up sounding like my mother over the damn thermostat.) (She also had two opportunities to move upstairs where it’s warmer, since, ya know, heat rises. But she refused. AND I had to explain to her the concept of letting in the sun during the day and closing the curtains at night.) Some people just want to martyr themselves.

    2. T.N.H.*

      I get that but I also don’t think the manager should be policing her clothes so much. We have no idea what she can afford/feels good on her skin/works for her body. OP needs to focus on the work impact not on her attachment to what people should be wearing in certain temperatures.

      1. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

        I’d normally agree about not policing people’s clothes, but if it’s costing the business money and making the other employees uncomfortable, I’d say suggesting a sweater isn’t an unreasonable request.

        Honestly, it’s a weird hill to die on- if you want to look cute at work, that’s fine, but not at the literal expensive of your employer and the comfort of your coworkers.

      2. Just Another Zebra*

        Eh, I agree and I don’t. Her office is sweltering and humid – OP describes it as a rainforest. Other staff don’t want to go in there because of the heat. And running the heater is costing the company overhead in additional electric, both from the AC and running the space heater itself. I think saying the space heater is negatively effecting the business, from both a collaborative and facilities standpoint.

        And can we not play the game of this employee can’t afford a sweater? If OP is fine with a blanket, I feel she’d also be fine with a hoody or zip up. What would this employee do if OP said no more space heater, period?

        1. MassMatt*

          Right, if you can obtain a space heater you can obtain a sweater ot sweatshirt.

          I have worked with people that are perpetually cold. I live in the Northeast and have to wonder how they survive a winter. And yes there were a few that did not dress warmly at all. As in, I remember someone complained about being cold and they were wearing a thin blouse, miniskirt, and sandals in February. Someone else resorted to wearing a wool navy pea coat.

          I wonder whether the issue with the always cold coworker could be solved by moving her? Does she NEED to be adjacent to the thermostat and with a door opening onto the LW’s office? If she’s in a corner with her one door closed and not near the thermostat, maybe there’s no harm from her sauna-office?

          1. fhqwhgads*

            Perhaps, although I still think OP is being incredibly generous allowing the dang space heater at all. Autoshut off or not, OP leaving last and double-checking or not, those things are a disaster waiting to happen.
            The issue with the clothes isn’t about clothes, it’s about temperature. As such, it’s reasonable to say “if you’re cold when it’s 74 degrees inside, wear more or use a blanket”. A space Heater is not the only way to warm oneself. Heck, if it must be rephrased to avoid discussing clothing, then reframe it to “these are the temperatures the building is set to. Space heaters are no longer permitted. If you’re uncomfortable at this temp, you’ll need to find a solution to warming yourself that does not involve an electric device the plugs into the building’s power, and will not warm anyone other than you.” But that’s clunky as hell.

      3. Pastor Petty Labelle*

        this is right up there with the letter from this morning. The one where the person was told to stop wearing see through blouses but didn’t want to because they made her feel sexy. At work you should not be feeling sexy or trying to be cute. You should go for professional. Especially when your clothes choices are affecting others.

        Policing is telling women they must wear make up and heels and hose and don’t show any skin whatsoever. Telling someone to dress appropriately for the office – as in cover up all the important bits and don’t make everyone else be in a sauna because you won’t wear sleeves is not policing.

      4. Marzipan Shepherdess*

        You’re absolutely right, T.N.H.!

        LW1, please, PLEASE do NOT start telling your employee what to wear!!

        You do NOT know her financial situation; yes, even well-paid people can be financially stressed if they’re helping to support family members – and yes, single people can be helping out parents, grandparents or both. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard well-heeled managers give lofty advice about what their subordinates should buy when those subordinates were existing paycheck to paycheck and simply could. not. afford. to buy what their bosses were so casually recommending. Needless to say, this kind of advice comes across as tin-eared, ignorant, shaming and condescending (among other things.)

        Don’t be that person, OP1! By all means tell your employee to keep her door closed but do NOT tell her to go out and buy herself a whole ‘nother wardrobe. Because there’s a very good chance that she can’t do it!

        1. cassielfsw*

          There’s no need to buy another wardrobe. She just needs one nice cardigan (or hoodie or slanket or whatever) that she takes home and washes occasionally.

        2. SleeplessKJ*

          If she can afford a space heater – and a blanket – she can certainly afford a $19.99 “office” cardigan from TJ Maxx. Or pick one up for 4 bucks at Goodwill.

        3. Rose*

          The…what? She doesn’t need a whole new wardrobe. She needs one sweater. Or presumably she owns a coat that she could wear in the office.

      5. Critical Rolls*

        Policing is about how things look. This is about a function issue (not even trying to dress for the temperature she works in) that is resulting in a secondary problem (overheating her office and adjacent areas to the the point of making others uncomfortable and causing the AC to run more than it should). She bought a space heater and a blanket, both of which are equivalent in cost to an inexpensive cardigan. I absolutely do not believe that she cannot find a single warm layer that she can afford, feels good on her skin, and works for her body.

    3. Generic Name*

      I’ve worked with people, both men and women, who apparently value fashion over physical comfort, and it drove me nuts. One coworker wore diaphanous blouses and gauzy “sweaters” and kept her office at about 85 degrees. Another liked to wear loafers with no socks and rolled up pants when it was 20 outside. Utterly baffling. I’ve worked in offices where the temperature was too cold for me, and I wore additional layers. I agree that’s it’s a bit absurd she’d rather wrap herself in a blanket than put on a sweater, but I don’t think you can dictate her clothing to that extent.

