Biglaw, Disasters / Emergencies

You’re Back At Work, But Do You Have Heat?

Manhattan is going back to work today. The power is on, pretty much. The subways are running, basically. And, well hell there’s money to be made, so get your asses to your desks.

While Staten Island is still a soggy disaster, Emperor Bloomberg has gotten the corporate centers of wealth generation back online in his “luxury city.” And so the city that never sleeps is waking up.

But just because we have power doesn’t mean there is heat. Yeah, the power is back on in SoPo, but in many places the heat isn’t yet working. (This is the case in Lat’s apartment; luckily he’s already in Nashville for an event tomorrow at Vanderbilt Law.)

So, I guess you need to be able to type with gloves on? A tipster at one Biglaw firm tells us a chilling story….

A tipster forwarded us a message about the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb. I hope Cleary lawyers really are like sharks, because they’re going to have to keep moving to stay warm today. In pertinent part:

[T]he steam network in New York City which generates heat and hot water is still not operational in Lower Manhattan making One Liberty Plaza and 22 Cortlandt significantly less comfortable than it usually is. Given these circumstances we will be resuming operations at One Liberty Plaza and 22 Cortlandt Street with several modifications to our standard procedures. We will be serving a buffet breakfast and lunch tomorrow as we continue to assess the availability of neighborhood dining options. We will also be relaxing the dress code until our heat is restored so that those who are able to join us in the office can dress comfortably.

Yeah, it’s not like heat is a big deal in New York in November.

You can read the full memo on the next page. It does sound like Cleary is doing its best for the people who are coming to the office today.

But why is the office open at all? If you have heat at home, why in the world would you want to travel to work to freeze your ass off? As our tipster explained:

To Cleary’s credit, the firm has been very accommodating during the storm (of course, they had little choice given that the office was without power until last Thursday and without subway service until Saturday, but I’m sure there was also genuine concern involved). Well, the Sandymoon is over: we’re all expected to report to One Liberty Plaza tomorrow despite the lack of heat in the building and temperatures projected in the 30s. Granted, that’s only about 20 degrees lower than they normally keep the building, but it’s still pretty chilly. They are making up for it by serving a buffet breakfast and lunch and relaxing the dress code, which is almost as good as being able to feel your fingers and toes. Given that working from home last week didn’t provide too much of an obstacle (at least for those of us with electricity), one wonders why we can’t enjoy the relaxed dress code from the comfort of our heated apartments.

Is this happening at a lot of places downtown — offices with power but no heat telling employees to come on down? It’s election season, so let’s take a vote. Then flip to the next page to check out the full Cleary email, and tell us your stories of heroic efforts to bill hours in Sandy’s aftermath.

Does your office have power, but no heat?

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