Regulate Office Temperature

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buccimane
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Regulate Office Temperature

Post by buccimane » Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm

Looking for advice on what to purchase..

Is there anything out there, besides a fan, that can cool down an office that does not have any windows? Our floor is kept at 75 degrees in the summer, and 76 in the winter.

I've looked into AC units that don't require a window, but they say they are best used in a dry heat environment. FWIW, I'm in NJ. I need something that isn't too loud either; but I don't mind something that requires me to empty/fill water.

Getting the floor temperature changed is not an option.

Any suggestions would be welcomed..
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

adamthesmythe
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon May 13, 2019 1:53 pm

To cool off a closed room, the heat needs to go somewhere. Either out the window or down the drain (there are water-cooled air conditioning units).

In a closed room, a fan doesn't cool at all, actually the mechanical energy eventually gets converted into heat and heats the room. The air movement may make you feel cooler however.

Maybe some heat sources can be removed or reduced (computers, etc.).

Mingus
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by Mingus » Mon May 13, 2019 2:05 pm

You don't really have a good option.

Either find a new job that is not in a sweat shop environment, or start drinking ice water.

ralph124cf
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by ralph124cf » Mon May 13, 2019 4:04 pm

All air conditioners work by moving heat from one place to another. They also produce waste heat as a byproduct of their motors.

If you don't mind sticking a 5" diameter hose out of your office door, and heating up the hall or other workers spaces, then there are a number of portable air-conditioner options for sale. All will require you to empty a water reservoir of two or three gallons each day.

Ralph

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greg24
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by greg24 » Mon May 13, 2019 4:20 pm

Dress lightly.

suemarkp
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by suemarkp » Mon May 13, 2019 4:50 pm

One possibility is rebalancing the HVAC system. If it is in cooling mode, you want it to dump more cool air into your office and less out on the main floor. That will cause the system to run longer to cool the floor and your office will be cooler. Some systems have a balancing damper in the cool air vent (open yours up to the max). Others have variable air volume dampers upstream somewhere, or maybe a manual damper somewhere in the duct system.

You also need to know where your return air duct is -- somewhere in your office (typically above the ceiling), or must air return through the main floor. If it only returns via the main floor, you need to undercut your door, or keep the door cracked open an inch to let the cool air entering your office leave to go back to the air conditioner and get cooled again. If you block the return path, cool air flow into your office will be restricted.

Is your floor part of a large company that has its own on-site HVAC service personnel? If so, they may be able to make your office cooler through a balancing adjustment. If not, you may want to investigate your ceiling vent and see if it has a damper you can open further (it may take some googling of the vent if you can see the manufacturer's make/model to see if they are fixed or adjustable).

My wife's school has a worse problem -- the system is undersized and all classrooms are too hot. In theory, more air could be diverted to her classroom, but that will just make all the others hotter. So you need to know if the system is maxxed out, or improperly zoned/balanced.
Mark | Kent, WA

rgs92
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by rgs92 » Mon May 13, 2019 5:09 pm

Could you ask to work from home because of this? It's a quasi-health-related issue. I wonder if you could even get a doctor's note. 75 degrees (F) is way above normal and is not acceptable. I could not stand it. I feel, for me, it could lead to respiratory problems.

Maybe they could find you a better office.

If I was in that position, I would see a doctor and tell him (truthfully) it was interfering with my breathing, which would happen to me. It's serious. It's ventilation-related.

I'm the last person to complain to an employer about frivolous work-related things like annoying co-workers or fairness issues or the like, but this is different and I would consider it abuse and an unhealthy work environment.

I feel they should do something to accommodate you.

bhsince87
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by bhsince87 » Mon May 13, 2019 5:40 pm

I've seen electrically (Peltier) cooled seats for cars and trucks, but don't know of any available for indoor use.

There's a new device out that works on the same principles, but attaches to your wrist. Might be worth a try.

$300. https://embrlabs.com/
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One Ping
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by One Ping » Mon May 13, 2019 5:56 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:40 pm
I've seen electrically (Peltier) cooled seats for cars and trucks, but don't know of any available for indoor use.

There's a new device out that works on the same principles, but attaches to your wrist. Might be worth a try.

$300. https://embrlabs.com/
Wow. Cool ... :wink:
"Re-verify our range to target ... one ping only."

bhsince87
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by bhsince87 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:20 pm

One Ping wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:56 pm
bhsince87 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:40 pm
I've seen electrically (Peltier) cooled seats for cars and trucks, but don't know of any available for indoor use.

There's a new device out that works on the same principles, but attaches to your wrist. Might be worth a try.