      1. Danish*

        I agree that “it couldn’t be me” (I love a good sweater, anyway), but I’ve heard the argument that dressing in a way that is completely inappropriate for the season/climate is the prerogative of those living in a civilization. Humanity mastering the elements or something. Not a good financial or ecological standpoint maybe, but a kind of fascinating one.

    4. Cyborg Llama Horde*

      There was a while when my mom and I had a South American ballerina staying with us. My mom lives in a cold climate, and is very much of the “if you’re cold, wear a sweater” mindset (she did bump the thermostat a few degrees, but nowhere near to what the ballerina needed to be comfortable). Poor ballerina was freezing all the time, inside and outside, but was so terrified of looking fat that she wouldn’t even get one of those puffy winter coats to wear in sub-freezing weather.

      (She also had odd, contradictory food behaviors, like she’d mention that she was hungry, but wouldn’t eat an apple or some carrot sticks because she was too worried about getting fat, but then half an hour later she’d go get a cookie because she “just needed a little something.” And I absolutely am not judging the cookie, especially not for an athlete of that intensity, but it made us really sad that the training program for ballerinas was not doing a better job of teaching them how to get adequate nourishment within the strict body standards of ballet.)

        1. Quill*

          Yeah, sports with a focus on appearance or weight are overall not healthy for anyone’s relationship to food.

          1. allathian*

            Yeah, if I had a daughter there’s absolutely no way I’d allow her to do gymnastics, skating, or ballet, or for that matter, bikini fitness. I think all of them need to stop now, or only allow adults to participate. The trouble is that you have to start young and train hard to be any good. But the values of esthetic sports are not ones that I’d want my kids to internalize.

            1. Chirpy*

              I will say though, gymnastics as a young kid gives everyone a better understanding of movement and how to do stretching that is great for the rest of your life.

              The problem is competitive gymnastics.

            2. Elizabeth West*

              Same. Even in our little dinky nowhere rink, we had eating disorders and two abusive coaches. If anyone wants to allow a child to enter these programs, I’d advise them to keep a microscopic eye on things.

              As for the cold employee, I’m hypothyroid and sensitive to cold. In all my jobs, I brought a sweater AND a blanket to work, and managed not to create a temperature issue for the rest of the office. Including OldExJob, where I sat by the door and during a polar vortex had to wear a damn coverall.

  2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

    Reading the comments on the original thermostat wars letter, and now I’m curious — I keep the heater fan* in my home office plugged into a plug timer that turns off the electricity to it outside of my actual working hours. For places that require unplugging the thing at the end of the day, is that equivalent, or still not enough?

    *I think that’s what it is, at least, not a whole space heater? It only has high and low and blows heat straight out, not trying to heat a whole space to a certain temperature with a thermostat? Or am I being pedantic and the difference doesn’t matter?

    1. Tio*

      Depends. Some offices would find that ok, some would be too nervous about it failing. But your description sounds about in line with other space heaters I’ve had/seen.

    2. Sorrischian*

      What you’re describing still sounds like what I would call a space heater, just a low-tech one (it actually sounds like the heater I have in my apartment and that one said space heater on the box). I think the term generally covers anything that isn’t built in, including simple fans, the fancier style with thermostat settings, and even some funky oil-filled radiators.

    3. But what to call me?*

      Yours sounds like my space heater, which I would definitely call a space heater. It might not be designed to heat a whole room but it definitely makes a certain part of the room warmer.

      Though put five of the things in the same largish room/open office (1 per cubicle, because no one could work in there without them) and they can heat a room quite nicely.

  3. Coverage Associate*

    I don’t have any diagnosed medical condition, but I was happy when my office was a consistent 75 degrees because of a HVAC problem that wasn’t discovered for months, until my office reached 80 degrees and I complained.

    My new office at my new job is a consistent 69 degrees. Except for the very beginning of the day, when I cool down from walking up 4.5 flights of stairs from the subway (elevators and escalators broken), I am always cold, especially my hands. I have heated fingerless gloves, but my fingertips will still be cold. I am considering getting full length gloves I could type in, maybe latex medical exam gloves, but my experience is that yes, you can be cold, at least in part, even at 74 degrees, with no clear medical issue. My mother is a doctor and is also always cold at normal office temperatures, and she can wear a white coat over normal office clothes.

    Something like my subway problem could be a reason to consistently wear summer clothes to work. I thought about it, especially when the hike was 6 flights, but carrying a sweater and jacket got me about as warm as wearing a sweater.

    1. Tio*

      Always cold, especially in the hands or feet lines up with Reynaud’s syndrome, just FYI. I have it, and my fingers will start to turn blue even just when office AC kicks in. But the solution to that is I wear gloves and sweaters, not demand everyone else sweat. I would be pretty uncomfortable in an office like yours that must be at 69 degrees though

      1. Coverage Associate*

        I have considered Reynaud’s, but as the cold fingers seem to be my only symptom, and it’s an expensive diagnosis to get after ruling other things out, I haven’t pursued it.

