The Office Thermostat and Eat Candy Until You (Almost) Puke

Back when I worked in an office, I was jealous of a certain group of people.

Not the CEOs.  Not HR.  Certainly not the IT guys.

Those poor IT guys.  They were like Scotty or Geordi in Star Trek.  Everyone else on the Starship Enterprise is sort of hanging out looking cool in their polyester stretch pants, but the poor guys in Engineering were always running around getting sweaty.  They were constantly being asked to do something impossible, preferably before lunch.  “How about if we get Geordi to make it so we can go back in time and kill John Connor’s mother before he’s even born?!”  “Yeah!  That’s a great idea!  Geordi, you get right on that, ‘k?”

No, I wasn’t jealous of IT.

I was jealous of the Maintenance Guys.

Maintenance Guys in office buildings will never have to worry about unemployment.  As long as the office thermostat is encased in its bullet proof box with a retina scan lock, Maintenance Guys will always be around.

Can you imagine if employers left those thermostats open to the employees to change on a whim?  If they did, the employees might actually be comfortable enough to take naps.  It’s really hard to sleep when you can’t feel your fingers, or are drenched in sweat.

In order to keep down on the costs of having to hire extra Maintenance Guys, there was a rule in our office.  Maintenance Guys would change a thermostat temperature no more than twice a week.  So, for half of the week we froze, and the other half we sweated.  Both methods are excellent ways to lose weight.  Freezing=shivering=burning calories.  Sweating=losing water weight.

Other than changing the thermostat temperature, the Maintenance Guys also changed lightbulbs and…uh…well, I think that’s all they did.  I never saw them do anything except change the thermostat and the lightbulbs.

And it looked like such a fulfilling job.  Puttering around with their ladders, opening the ceiling tiles and changing those bulbs.  Carefree.  Stressfree.  Satisfying.  A job well done.

Turns out that I was right.  It is satisfying!

As you know, my project for next year is to learn Handyman Things Around the House.  Darling Husband putters around the house doing handyman things.  Twenty years into this marriage, and I’m just now noticing the vast number of handyman things he does and I want in on the action.  For one thing, it looks like fun, and for another thing, I’ve realized that I’m pretty lame about basic home maintenance.  Honestly, I didn’t figure out how to change the thermostat in my house until about 5 years ago.

In my defense, there are five of them and they all belong to different heating systems and different vents or baseboard elements.  It’s very complex.  I had to make a schematic.  If this was the Starship Enterprise, it would have been a holographic schematic.

This past week has afforded me the opportunity to do some handyman things I would normally pass off to Darling Husband.  I repaired a broken flashlight, tightened the toilet paper holder, wheelbarrowed the Christmas tree into the backyard, repainted some chipped paint, and repaired a wooden sign with wire and needle nosed pliers.

It’s all been very satisfying.  So much so, that I’m wondering if Darling Husband is going to easily give up his satisfying Handyman tasks…


Picture of the Day.


We made our annual Gingerbread House today.

How to make a Gingerbread House:


Graham crackers

2 things of frosting

All the candy in the house.

Step one:  using your fingers, spread the frosting on the graham crackers.  Lick fingers clean.

Step two:  using a spatula, spread the frosting around the base of the house, to make a snowy yard.  Lick spatula clean.

Step three:  open all the candy packages.  Alternate between putting a piece of candy on the house and eating a piece of candy.

Continue until either all the candy is gone or until Boy10 (who does have mild pneumonia!  Poor baby!) announces, “I don’t feel so well…I think I might throw up.”

Voila!  You’re done!

Place the Gingerbread House by the answering machine (if you own that most ancient of technologies), so that for the next week every time you listen to the messages, you can swipe the tiniest bit of frosting off the house and eat it.

Discard house after 7 days.



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