$300. https://embrlabs.com/
Wow. Cool ... :wink:
Or HOT!
Retirement: When you reach a point where you have enough. Or when you've had enough.

flymolosd
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by flymolosd » Mon May 13, 2019 10:40 pm

I emphathize as I have a similar issue occasionally with my workplace temperature. One option to look into are personal cooling vests. The one I purchased was from a company called First Line Tech but there are probably quite a few other options out there these days. The best ones are not cheap because they use blocks of some sort of proprietary phase change material (others use ice but didn't seem to last as long and I wanted to avoid the mess). They're also not the most attractive things, although they can be worn under clothing. Mine lasts 3-4 hours and can be 'recharged' by 15 mins in the refrigerator.

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buccimane
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by buccimane » Tue May 14, 2019 11:44 am

flymolosd wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:40 pm
One option to look into are personal cooling vests. The one I purchased was from a company called First Line Tech but there are probably quite a few other options out there these days.
This might work well.. Hadn't thought of this!
bhsince87 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:40 pm
I've seen electrically (Peltier) cooled seats for cars and trucks, but don't know of any available for indoor use.

There's a new device out that works on the same principles, but attaches to your wrist. Might be worth a try.

$300. https://embrlabs.com/
I like this idea a lot, but I do feel as though I shouldn't have to spend that much money to have a normal temperature.
rgs92 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:09 pm
If I was in that position, I would see a doctor and tell him (truthfully) it was interfering with my breathing, which would happen to me. It's serious. It's ventilation-related.
I'd be hesitant to try this method. It is hot because everyone (20+ people) on this floor like its to be that hot. I am the minority for sure, and wouldn't want to ruffle feathers.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

deikel
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by deikel » Tue May 14, 2019 2:50 pm

rgs92 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:09 pm
It's a quasi-health-related issue. I wonder if you could even get a doctor's note. 75 degrees (F) is way above normal and is not acceptable. I could not stand it. I feel, for me, it could lead to respiratory problems.
That is not true. 75 is well within normal range.

OSHA: 'The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t require employers to maintain specific temperatures in the workplace. The agency recognizes that a 75-degree Fahrenheit office might be comfortable for one employee, but intolerable for another. To protect employees from having to work in uncomfortable temperatures, OSHA recommends that employers keep the thermostat between 68 and 78 degrees. OSHA regulations do kick in, however, when temperatures are so severe that they could lead to heat stress, hypothermia or other dangerous conditions. People who take medication are at greater risk for temperature-related health problems.'

If OP does have a health condition it might be worthwhile checking with a doctor, but if is just a question of temperature preference (especially between male and female co-workers) then you are out of luck.

Having said that, I find it easier to adjust to colder temperatures by adding layers vs adjusting to higher temperatures ...so your employer might be smarter to make the room cooler on the recommended spectrum, but it probably is a cost question for cooling in summer.
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ReadyOrNot
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by ReadyOrNot » Tue May 14, 2019 3:47 pm

Why not a fan? There are plenty of small, quiet, effective ones; could plug into USB port, etc. Your computer probably already runs a noisier fan.
Otherwise, if you have an office refrigerator or water cooler, you could keep a cold water bottle around to cool your hands on or maybe an ice pack. Fan air over ice pack?
Last edited by ReadyOrNot on Tue May 14, 2019 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by unclescrooge » Tue May 14, 2019 3:48 pm

greg24 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:20 pm
Dress lightly.
+1
speedos and tank tops.

rj342
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by rj342 » Tue May 14, 2019 4:26 pm

Really not sure why a fan is not an option -- the poster did NOT say the room was had no ventilation, merely that it is maintained at a temp a bit warmer than he likes.

Use a fan. It is true the fan does not cool the air temperature, but it cools *you* by moving more air over you.
Even 76 is a lot cooler than 98, so moving the air can make you feel as cool, or even cooler, than 72 still air. This is cooling by convection.

InMyDreams
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by InMyDreams » Tue May 14, 2019 9:08 pm

I bought an "ice blanket" when I was driving one very hot summer with car a/c
http://www.rubbermaid.com/en-US/flexible-ice-blanket

I just rested my back against it while I was driving.

megabad
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by megabad » Tue May 14, 2019 10:15 pm

As others have stated, at 75 degrees, you should probably be simply using a personal fan and dressing lightly (unless you are suit and tie office). If you want overkill, you could get a swamp cooler. They are cheap, but don't work as well if the humidity is high. If you want way overkill, but a portable water cooled air conditioner as someone else suggested. But if you are allowed to run these things, my guess is you would have enough power to just turn the HVAC down.

FYI, if you had anything other than a fan going at my megacorp, you would immediately be informed to remove it or be fired. That said, the vast majority of my office would be very unhappy at 75. My usual philosophy is it is easier to get warm than get cool, so I usually set it at 72 (I have control, but this is actually pretty cold for me). When someone complains it is too cool, I give them a company logo sweatshirt for free and say "you're welcome".

