Congratulations! You’ve decided to use the modern advancement of electric heating to warm the frigid, poorly insulated classroom that you teach in. This will only take several years of swimming upstream against a Dante’s Hell-esque downward spiral of bureaucracy.

First, it’s important that you accept the fact that some things in life cannot be changed. If you teach dance and it is 32 degrees in the studio, that is clearly unreasonable. However, if the pipes broke in 1984, there is literally nothing anybody can do because heat cannot be run through broken pipes. You should come to terms with this and move on with your vaguely frostbitten life. The good news is that you can use the temperature of the room to teach your students a bonus lesson about the futility of the individual’s will. In fact, the University will charge your students extra for this, because of capitalism.

Second, you can contact IT, who will put you through to Property Services, who will put you back through to IT. Whoohoo that was a fun circular romp!

Third, you can rally the troops and ask everyone in your department to complain to property services about the lack of heating. This will result in an initiative to get the timetables people to be in charge of heating. This makes some sense, because in theory they can see what is timetabled and can try to turn the heating on before any living humans are forced to occupy a room.

However, they already aren't very good at their one purpose, which is to create timetables, so it is uncertain how good they will be on the heating front. In any case, you will be told that they have this under control, but you will be left wondering: do the timetabling people know they are meant to do this? Is there a time when they are set to take over the heating? And if so, is this time now or many years in the future, after a lengthy approval process that will go on long after my death?

Fourth, it’s generally recommended to have an all-consuming existential crisis at this point. There are many very, very cold staff bathrooms on campus that you can use to look into the fading light in your eyes as you wonder what you were meant for in this life. Research? Teaching? No. The answer will be clear to you at this moment.

You were meant for one thing, and it is this, for it has always been this: to heat Room 202 from 10 AM-12 PM on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, this blissful moment of self-realization and acceptance will quickly fade as it dawns on you that by the time Room 202 is actually heated at 10 AM, the semester will be over, and you will be forced to re-enter the depths of hell again and again, getting nowhere.

Finally, it’s nice to take a long hot bath to defrost and unwind after a long, cold day of trying to get the heaters turned on and recognizing your life for the Sisyphean nightmare that it has become. Maybe tomorrow you will do the work the University originally hired you to do, which likely has something to do with teaching students.

Good luck!

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