Air Conditioning Meltdown










I shivered as I walked into the office, drawing my coat around me and quickly hurrying to my desk.

         ‘Morning,’ rang the chorus, as I passed by several of my colleagues, and I half-heartedly acknowledged most of them. Well, half of them. One or two, I think.

         I slammed down in my chair, still absolutely freezing, and kept my coat wrapped around myself. It was always so damned cold in this building, even on a lovely spring morning like this! Why couldn’t they ever just leave the thermostat alone? No, every man in the building was suddenly an air conditioning technician from Canberra, intricately dialling in on the settings and tweaking the optimal airflow, with the specific goal of annoying me.

         Grumbling to myself, I flicked the mouse across my desk pad to wake the computer up. Work, the work, focus on the work, I told myself. Ignore your surroundings. Find your inner calm. Find your inner… find your… find… WAS IT GETTING COLDER?!

         I spun around in my chair, looking for the source, and felt a slight cold breeze tickle the back of my neck. I whipped my head around to the source ­­– a fully-blasted-open vent, right above my desk.

         I pushed the rage down inside me. I pushed it down deep.

         ‘Morning, Gretchen,’ Molly waved, walking past me with a company bagel. I ignored her; it was for her own safety.

         ‘Getting a little chilly, isn’t it?’ Molly said, seemingly reluctant to carry on with her life, unharmed. ‘I wish I knew how to get gas heating installed around Canberra, then I’d be set for the winter.’

         ‘It isn’t winter though, is it,’ I whispered.

         ‘What’s that now?’

         ‘This morning,’ I went on. ‘This season. It isn’t winter, is it?’

         ‘Oh,’ Molly frowned. ‘I suppose I haven’t really been keeping track—’

         ‘It’s spring!’ I roared, jumping to my feet, chair tipping over backwards. ‘It only feels like winter because somebody, somewhere, has decided that we need to be freezing in this office to get our work done!’

         Molly stared at me blankly for a second… then slowly walked away.