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Watty
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by Watty » Tue May 14, 2019 11:56 pm

It would be good to get a thermometer and measure the temperature where you are sitting. Computers and other equipment can put off a lot of heat and it may be warmer than at the thermostat on the other side of the room. A fan would help spread the heat around and even in a warm room a fan will help cool you through evaporation.

I don't have any specific recommendations but they make venated seat cushions and backrests that would help keep air circulating when you are sitting down.

Some people find that eating spicy food will help them cool off since it may dilate their blood vessels some.

RetiredAL
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by RetiredAL » Wed May 15, 2019 12:02 am

Several people are out thinking themselves. Apply KISS principles.

Someplace there is a temp sensor on a wall or support pillar. It may be a non-display remote sensor type and most certainly will be connected to a managed multi-zone controller. Put a table or bookcase under that sensor. On it, place a lamp with a small incandescence bulb under/near the sensor. The heat from this lamp will bias the air a few degrees warmer to fool the temp controller into supplying cooler air to that zone. Adjust the lamp position and/or bulb wattage for the amount of bias you want. As long as you don't go hog wild and bias the area to a meat locker temp, the facility people will remain happy since their fancy controller says the temp is right on "their" set-point. This biasing will even work with conventional thermostats that we all are familiar with.

Functionally, this is how the "anticipator" works in your home thermostat to keep your heater from overshooting it's set-point. It does it by using a small heater resistor in the thermostat to bias the temp reading to account for the thermal lag of the thermostat and/or wall it's mounted to.

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buccimane
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by buccimane » Wed May 15, 2019 7:59 am

ReadyOrNot wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:47 pm
Why not a fan? There are plenty of small, quiet, effective ones; could plug into USB port, etc. Your computer probably already runs a noisier fan.
Otherwise, if you have an office refrigerator or water cooler, you could keep a cold water bottle around to cool your hands on or maybe an ice pack. Fan air over ice pack?
I do have a USB fan running at all times. Unfortunately, it isn't enough.. My office is not well ventilated. It also doesn't help that I set my home to 69 degrees.
Watty wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 11:56 pm
but they make venated seat cushions and backrests that would help keep air circulating when you are sitting down.
I think this is the option I'm going to move forward with for the time being.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

lazydavid
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by lazydavid » Wed May 15, 2019 8:23 am

RetiredAL wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 12:02 am
Several people are out thinking themselves. Apply KISS principles.

Someplace there is a temp sensor on a wall or support pillar. It may be a non-display remote sensor type and most certainly will be connected to a managed multi-zone controller. Put a table or bookcase under that sensor. On it, place a lamp with a small incandescence bulb under/near the sensor. The heat from this lamp will bias the air a few degrees warmer to fool the temp controller into supplying cooler air to that zone. Adjust the lamp position and/or bulb wattage for the amount of bias you want. As long as you don't go hog wild and bias the area to a meat locker temp, the facility people will remain happy since their fancy controller says the temp is right on "their" set-point. This biasing will even work with conventional thermostats that we all are familiar with.
At an old job I did this, but it was extra convenient because the sensors were wireless and attached by a simple clip. So when it was too hot in the office, one of us would set the sensor on top of our CRT monitor. When it was too cold, we'd put it in our desk drawer. Worked out nicely. :)
buccimane wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:59 am
I do have a USB fan running at all times. Unfortunately, it isn't enough.. My office is not well ventilated. It also doesn't help that I set my home to 69 degrees.
Get an AC-powered fan. USB ports are typically capped at 2.5 watts. I have the Vornado Flippi V8 on my desk at work, and it works really well for me on low. Way too noisy on high. I just disabled the oscillation feature (there's a switch on the back) and have it pointed at my face. According to the sticker, it's 27.6 watts, or about 12x as much as you can get from a USB port.

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tadamsmar
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by tadamsmar » Wed May 15, 2019 9:15 am

If there is a bulk ice dispenser in your office, you could use one of these or similar:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/603150517/ ... gJIn_D_BwE

GrowthSeeker
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by GrowthSeeker » Wed May 15, 2019 9:22 am

OP: if you tell us a little more, we might be able to figure out a hack.
Is there a thermostat in your office, and you're just not supposed to change it? Or no thermostat? Is just your room hot or is it everyone's?

I'm assuming this the work place and you can't do things like "drill a hole in the wall" or use a window AC unit and pipe the exhaust outside your door into the hallway. btw, FWIW, there ARE window AC units that do not require emptying the water reservoir: they mostly have two hoses one sucking air from outside and one blowing exhaust out the window; the outside air does not go into the room; the machine also sucks air from the room and blows it back out into the room; the exhaust to outside takes the heat and most of the water by evaporation. If you run these in dehumidifier mode, then you DO have to empty the reservoir. But you probably can't use this at your workplace, so it's a bit off topic, I apologize, I just wanted to set the record straight on emptying the water bucket.

