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Take a Seat

By Bill Nicolich,

It's time for a strategic purchase. The decision I make will impact about six hours a day or more, five days a week. I need a new sitting device - better known as a chair. That highly-utilized price of office furniture is critical to the comfort level of my working life as a technology professional. Let's compare notes.

The same logic deployed by salesmen of bed mattresses could also be applied to chairs. I'm told that eight hours of my life every day is spent on the bed. So consider the small fortune it costs as an investment. Likewise I spend much of my day in a chair. Can I justify buying an expensive chair?

I've been at this career for nine years now and looking back I can't say that I've ever had an exceptional chair. In fact, most of the time I've been in older, worn-out, shabby chairs that were used by a long line of hefty predecessors of questionable hygienic habits.

Now my current chair was new three years ago when I first took this job. As far as chairs go, it was okay. I think I got it at Office Depot - and was not the most expensive chair there by far. The best part about it is the mesh back. I thought that would keep me from getting sweaty. For the most part, that worked. However, the meshy seat has long since worn out and the arm rests are shot. Today I realized it feels like I'm sitting on a plank of wood and the busted-up arm rests are uncomfortable and have ruined a couple of shirts.

Problem is, I can't ask for another chair. If I get a chair, they all need to get a chair. It will be chair anarchy. Besides, in this tough economy, there are bigger battles to fight. I want to ask for some days to go down to Orlando for some training later this year.

It looks like it's up to me to go get a new chair. Even though my own resources are pretty limited at this time, I'm considering making a major investment. One side of me thinks that I've been at this thing for too long to sit in a shabby chair all day. I've done enough of that earlier. Back then, I must have thought that sitting in a dismal chair was just part of the experience. These days I'm feeling more existential about it. it's up to me.

The minute I get a chair, one of my colleagues is likely to one-up me with some cheaper, better import chair from some cool-sounding "green" company out of San Francisco who use bamboo fiber woven by unicorns. I'm interested to hear what some of you others think about chairs in general and models in particular. What do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on your work chair?

Bill Nicolich

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