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Dear Webby
Baby, it's cold inside

Dear Webby,

If I didn't have 20 years in this job I'd quit today.

Since the price of gas has gone up my employer keeps the thermostat way down. I, as well as several other women, are freezing.

The "macho" men will not join us in our complaint. I know if they did he'd listen.

Working Woman

Dear fellow Working Woman,

Webby has received many letters this winter about arguments concerning the temperature. In fact she is also sending a reply to a senior couple (see ClevelandSeniors.com) with the same complaint. Webby hopes you don't have to fight this battle at home too.

The high prices this winter are causing some unreasonable reactions and a lot of short tempers.

Do you know the temperature in your building? If indeed it is too low you and the other women should explain to your employer that it's just too cold to do your work at the level of quality you and they expect.

In addition, express your concern about getting sick and possibly missing work. Don't make it sound like a threat, as in - turn up the heat or we don't show up because we are "sick."

If you can do nothing about it dress as warmly as possible. Maybe if he sees some of you wearing coats he'll be shamed into action or at least take the hint. Can you use small heaters? Do you have a hot coffee machine? If you're at a desk job get up and walk around occasionally to warm your bones.

Webby is assuming that you don't have an intermediary to assist - a union steward, a corporate HR department or the like. If so, they would be a natural place to turn. You will probably need to repeat some of these actions (in reverse) when July arrives and the penny-pincher won't run the air conditioner.

But Webby sense there are other issues besides the temperature. It appears there may be an Us vs Them scenario between the office Women and Men that can not provide a healthy or happy work environment. Maybe that should be worked on first.

Some men can be such a pain and Webby bets some of them are freezing also. Instead of the macho "me not cold, me man" attitude can you ask for their "manly" help in approaching the boss? Tell them you realize they are not cold but you really want their support.

In the meantime, Webby suggests you take care of yourself and your little area as best you can and count the days till spring.

Webby is now going to march around the building and see if she can warm up. These gas prices are ridiculous!


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