        1. fhqwhgads*

          How is it an expensive diagnosis? I was diagnosed decades ago by being in my PCP’s office which was 68 degrees at the time, and my hands were blue. The doctor noticed and asked me a handful of questions. Done. Diagnosis. Of course, everything about my answers pointed to it.
          Meanwhile, I don’t think it’s even applicable to the letter, at least based on my experience. I don’t generally feel cold overall, not in the way Space Heater Employee does. Never did. My hands (or feet) get cold when the rest of me isn’t, and heck sometimes they turn blue without me noticing or feeling like my hands are cold at all. If I shake someone’s hand or high five or something, the other person is more likely to say I have cold hands than I am. None of this jives with Sauna Office.

          1. Cosmerenaut*

            If US, probably an insurance thing. My insurance is pretty good, but I still only get one appointment with my PCP covered in full each year. Multiple referrals and appointments could add up. Plus taking PTO.

      2. Kotow*

        #1: Don’t infantilize her and police her wardrobe or tell her that an extra sweater will solve the problem. Not everyone has a health problem just because they need it warmer and it’s extremely inappropriate to speculate. You got what you wanted, stay out of it.

        1. Kotow*

          Actually, that wasn’t a kind response. Alison , please remove it. I’m just frustrated with being the one who is always cold despite wearing a full coat in the office and having people tell me all kinds of things that won’t work. When your office is 10 degrees colder than everywhere else and drops to 63 (comfortable for me is 77, I can tolerate 72) it’s just cold.

          1. Tio*

            Wow, yeah, no kidding. I mentioned Reynaud’s because I have it and wish someone else would have mentioned it to me years before a random doctor figured it out for me, especially since it looped into a bigger overall health problem I have that helped put the pieces together. But nowhere did I say that it meant any definitely had it had to have it to be cold, and I too am the one who’s always cold in the office in a full coat and gloves, so that’s a huge leap to say I’m “policing someone’s wardrobe.” And I’m not sure what you think I “got” that I wanted, because I had no involvement with the original letter at all!

            1. jane's nemesis*

              Tio, I think there was a nesting issue. It looked to me like Kotow was trying to respond to the OP, not you.

          2. IneffableBastard*

            It was not unkind, it was just direct. I support your response. I’ve been miserably cold both in times of good and bad health and it is really frustrating when people who run hot don’t get that some people just run cold.

            1. Reluctant Mezzo*

              Kidney dialysis patients almost always run cold (my husband would wear a blanket in summer when I was desperately hoping our A/C would work).

        2. Sz*

          I agree with you on this one. I am from South Asia, particularly a coastal city with laughable winter temperatures (by the standards of the rest of the world). Here 74 F is considered the beginning of “winter”, so I would find that cold too. I don’t have a health condition, it’s just this is what my body is used to and it’s considered normal in my part of the world.

      3. CommanderBanana*

        I have Reynaud’s and it sucks. I can put on lots of layers, but once my hands and feet get down to a certain temp they can’t warm up on their own, and it’s really hard to type in gloves.

        My office runs cold. In the summer I have to dress for two entirely different climates – the commute on the subway and then my office.

        1. Tio*

          Yeah, I have a special sweater I keep in my office/bag for wearing in the office in summer, and it’s highly unlikely I’m not blue by the time I complete my trek from the office parking lot to the building itself. I use the fingerless gloves they mentioned above and it works ok for me most of the time, but sometimes I’m just stuck. Luckily my new job has offices that tend to get too warm and stuffy, which for me is basically just a good temperature lol

        2. Kara*

          Speaking as someone who works outside in the winter, might hand and/or toe warmers be an option? I understand there’s microwaveable options, but the single use ones that you just expose to the air keep my hands super toasty even in temps well below zero. I usually tuck them into the palms of my gloves, but on the back of your hands for better grip would probably work as well.

          1. Redaktorin*

            No, these do nothing if you have Reynaud’s. People keep giving them to me because they really believe that it should help. It does not.

    2. Sorrischian*

      I’m in the same boat with perpetual cold hands and unfortunately latex or nitrile gloves really don’t provide much insulation. You might be better off looking into a heated desk mat – I’ve never used one myself but I’ve heard good things about them.

      1. Media Circus*

        Oooh, I’ve never heard of a heated desk mat, but I did get a heated chair pad (lasts all day; charges overnight on USB) that absolutely helped when I still worked in the office that had the normal temp.

        (Eventually, my group was moved into a building with terrible HVAC that no one wanted to spend money to fix and our individual offices were regularly in the low 60s. Supervisor said the org was “thinking about” buying us all have space heaters. I told her to let me know how that played out, because if the office didn’t buy us space heaters, I’d be putting in a formal accommodation for my Raynaud’s so that I could buy one myself. By the end of the day they’d miraculously found they could, after all, buy us space heaters.)

    3. Observer*

      I thought about it, especially when the hike was 6 flights, but carrying a sweater and jacket got me about as warm as wearing a sweater.

      If you have an office (shared or not) or even a desk, is there any reason you can’t leave a sweater or jacket in the office? If you *have* to carry it, would it help to carry a backpack?

      I hope you get a solution that works for you. And thanks for trying to do it in a way that doesn’t have a negative effect on others.

    4. Heather*

      I used to work for the county. A former county executive decided that in winter, the heat would be no higher than 68 and in summer, the AC would be no lower than 76. Except HVAC only ran M-F 8-5, so all day Monday we would sweat or freeze waiting for the building to cool/heat. Given our need to wear formal clothing, everyone’s dry cleaning bill went up in the summer due to all the sweating. In the winter, it’s tough to type when your hands a freezing and gloves were frowned upon because of the dress code. There were a lot of closed office doors those winters while people piled on the clothing to stay warm.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        That decision tracks with the decision-making capabilities of several county executives I had to work with in my previous job.

