An astute friend spotted this article a few weeks back (also from the Times) which discussed the temperature in New York City’s public libraries. As you will read, in Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island, there are contracts which promise compensation to library employees for any periods of time that the temperature falls below 68º. I am not making this up.
When the reporter went around to a few library branches to check their actual temps, he found they ranged from 73 to 79º. I cannot imagine trying to stay awake reading a book in a room artificially heated to almost 80. For that I would demand comp time!
Also in this article we learn that the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers “suggests buildings maintain temperatures of 67 to 82 degrees for ‘comfort purposes.’ ” 82? For reals? The only voices of reason quoted are the government of the UK, which describes “reasonable” workplace temperatures as “at least 16 degrees Celsius, or a hair below 61 degrees Fahrenheit”, and President Jimmy Carter who asked us all to turn our thermostats down to no higher than 65 by day, and “much lower” at night. Where did this sensibility go?