From the home office

Worked from home today — also worked from home yesterday afternoon — because of a heating problem in our building. People that know what they were doing had to work in the ancient steam tunnels and that meant there was no heat on what have been the two coldest days so far this winter.

Late in the fall they went down into the tunnels to do a two day job and it turned into something like a three-week proposition. When the experts got down there they found the problem was much more extensive than they thought. We had no hot water or heat during that stretch, but at least the weather was mild.

Now, it’s bitter cold. You can almost feel it in this photo, which was essentially the look of the day.

This is not my first cold workplace environment, of course, but I sure wouldn’t mind if it was my last. I once had a studio so cold I couldn’t type. As we were taught, you faked your way into pleasantness. Never let anyone know what’s wrong on the air. This had the added benefit of making sure the boss never got repair bills from the HVAC people, too. In my last stop the newsroom and office could get just as painful. The facilities people said too few of us worked up on that third floor, so it was not a … What is the word they used? … Was it priority? They never solved that in eight winters, so, no, I don’t think priority was the word. Oh, yeah! Problem. It wasn’t a problem! And nothing was ever done, no larger complaints ever lodged, no important people ever involved, because it wasn’t a problem, because it was just a few people, you see.

Looking back, that should have been a clue.

Yesterday I had four layers on, and only four because, I figured, sitting in my office while also wearing my long coat would have been silly.

Put it this way, when we received word yesterday we could retreat to warmer conditions, and I got to the house — where my lovely bride, who was raised a frugal Connecticut yankee, manages the thermostat — it felt positively toasty in comparison.

Anyway, the people working in the mysterious steam tunnels said their work would carry over into today, so we were given the option to work from home again. This was a rare treat, indeed.

So I sat in my home office, where it was pleasant, and worked. And at the end of the work day I decided it wasn’t pleasant because I really need a new chair. I was pretty sure, but now I’m convinced. And so I found one which will arrive next week. Or sometime in 2027. It’s difficult to tell, based on this website.

It might seem counterintuitive, but do you know what you do when your backside is hurting from a worn out cheap chair that you bought 10-plus years ago? You get in the saddle.

I set an entirely pedestrian 20 mile-per-hour pace around London.

The good news, the people working in the steam tunnels got their work done today. So we’ll be back in the office tomorrow and I’ll give a silent thanks to the hardworking people that I don’t know, who kept us warm, or safe, or both. And tomorrow is good, because classes begin again on Monday. Tomorrow will be the last deep breath until the sprint to mid-March.

Deeeeep breath.

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