Mood Lighting

The older I get, the more I need to rely on good lighting. As it is, I have to wear glasses to read and to work on my computer.

But they aren’t any good without adequate lighting. At home, I control all the lighting choices, so I’ve converted all our incandescent bulbs to fluorescent or LED. At the office, however, I am at the mercy of our building maintenance crews.

First of all, those guys always are responsive to our needs. Anytime we need something fixed, someone places a call and, in no time, this great team responds. These guys are service-oriented and genuinely friendly. In some ways, they may be too accommodating for my own good.

Last week, a couple of the fluorescent bulbs in the light fixture over my desk went out. While I have a large sliding glass door comprising one of my office walls, the lack of overhead light nearly can render me blind. I asked our front desk to contact building maintenance to replace the bulbs in my office.

I had a luncheon to attend, so when they arrived I gave them quick instruction and let them have at it. As I was driving back, I anticipated being able to see in my office again, and although it’s a small thing, I was pretty happy about it.

Little did I know that they switched to a new line of replacement bulbs with increased intensity.

Yeah, intensity equivalent to the sun. As I approached my office, white light was pouring out of the doorway, and as I walked in, I literally had to squint my eyes because the lighting was that bright — and this was daytime. As I sat at my desk, the overhead glare was making it nearly impossible for me to see anything. As people walked into my office, they had to shield their eyes.

I was thinking that either it was too bright or they could see through my clothes, both reasons for not wanting to look. They joked about me having my own tanning salon and that I should be wearing sunscreen SPF 1,000. Pretty funny, but I actually was getting a headache. I asked maintenance to come back to remove the bulbs. They were busy, but would be by later. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I donned a pair of sunglasses just so I could get some work done.

Just as I did that, someone from another office walked in to speak to me. I didn’t offer an explanation for the shades, but as he walked out, I heard him say to someone, “Wow, Ron’s really let this celebrity columnist thing go to his head.”