The Icicles Are Melting...

The weather's growing milder, the days are growing longer; we're getting back to the time of year I like best.

Yet the temperature remains low, which, in the building where I work, means we need the heat to stay on all day, which it doesn't (The building is a listed historical monument, so there are regulations limiting how it may be maintained structurally; hence, double-glazing is not an option).

We've raised the matter with our facilities management dept., in the hopes that they might do something about it, however they're keeping us in the dark as well as out in the cold, so to speak. We think it's a timer problem, since the heat comes on early in the morning and gradually cools so that by lunchtime the room is cold again, however we've been given to believe there may be 'sludge in the pipes', something of which I'm skeptical, but then I'm an interplanetary hero, Jim, not a heating engineer.

I've mentioned before the sort of adversarial relationship we have with our colleagues in building management and how, with the exception of one individual, everybody there appears to have gotten their jobs by assmosis. Nothing has changed, except that the group have increased in notoriety following a two-page spread in the company magazine with interviews where they explain what great guys they are and what great a working relationship they enjoy with all of their corporate colleagues.

And it feels petty and small-minded to keep on about it; certainly unprofessional, but I can't understand how someone who's supposed to be trained in problem management and resolution can come into an environment where a problem has been reported, examine the situation then go away without acknowledging the problem or offering an interim solution.

To put things in perspective: in January, after a particularly cold spell, the heating failed in parts of the building. A truckload of portable heaters was delivered and distributed to most areas, but perhaps there weren't enough to go around. Once the heating was repaired the portables should have been reclaimed, so that when we gave up waiting for Buildings to offer us some and went and asked (which we did) they'd have plenty to spare.

Given the size of the room, I figured we'd need at least four to evenly heat the area.

We got one.

An old, battered-looking model that, far from being able to heat a room 40 feet by 15 by 12, had trouble with 40 inches by 15 by 12 and died five minutes after we switched it on.

Happily, however, the one helpful person in Buildings was on hand and she ordered up a new batch, four of which were delivered on Friday last. We almost broke out the champagne.

My team leader emailed the manager in charge of environmental services two weeks ago asking for an update and an action plan on what Buildings propose to do to solve the problem. He has not, as yet, received a reply in any form.

If it wasn't so tragic it'd be almost funny...