I absolutely cannot stand fluorescent overhead lights. Walking into the office when it’s still dark outside, whether it’s during the winter or on those sporadic moments of overachievement, and getting blasted in the face by an illuminated onslaught of garish awfulness is right up there on my list of office pet peeves. It is an instant, horrible reminder that I am trapped in the cubicle farm, my world neither lit by calming lamps of home nor the sun of the warm outdoors.
To make matters worse, my office has automatic fluorescent overhead lights in a shoddy effort to curb electricity use. While I suppose it does prevent people from forgetting to turn their lights off, it also makes sure to illuminate the entire office anytime someone walks by, even if that person would only turn on one light by choice. Automation also turns the lights off on you if you sit still too long, forcing you to wave your hands around like an idiot.
You might file this complaint under pointless office annoyances, but it is actually much worse than that. An About.com aggregate of internet sources tells me that fluorescent overhead lighting has been linked to:
•Problems sleeping, due to melatonin suppression
•Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression
•Endocrine disruption and poor immune systems
•Female hormonal/menstrual cycle disruption
•Increases in breast cancer rates and tumor formation
•Stress/Anxiety, due to cortisol suppression
•Sexual development/maturation disruption
•Agoraphobia (anxiety disorder)
Read through that list for a moment. Migraines? Menstrual cycle disruption? Depression? Obesity? Anxiety? Cancer? Some of you have probably fantasized about killing your bosses, but in the meantime, they are slowly killing you.
It’s time to take a stand. Go around your office today, stand on your chair, unscrew all of the lightbulbs in the ceiling, and smash them into obliteration. Shout down your oppressors. Punch out the maintenance man. Go from floor to floor, office to office, and rise up against the illumination overlords. Only then will you get fired and be able to enjoy either the midday sun or soothing lamplight of your home.