      2. Orv*

        The university I work for is similar. They shut the heat off on weekends. The problem is we work in a giant brutalist concrete block, and the building never finishes heating up before they turn it off again. The average temperature in my office is about 60. Sometimes I open the window in the afternoon because it’s actually warmer outside than inside.

        1. Reluctant Mezzo*

          Older buildings often have Exotic Air Circulations problems, or why building managers often take to medicinal drinking. I worked in a building that was a lumber mill converted to an office building, so it had some idiosyncrasies most buildings didn’t. It did feel weird to have to wear long johns in the middle of summer, only to have instant climate change when something broke.

    5. Spiders Everywhere*

      For a really unpleasant period at one job I was crammed in with another group in a room that had been desgned to host server equipment, so when the rest of the building was comfortable it was far too cold, which combined with the bright florescent lighting, lack of windows and stark white walls and floors felt remarkably like working inside an actual refrigerator. Then after 6 they’d shut the air off (despite everyone on my floor having to work tons of overtime) and it was more like being in an oven. I also had some weird issues with the supervisor of the team that was using the rest of the room – she somehow got the idea I was supposed to be babysitting her people when she was out of the room despite 1. this was in no way my job 2. my desk was facing the corner and I had to wear headphones for my work. One time she freaked out at me just because someone had come by and borrowed a chair when she was gone. I ended up going to make boss and basically begging him to get me out of there, and never took my seat in a normal cubicle for granted ever again.

    6. anxiousGrad*

      Even if she does have a health condition that’s making her cold, getting a diagnosis won’t necessarily make her feel warmer. I have hypothyroidism and although I’ve had an easier time with cold temperatures since my diagnosis, my typical body temperature is still 96-97 F, so I still don’t feel comfortable at temperatures below 72 F. I also have asthma and used to sit in an office that was 65 F, and breathing in cold air like that all day triggered my asthma, so a sweater wouldn’t have solved the problem there. Although the office in this letter doesn’t sound anywhere near that cold.

  4. Observer*

    # 1 Thermostat issues. You ask One comment mentioned a rule that additional layers must be added before turning on the space heater. Is that acceptable to require?

    I want to say, no that’s a really bad rule. I do think that you have standing to ask that she dress for the office temperature before turning on the heater, although I totally understand why you wouldn’t. But getting this granular is not great.

    I’m glad you are getting somewhere with her.

    1. e271828*

      You can require people to put on a sweater if it’s your house and you’re the parent paying the bills. At work, they’re supposed to be able to figure that out for themselves.

      I think that stopping the space heater usage altogether and locking down the thermostats might be a way to get the tropical flower to think about adding layers.

      1. Observer*

        You can require people to put on a sweater if it’s your house and you’re the parent paying the bills. At work, they’re supposed to be able to figure that out for themselves.

        Which is fine if you’re not paying the bills and the employee is not affecting others. In this case, the OP is paying the bills *and* the employee is having a significant effect on others. So, the OP absolutely does have standing to insist that the employee dresses for the temperature.

        1. fhqwhgads*

          Put another way: the employee needs to find a method of warming herself up that doesn’t warm anyone else up.

          That could mean put on a sweater or a blanket, could mean use battery powered hand warmers you can stick in your pocket, or a microwaveable rice bag, or whatever.

          1. Observer*

            Yeah. Given what the OP describes, any of those would work. The OP sounds reasonable – all they want is for their employee to try to limit the hit the their bill and and everyone else’s comfort. And that’s reasonable.

        2. pencils600*

          I’m a bit puzzled why so many people are saying it’s not OP’s place to suggest wearing more layers. Also having a laugh at people suggesting she might not have the money to buy a sweater

          1. Goldfeesh*

            It’s because sleeveless dresses are cheaper because they don’t charge for the sleeves, so obviously she doesn’t have money. /s

          2. Observer*

            I don’t think think that the OP should get into mandating the specifics of how the employee handles it – more layers, heavier clothes with long sleeves, whatever. Just that that she has to dress appropriately for the office, and she can’t roast everyone because she wants to be “cute”.

            And, I agree the whole “she probably doesn’t have money” doesn’t sound too reasonable.

      2. duinath*

        yep. imho this is the answer. don’t get bogged down in telling her how she could fix it, she’s an adult, she can figure that out herself, and you risk sounding overbearing if you get too specific. just: don’t adjust the temperature beyond x and y, no space heaters allowed.

        (am i the only one who thought the blanket thing was an attempt at guilting op, given how long it took to show up and how much more practical a cardigan would be? …possibly my faith in humanity needs some work, it was the first place my mind went.)

  5. Observer*

    #3 The leadership program. I’m so glad that that worked out well for you. It’s so interesting how getting “permission” to let it go made it easier for you to keep at it, and get something useful out of it. It does make sense, though.

    So often we think that if we are going to do something we have to do it really well. And sometimes that’s just not necessary. It seems to be that is is a really good example of this.

  6. But what to call me?*

    #3, getting reassurance that not doing a thing (or not spending every waking moment trying to do the thing perfectly) won’t ruin your life can definitely make the thing more doable, in my experience. It takes some of the pressure off, lets you devote a reasonable amount of effort to it instead of letting it take over your life, and makes it easier to only think about it when you need to think about it instead of letting worrying about it take over your life. Good job getting through it!

