Air, Unconditioned

Bitter and Abused Columns, Lawyer 27 Comments

Well, it’s official: I literally work in a sweatshop.  And in the time it takes me to write this, I will have lost seven ounces of waterweight—all sweat.

It’s brutally hot outside, but it’s a damn oven in here because the guy with his name on the front door refuses to pay for us to use the central air conditioning.  He claims the unit is too small to effectively cool the entire office, it’s too leaky because the ductwork system was so poorly retrofitted into this old, piece-of-shit building and there’s not enough insulation.  We were using it fine for the first month I was here, and now it’s forbidden.  “Not efficient,” he says.

All the fixes to the problems I just explained are very, very possible.  Granted, it might cost of few dollars upfront, but the fixes are also very, very necessary.  Sorry, dude, you run a business.  You have got make the space decent enough to work.  Fix the damn AC!

But why should he do any of it? He’s got a window unit that keeps his office at a cool 71 degrees, while the rest of us in the office cook!!!

Basically, I think it’s clear to everyone now that he’s a cheap bastard/slumlord, and this is one shitlaw job. I knew things wouldn’t be great when I started here after graduating this June, but nobody told me I’d be working in blistering heat.

To make matters worse, my boss would prefer if we dressed more “office professional” around here, but he’s got another thing coming if he thinks I’m ruining my only two wool suits so I can sit around and sweat my day away.  I’ve already noticed nasty pit stains in some of my dress shirts. And I’m not exactly flush with cash to go out and buy new clothes every week.

Every time we complain, the guy will say something like, “What are you talking about? It’s just a tad warm in here.” Or, if it’s really brutal that day, he just says, “It makes you tougher.”

Yeah, right!

And before you say, “Cheer up, summer is almost over,” let me tell you were I am. Florida. 

Back to thinking cool thoughts.

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  • Jabulani

    Suck it up. You have a job. Here in South Africa very few of the shitlaw firms have aircon. Believe me its gets just as hot as FL. Get a desk fan and get rid of those wool suits.

  • BL1Y

    During the summer firms should allow alternative hours of 7:30 to 3:30 so we spend less time there during the hottest hours.  Saves the firm utilities and associate’s dry cleaning bills.  If you’re doing doc review, or due diligence, or anything that doesn’t actually require you to be there that late, why not?  Firms are too concerned about “face time” at the office, probably because it’s easier than actually managing associates.

  • Frat Guy Lawyer Type

    Here in America, people go to college and professional school so that they may work in AC.  Get the hell out of there!

  • Nelly

    It’s getting hot in here. So take of all your cloths.

  • Anonymous

    fail nelly.

  • BL1Y

    “Sweatin till my clothes come off,” from Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty would have been better.

  • manda

    I would get out there, quickly. You should have clerked, then you would know who all the crazies are before actually going to work for one of them!

  • Anon

    Fail BL1Y.  Christina, really??

  • Anonymous


  • BL1Y

    Hey now, I didn’t say it’d be good, just better than Nelly.

  • Michael

    I’ve worked in a firm like this before.  In fact, before the author said he lived in Florida, I suspected he was working for my old boss.  I even ruined a couple of shirts from pit stains as well.  Some days it was so hot in the office I couldn’t help but fall asleep.  I hate bosses like that.

  • Lily

    Gross.  That pit stain picture is gross.  Talking about pits stains is gross.  Just say it’s hot and move on.

  • KateLaw

    That situation sounds rough, but I think you probably need to stick it out while actively pursuing any and all other opportunities.  It’s a stepping stone and, while it is tortuous in the mean time, you need to hang in there until the economy recovers more or something else comes up.

  • Jerome

    I don’t think this is so bad. There were lawyers before AC. Yeah, it sucks that the guy’s boss is jerk and an AC hog, but you know what they say, if you can’t take the heat…

  • BL1Y

    …get out of the kitchen?  One problem with that: none of us went to law school to work in a kitchen.

  • Jerome

    Figure of speech.

  • Anonymous

    Are we really debating the literal and figurative meaning of “kitchen?”

  • Jerome

    I’m not. But BL1Y is Mr. Literal, I guess.

  • Gorgi

    it’s so hot that I looked like a sweaty beast today.

  • BL1Y

    Or I also meant “kitchen” metaphorically.  God, lawyers are retarded.  Have you ever interpreted anything ever before?  Long hour kitchen, check.  Neurotic boss kitchen, check.  Banker stealing your girl kitchen, check.  No AC kitchen?  Hell no.  We’ve signed up for all sorts of heat, but not literal heat.

  • esqsss

    Doesn’t the boss know he is lowering both morale and productivity to save a little money!  In this economy, you may have to tough it out for awhile, but you owe it to all in similar situations to tell the jerk that’s plain old bad management when you are safely in another job.

  • EngineerdLawyer

    Love the comments here. I agree with Mr.(I think) BL1Y here.
    Personally, rather be cold than hot. I can just pile on more clothes. I guess that’s why I am in Ann Arbor.

  • LMark

    Jerome- yes, there were lawyers before A/C, but how many were in Florida?  For that matter, how many people lived in Florida altogether before A/C?  Perhaps a few Seminoles who actually dressed for the climate?  If your boss wants you to work in the heat, he has to allow you to dress for it.

  • Guano Dubango

    I come from very warm climate, so USA is not hot for me, and I have no body odor, since I shower twice daily.  If there are women interested in me, I am available for dating.  I have LLM Degree from Georgetown and will want you to return with me to my homeland, Ghana, to meet my Aunt Ooona.

  • BL1Y

    Esqsss: Less productive associates just bill more hours.  Low morale doesn’t mean shit to this guy.

  • Laura

    Damn – can somebody get this guy an editor??  I haven’t seen this many typos since high school!

  • JoeInLA

    Two suggestions: 
    1.  Wear undershirts (the kind with short sleeves, not straps).  They will bear the brunt of any stains, leaving your dress shirts relatively unscathed.
    2.  Break his window a/c unit.  Do some research on the How Things Work website and figure out what makes an air conditioner go kablooey.  Make it subtle, of course, so he doesn’t realize it’s being vandalized.  And each time he fixes it, break it again.  He still may not end up fixing the central air, but at least he’ll be as miserable as the rest of you each time his window unit “breaks.”