And while a fan doesn't remove any heat from the whole room, it removes heat from you by evaporating some of the perspiration.

There are some "lifehack" type A/C hacks based on using ice in a bucket and a fan or plastic water bottles frozen and placed near a fan. Google A/C hacks.
{Ah, I see tadamsmar just beat me to it above}
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

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dm200
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by dm200 » Wed May 15, 2019 9:57 am

buccimane wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm
Looking for advice on what to purchase..
Is there anything out there, besides a fan, that can cool down an office that does not have any windows? Our floor is kept at 75 degrees in the summer, and 76 in the winter.
I've looked into AC units that don't require a window, but they say they are best used in a dry heat environment. FWIW, I'm in NJ. I need something that isn't too loud either; but I don't mind something that requires me to empty/fill water.
Getting the floor temperature changed is not an option.
Any suggestions would be welcomed..
Is this a private office/room where you have complete control of what goes on there? Is the space enclosed - such as a solid door?

If the high humidity is causing the problem, then a dehumidifier might help. The problem, though, is that a dehumidifier heats the area - and the temperature might go up.

Fans can often help a lot. Try different types and sizes.

Good luck!

OKC
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by OKC » Wed May 15, 2019 11:29 am

I love a cold office (68 degrees). At my old office, I had a thermostat in my room; however, it was permanently set to 72 degrees and I couldn't change it. My solution? I bought a huge box of HotHands hand warmers. Every morning I would tape one under the thermostat to confuse it. The result was cold blasting air all day long. It cost me about $100 per year and worth every penny.

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FlyAF
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by FlyAF » Wed May 15, 2019 11:33 am

OKC wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:29 am
I love a cold office (68 degrees). At my old office, I had a thermostat in my room; however, it was permanently set to 72 degrees and I couldn't change it. My solution? I bought a huge box of HotHands hand warmers. Every morning I would tape one under the thermostat to confuse it. The result was cold blasting air all day long. It cost me about $100 per year and worth every penny.
LOL, brilliant

RollTide31457
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by RollTide31457 » Wed May 15, 2019 11:44 am

Room temperature should be between 65 to 68 deg F

Spirit Rider
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed May 15, 2019 3:40 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:44 am
Room temperature should be between 65 to 68 deg F
Maybe if it is wintertime, 68 downstairs during the day and 60 at night. Bedrooms 64 at night and 56 during the day.

Summer time, 75 downstairs during the day and 80 at night. Bedrooms 72 at night and 77 during the day.

This just goes to show you how different people are. To me, 75 is very comfortable compared to 80s and 90s outside. I can't see it needing to be colder inside unless you are a penguin.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by deltaneutral83 » Wed May 15, 2019 4:18 pm

buccimane wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:09 pm
Looking for advice on what to purchase..

Is there anything out there, besides a fan, that can cool down an office that does not have any windows? Our floor is kept at 75 degrees in the summer, and 76 in the winter.

I've looked into AC units that don't require a window, but they say they are best used in a dry heat environment. FWIW, I'm in NJ.
Your office is in Jersey and the decision was made to keep the thermostat at 76 in the winter ??? That's 3 degrees above unreasonable for wintertime.

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JPH
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by JPH » Wed May 15, 2019 6:05 pm

I had a similar problem once. I called the maintenance department. They came up and took an accurate reading of the room air temperature and found it too high. So they made an adjustment to the air handling system, not the thermostat. Do you know the true temperature of your room air? Is it really 75 degrees?
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buccimane
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Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Post by buccimane » Thu May 16, 2019 10:36 am

GrowthSeeker wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:22 am
OP: if you tell us a little more, we might be able to figure out a hack.
Is there a thermostat in your office, and you're just not supposed to change it? Or no thermostat? Is just your room hot or is it everyone's?
There is a thermostat- locked by maintenance. It regulates temp on the entire floor. Everyone else is comfortable with the high temperatures, or silent about their discomfort.
Spirit Rider wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:40 pm
Maybe if it is wintertime, 68 downstairs during the day and 60 at night. Bedrooms 64 at night and 56 during the day.

Summer time, 75 downstairs during the day and 80 at night. Bedrooms 72 at night and 77 during the day.

This just goes to show you how different people are. To me, 75 is very comfortable compared to 80s and 90s outside. I can't see it needing to be colder inside unless you are a penguin.
^^ you may be one of my coworkers.
JPH wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:05 pm
I had a similar problem once. I called the maintenance department.
I call maintenance to tell them it is too hot, someone else will call 30min later to say it is too cold. Now they just leave it hot.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

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