  7. Excel-sior!*

    LW#1, if you’d like to offer another recommendation for the employee that will help keep her warm without roasting everyone else, my solution for my year-round freezing office was a heating pad for my lower back! I just used a plain no-frills one from the pharmacy, but there are fancier ones that can actually strap to the chair and even include a cushion for lumbar support. I would pair mine with a nice-looking scarf (seriously it was an ice box in there) and it kept me comfortable when folks in other cubes were wearing sweaters topped with a blanket. If you felt like being generous while also giving her less reason to balk, you could offer to expense it for her too as a little extra incentive.

    1. Generic Name*

      Yes, that’s a good idea, especially the part bout letting her expense it. Or maybe a heated chair pad or foot mat.

      1. Coin Purse*

        I had a heated foot rest at Old Job and it was a game changer. It kept my feet warm and the heat rose off of that to keep the rest of me warm too. The building was built on a slab without a foundation space so the floor was like ice.

    2. BlueWolf*

      We had these nice heating pads at my old job that were actually more like heated shawls. They were fairly lightweight and we would often wear them over our laps at the front desk because the front door opened directly into our reception area.

  8. Spicy Tuna*

    I was on the side of the cold employee until I went back and read the original letter where she said she wanted to “look cute”. I work from home now, but when I worked in an office, I was always cold. I am cold unless it’s 80*F. I live in a year round warm climate and I never, ever get to wear “summer” clothing. I am constantly wrapped up in winter gear. When I used to commute on public transportation, I kept a wool sweater, gloves and a knit cap at my desk, because even my ears get cold and painful. I didn’t look cute. I didn’t even look professional but honestly, I couldn’t be productive while being that cold. It didn’t seem to impact my career trajectory.

  9. Rebecca*

    “ although I’m very concerned there is something wrong with her health if it is that severe she needs a blanket when it is 74 degrees. ”

    Allow me to assuage your concern! Some people just run cold. There is no need to concern troll their health.

    Sure, your employee could put on more layers. That’s a really dismissive attitude that doesn’t take into account just how much it sucks to be bundled up indoors while working. We could take that mindset to its logical extreme and turn the thermostat down to 60 F in the winter. Picture how you would feel wearing a coat at your desk with a blanket on your lap, while your fingers go numb typing.

    The first step to a productive conversation about the temperature is to be empathic to how cold your employee is. That means accepting that she IS cold and do not look for reasons (medical treatment, more clothing) why being cold is her fault.

    1. BubbleTea*

      60F is about the temperature my house (where I work) is during the day. It goes up to 18c/65F when my kid, who has Reynaud’s, is home.

      1. RussianInTexas*

        68F is the absolute max I set the heater for during winter months. Yes, I get somewhat cold, and I wear socks and a hoodie while working from home.
        75F A/C during summer (it’s new and very efficient).

      2. Too Cold*

        If you were a landlord in my city, it would be illegal to have the temperature for your tenants below 68 during the daytime. That’s considered the minimum habitable temperature for health and safety.

        1. bamcheeks*

          Wow, where are you? In the UK 20c is generally considered comfortable room temperature (if a recipe tells you to have butter or eggs at room temp, it’ll generally mean 18-20c), but to me that’s super warm as a minimum. I’m so fascinated by how different the expectations and rules can be!

          1. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

            That’s the official number in New York City and Boston (for most of the year).

            In practice, most heat complaints aren’t about apartments being at 64 degrees, they’re about buildings with no heat at all, or with a temperature of 50 during the day. Also in practice, landlords tend to be allowed a little slack–if the rule says “at least 68 Fahrenheit,” a penny-pinching landlord might try setting the thermostat to 64, and if the official minimum was 64 the same landlord would set it to 60.

            1. Elizabeth West*

              I’m in Boston and my landlords have told us not to turn it below 68 or the pipes will freeze. Idk if that’s because of the minimum or because this is a very old building or both. I’m on the top floor and I currently have it set at 72 (working from home and also have a cold).

        2. SleeplessKJ*

          Wow – where are you? I’m in a large northern city and the requirement is heat must go on when the temps hit 55 – 68 seems absurdly high. That would have heat being required on some summer days!

          1. Observer*

            The heat needs to go on when it’s 55 – but I’d be willing to bet that the heat has to be at least 68 in your building once you have to put the heat on. That is certainly the case in NYC.

    2. Seashell*

      Putting a cardigan or a blazer over a sleeveless dress isn’t what I’d call bundled up. That should be step 1 if you’re cold instead of worrying about looking cute to co-workers, buying a space heater, and throwing a blanket on yourself.

      1. Stuckinacrazyjob*

        a cami could make her warmer. in winter I wear two or three shirts. I heard a scientist or something say the airflow between the shirts makes things warmer

    3. Cabbagepants*

      Did you read the original letter? while some people do just run cold, many people find that adding more clothing helps, which the person in question has resisted doing. many people do deal with cold temperatures by wearing more — even below 60F. how do you think people manage with outdoor jobs in cold climates?

      1. Julia K.*

        Every outdoor job I’ve had involved a lot of moving around. That brings the comfortable temperature down by about ten degrees, not including the additional layers that it looks normal to wear.

