Wednesday, 20 June 2007

getting warmer

It is so hot in my office today that I have both windows open as wide as they'll go and I've removed the top four layers of clothing (down to a tshirt.)

Six weeks ago it was so chilly in here that my breath was visible and I had to wear woolen gloves and a hat and overcoat. The thermostat regulating temperature in rooms in this building is controlled by a coven of robed and malevolent Illuminati sealed inside a disused Cold War bunker several miles beneath the earth's crust and only connected to the campus by a network of weirdly wrought copper filaments. After numerous prolonged discussions with various administration people I learned that the only way to communicate with the building temperature controllers is by seance lodging an occupational health and safety Incident Report, which I duly did. In the box for describing the nature of the incident I wrote "winter." Ridiculous as it would seem, if you want somebody to do something about something, then incident reports apparently do the trick: two days later internal mail brought me a letter promising action and a brochure explaining where I could go in the University to get counselling if I experienced trauma after my Incident. I also got a visit from the Dean, first one ever - if only I'd had the presence of mind to put him on the spot about getting more money for our somewhat underfunded Austen conference. And a few days later the tundral chill magically disappeared.

The temperature has been rising ever since. I just caught a glimpse of my face reflected in the chrome shade on my desk lamp, and it's a fetching shade of crimson. I'm thirsty. Tomorrow I'll probably have to write lectures in my singlet and underpants.



14 comments:

Ampersand Duck said...

Oh noes! You upset the balance of the univer[se]ity by requesting better conditions! They will leave the heat up right through summer, at which point you will send another form stating that it's 'summer' and they will send you a brochure on 'Conquering Your Indecisiveness'.

You have no-one to blame but yourself.

Val said...

Sounds like the library...Another reason why I'm glad I retired. I am now also able to look out of a window and even, wait for it - OPEN it!

Why am I not surprised at the bureaucratic paperwork required?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Would some kind of formal written submission to the Dean about extra funding for the Austen conference help? One in which, perhaps, you imply that the Dean is the sort of classy bloke who understands the importance of Austen, which he may well be for all I know?

Srsly. Look how successful you were with the temperature.

R.H. said...

My dear I'm aware of your concerns and am upping the Austen conference by seven bucks, to get Darcy a zipper for his fly.

Hoping you appreciate this.
-Dean Robert.

R.H. said...

I've slipped the controller a fifty to turn the heating up too, and will be around tomorrow.

-Dean Robert.

Fyodor said...

You wear five layers of clothing? I know it's Melbourne, but come the feck on. Your circulation must be worse than Bangkok traffic.

Anonymous said...

*Laughing uncontrollably*
Fyodor, I'm the same. It's a chick thing. SO hangs around the house in underpants even in winter (sorry for the mental image) while I have the 5 layers on. Hang on I'll count:
Lady Di Spencer
LS T shirt
Jumper/cardigan
Jacket of some kind
Nup, that's only 4. You are seriously weird, Laura, and I am completely normal. Hooray!

CIB

lucy tartan said...

Pav, brilliant. Of course, I should submit an incident report about the JA conference funding. *smacks head*

Fyodor, yes it is Melbourne, and we love our layers.

lucy tartan said...

Crosspost, Mlle CIB.

I was counting the big furry overcoat as well. Otherwise the layers more or less correspond.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I'm just thinking back to my time in Melb, when it was indeed 'layer up or die'. Hmm -- long-sleeved thermal Lady Di Spencer; shirt/blouse/long-sleeved t-shirt; jacket/jumper/knit top; big fluffy overcoat or Burberry, depending; all-enveloping pashmina or similar big shawly scarfy thing. Boots. Gloves.

All of this, of course, availethed nought in the face of Melbourne rain, which somehow rains straight upwards from the ground, usually while one is standing at the tram stop and unable to run away to somewhere warm. Townsville, say.

Anonymous said...

The old people used to say "it's a lazy wind. It can't be buggered going around so it goes right through yer".

It's been real snow weather the last few days - icy. In which I take great pleasure after the spooky warmth of May.

CIB

R.H. said...

CIB? Is that Criminal Investigation? One hopes not,
ha ha ha!

Well look here, I've copped no response to my offer of seven bucks, so he can bloody well button it, okay? And none of you could convert a man's fly anyhow. So as from next Tuesday underwear will be standard dress for all you good looking ones. The most daring will get a DOCTORATE, straight away. All right?

-Dean Robert!
(See me in my office)

meli said...

Yikes. Sounds like our English department in Leeds. And then we had a big break-in, which meant we weren't even allowed to open the windows any more. Torture.

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