    4. Julia K.*

      Yes. If LW is indeed “very concerned there is something wrong with her health,” I’m sure LW wouldn’t want to discriminate against her due to a genuine health problem, right?

      And if it is instead, as I suspect, a healthy variant of normal, then it should also be accommodated as normal.

      Wearing a sweater and leggings is a fine suggestion. But in my experience those only adjust the comfortable temperature by about two degrees – less than a space heater does. So I don’t think a sweater can fully replace the space heater. To do that would probably require two sweaters, a blanket, gloves, and a hat. And with that many layers, even normal office movement becomes cumbersome and leaves people with muscle soreness at the end of the day. Not to mention it feels ridiculous to wear so much gear in all but the most blue collar jobs (I’ve worked both). It would affect my work performance in an office environment. So I think an external heat source like a space heater (or heating pads, which are similar) needs to be acceptable, sweater or no.

      1. Julia K.*

        I am also in favor of letting people who run hot have a personal fan in their office. And I might suggest they take off a suit jacket, but I would not expect them to strip down to their undershirt, which doesn’t comport with normal office wear.

        1. Julia K.*

          This is true whether running hot is due to there being “something wrong with someone’s health” or is a healthy variant of normal. Both exist, and reasonably accommodating both is the way to maintain morale and productivity.

      2. An Honest Nudibranch*

        Okay, but “is something wrong with her health” is a reasonable question when you are talking about the fact that her current method is exacerbating some of her coworkers’ symptoms (it’s explicitly noted in the original post that part of the problem is her heating up the surrounding office is hitting one of her coworkers with hot flashes). Her coworkers also deserve to not be in pain caused by her raising the temp and humidity via the space heater.

        Like, yes, sometimes competing needs are a thing when it comes to accommodations. The office would almost certainly handle “feeling slightly uncomfortable” differently from “am having trouble typing due to a condition Raynaud’s” when they, again, are having to deal with the fact that raising the heat also interacts with her coworkers bodies in negative ways. Raynaud’s might be something where a company would want to look into things like moving employee with hot flashes and freezing employee physically away from one another, while slightly uncomfortable probably wouldn’t be.

        I think it’s totally reasonable in that context to require looking into accommodations that don’t hurt your coworkers first. And “she’s currently wearing sleeveless dresses, but she couldn’t be warm unless she had two sweaters, a blanket, gloves, and a hat” is a big stretch. . . there are lots of steps in between those two.

    5. Jolene*

      EXACTLY! She very well may have no health conditions. People are comfortable at a variety of temperatures, for a variety of reasons.

      I have multiple close family members who grew up in a rural area with only wood burning stoves for heat. If you’ve ever lived in a house with a wood burning stove, there is no thermostat. There are two settings – “frozen” (no fire) and “raging inferno” (fire). My cousin is now an adult, and complains it’s “cold” if it’s 85 degrees in the house. Her childhood bedroom was on the second floor, right above the room with a fireplace. Her “vent” was literally a hole in the floor with a grate. She likes it very warm bc that’s what she is used to.

      My mom feels comfortable when it’s about 65-67 degrees in the house. That feels cold to me! For years when I was young, she would tell me that it was “not healthy” to have a warm house and that I must have a health problem if I wasn’t comfortable at her preferred temperature. Then I got older and realized this was nonsense! One day, when I was in like junior high, I asked her how it could be that it’s “not healthy” to be in a warmer house, when the majority of people live in climates warmer than 65-67 degrees, and have for thousands of years, and they seem to be doing just fine – in fact, that’s where she always wants to vacation?

      Basically, don’t tell me your comfortable room temperature is “healthier” than someone else’s, unless you have a peer reviewed study to back it up. Otherwise, I’m calling BS.

    6. Cosmerenaut*

      Seriously. If Hotbox is so concerned about a health diagnosis, make sure to cover all out of pocket expenses incurred from the employee’s multiple doctor appointments, referrals, and lab tests, gas mileage to see specialists, hotels if overnight stay required, etc etc etc.

      Maybe all these people who run hot should be wearing ice packs around their neck all day instead of insisting that 65 is a reasonable office temperature, and everyone else has to deal with it, but only in ways that Hotbox personally approves of, because THAT’S the real issue here, obviously.

    7. Cosmerenaut*

      If Hotbox is so concerned for the employee’s health, they’d better be ready to pay all out of pocket expenses incurred on the quest to a diagnosis: multiple appointments, referrals, lab tests, gas mileage, overnight stays, etc.

      Or maybe Hotbox should wear ice packs on their neck all day instead of subjecting everyone to a 65 degree office and ordering everyone to be fine, or else deal with it in some way, no not that way…

      1. An Honest Nudibranch*

        The office is in the mid-seventies, which, while yes there are people who are cold in the mid-seventies, is also hot enough that it can exacerbate symptoms in other coworkers. Which was explicitly mentioned in the letter, that the employees space heater was exacerbating another employee’s hot flashes.

        If anyone is forcing others to accommodate their temperature preferences, it’s the one who will refuse to wear anything over a sleeveless dress and who argues with requests as simple as closing the door, at the cost of causing their coworkers physical pain.

        1. An Honest Nudibranch*

          Honestly this whole post and people’s reactions reminds me *a lot* of those people who respond to coworkers telling them about scent migraine triggers with “but I find it relaxing!” Like, that does not trump your coworker having migraines. If there is a medical need for a scented product, and unscented versions aren’t an option for whatever reason, then sure, we can talk about more complex logistics of keeping the two coworkers apart. But it needs an actual medical reason, and accommodations that don’t cause others physical pain need to be explored first.

          If the woman with the space heater made a *reasonable* attempt to dress in a weather appropriate way (that does not mean full snow gear) and other temperature accommodations that don’t influence the rest of the office, *and* she was still in pain or it interfered with her work, then ya sure we can talk about more complex methods of accommodating both her needs and the needs of her coworker experiencing hot flashes. But jumping right to causing your coworker pain, with the stated explanation of not trying other methods because you want to “look cute,” shows a lack of compassion and is downright offensive.

          1. Cosmerenaut*

            In the original post, did you catch the exchange where one commenter mentioned needing to bundle up in a 74F office and another commenter suggesting *maybe you should get a treadmill powered laptop*? Because it’s totally reasonable to expect someone to do their full-time job while exercising for a good part of the day but not tolerate gym clothes or odors, just to stay warm.

            The employee at the center of the two letters might be inconsiderate and offensive, but enough comments describing a variety of situations have shown that there’s plenty to go around.

            1. An Honest Nudibranch*

              I’m not disagreeing with you that there are lots of people who are assholes towards employees who are colder! I’m expressing frustration that people keep acting like *the situation described in this letter* is equivalent to telling people to wear five layers indoors.

              Like it’s possible I misinterpreted your initial comment as being directed towards OP when you meant it towards a pattern in general, in which case I apologize. But seriously, it is infuriating to read So. Many. Commenters. Providing fanfiction that’s wildly inconsistent with the text of the letter, with heavy undertones of dismissing the actual physical pain and symptoms of her coworkers as a reaction to the heat.

              You keep trying to make this “well are people who run hot all assholes or are people who run cold all assholes,” and like, honestly that way of thinking is always going to throw people with chronic pain conditions under the bus, on either side of temperature reactions. I am really sick of people acting like their aesthetic preferences is a decent reason to put their coworkers in pain and interfere with their ability to work, whether that’s because they’re attached to summer clothes or because they’re in love with their heavy blazer. You try the easy methods of individual temperature alterations, first.

    8. Critical Rolls*

      If only one person in an office is cold, it’s reasonable to ask them to at least try to dress more warmly than a sleeveless dress! That’s not victim-blaming, it’s just common sense. Once the obvious step of “dress for the cool rather than the beach” has been tried, by all means explore additional options that will keep the one cold person comfortable — WITHOUT overheating the rest of the office.

    9. An Honest Nudibranch*

      I mean. . . a lot of frustration with the person in this letter, though, is that she isn’t wearing *any* layers. Like yes I agree that you can’t just say “more clothing” when someone’s already got a sweater/blanket/etc.. . . but she opted to make decisions that actively decrease the physical comfort of her coworkers before even *trying* anything like wearing a single cardigan.

      Have you considered having sympathy for those of us with migraine triggers and other pain conditions that flare up in the mid-70s? Cause if I were in that office with this coworker, her behavior would be causing me active, physical pain that would interfere with my ability to work. And I have no sympathy for people pulling that when they haven’t investigated any of the available options for making themselves warmer before doing things that mess with my body.

      The original post even explicitly mentioned that her behavior was causing pain for her coworker having hot flashes, like. No, you do not get to say “well I’m cold so I can exacerbate your medical conditions” when wearing a damn sleeveless dress.

      Like I suspect a good deal of this is due to people projecting their own pain in their too-cold workspaces onto this post when they have made good faith attempts, but seriously. . . it is so aggravating to read infinite comments on a post about
      – a woman in a sleeveless dress
      – refusing to look into options that don’t exacerbate her coworkers’ medical conditions

      telling people how dismissive they are for suggesting she at least try bringing a cardigan first.

  10. Silvercat*

    Congrats LW #2!

    I’m a graphic designer and it’s constantly baffling to me how hiring managers and (especially) recruiters don’t actually read one’s resume. I’ve done small amounts of web design and coding, and I’ll get emails from recruiters looking for someone who can make an app and do social media (that’s two separate jobs aside from not being graphic design). Not to mention the ones that offer me things that are 8 hours away (stupid gigantic state…)

    I hope the new job goes great and leads to even better things!

  11. SopranoH*

    Now that I have a little more context for the space heater question, I’m kind of wondering why the employee who likes a sauna hasn’t been moved farther away from the thermostat. It might not be possible depending on the space and it would be a hassle, but maybe she’d be happier in the warmer part of the building.

  12. Calamity Janine*

    i wish i had a solution for the first update’s woes, but i’m afraid at this point all i’ve got are rather pass-agg suggestions like “great news, i got you a company branded polar fleece jacket! and a company branded cardigan! and a company branded snuggie!” and “oh i guess i DID leave all those printouts in the tray about things like being cold all the time meaning anemia, or info on issues like reynauds syndrome! thanks so much for bringing me them! interesting stuff, isn’t it?”

  13. Ms. Elaneous*

    re: Space heater

    So many more choices before a space heater:
    1. An electric heating pad for her chair — or 2, one to sit on, and one for the back of her chair.

    2. Under armour cold gear.
    3. (Yes, even under summer dresses) Spanx. I know this from working in the film and television industry, where summer beach scenes are sometimes filmed in January. Spanx will keep you warm! For this very reason, I choose not to wear Spanx in the actual summer.
    And this young lady will still look cute! Even cuter, because Spanx.

    1. Chirpy*

      Even regular nylons/ hose will help. That tiny bit of extra trapped warmth is surprisingly effective, and it’s an unnoticeable layer even under tight pants.

    2. Post Go-Live Smoke*

      I never thought of Spanx for a layer of warmth. Uniqlo also makes some warming underlayers.

      Wool is a great thing for temperature regulation too, even in summer. Merino is typically soft enough for most people to wear without itching. If I’m wearing wool, it doesn’t make my hot flashes worse either, which is a big deal to me (don’t get old, it sucks). There are base layers of merino wool in tons of colors, so she can still look cute.

      I find myself wondering if she wears open-toed shoes. I have found if my feet are comfortable, the rest of me is more likely to be. For me this means wool socks which look just fine with a lot of different dress shoes. They come in all weights and often cushioned.

  14. Working*

    LW2. I must say I’m with the interviewer — I’d expect a graphic designer to have a knowledge of how to design for the web, too.

    (but not web development, which is a programming discipline)

    1. new old friend*

      I’m guessing LW2 might have gotten the two mixed up? I work in web development, and people largely have no earthy idea what that means (or that I don’t do much design…)

  15. Cabbagepants*

    #1 rather than regulating your employee’s clothing, better to just ban the space heater in whatever circumstances it doesn’t work for your office. She can choose to wear more clothing, or drink hot tea, or see a doctor about a metabolic issue… or be cold. My sympathy for her ran out when she could figure out keeping her door closed.

  16. Sanibel Island*

    LW1 reminds me of the opposite that happened to me in college. I was one of 4 roommates and one of them kept putting the thermostat to the lowest setting, which was 55 degrees. We called her the polar bear.

    She didn’t return for the spring semester.

  17. Mmm.*

    I wouldn’t say anyone needs to add extra layers before turning on a space heater. At the simplest level, it makes work harder on days when she forgets a sweater. And since the rule would need to apply to everyone, you could run into issues with people not owning or being able to afford work-appropriate layers or sensory issues causing unnecessary conversations over accommodations.

    1. Observer*

      And since the rule would need to apply to everyone, you could run into issues with people not owning or being able to afford work-appropriate layers or sensory issues causing unnecessary conversations over accommodations.

      Let’s not get into fan fic here. The idea that people won’t be able to afford reasonable work clothes, but can afford a space heater is kind of silly.

      And if someone has an disability, you look at what you can do at that point. You don’t not ask for reasonable behavior because some day you might need to accommodate someone.

      At the simplest level, it makes work harder on days when she forgets a sweater.

      That’s her problem to figure out. It’s like saying that the OP needs to keep a fully stocked kitchen with any food that their staff might need to eat, because it makes them work harder when they forger to pack lunch and snack. If you need a sweater to be comfortable in the office, then a competent adult can be expected to navigate that.

      1. Sorrischian*

        I agree with your general point that competent adults should be expected to adjust their wardrobe before adjusting a shared environment, especially with what we know about this particular employee’s situation, but “The idea that people won’t be able to afford reasonable work clothes, but can afford a space heater” isn’t as silly as it might seem. A space heater is a one-time purchase and most models are 30-50 dollars. Unless you’re very good at finding deals, a single blazer or nice cardigan might cost just as much, much less an entire warmer work wardrobe (especially as a woman, where ‘work-appropriate and dressy’ is so often mutually exclusive with ‘comfortable and warm’)

        1. Broken lightbulb*

          “especially as a woman, where ‘work-appropriate and dressy’ is so often mutually exclusive with ‘comfortable and warm’”

          Uh…No it isn’t? I tend to be cold but layers do a lot (slips and petticoats and pantyhose/tights all the way!). Which I think is where the real issue lies: we humans often think of layering our upper body, but then wear a single piece of fabric on our legs. We’re weird.

          I would also like to know where you’re shopping that tends to have space heaters at the same price as a single blazer/cardigan.

  18. SleeplessKJ*

    LW1 – I’d just like to point out that all that condensed heat and humidity can’t be good for the drywall. You might be brewing a mold problem by allowing the space heater if it’s throwing that much heat – especially in the summer months.

  19. Sam*

    So much needless hand wringing. “If I see the space heater again you’re fired”. Solved.

    It’s called management.

  20. RedinSC*

    LW2, so happy about your new job.

    It took me forever also to find a new job while burning out on my old job so hard. So, CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you enjoy your new gig.

  21. Tiara Wearing Princess*

    #1 her office is a rainforest/sauna? Isn’t OP concerned about mold?

    It’s time to ban the space heater. Utility costs, the discomfort of the rest of the office and the possible damage to the building – that thing has to go. She can close her AC vents and her office door and wear appropriate clothing. This situation is ridiculous.

  22. Coco*

    LW 2: Congratulations on your new job! I’m so very happy to see this update. I think I may have made a comment on your original post, but getting pigeonholed into entry level admin work is quite common. A good admin is invaluable. Some employers are so scared to lose a good admin, that they refuse to acknowledge or build up any skills in other areas.

  23. 72Max*

    The official recommendation for temperature-controlled HVAC is 68-72F. In fact, nearly every lease I’ve ever signed mandates using either something in that range or slightly lower. Going above 72 puts extra strain on the system and lowers its life.

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