Friday, February 24, 2006

Chair-ity

I sent out a mass e-mail earlier this week and immediately regretted it. As I often find myself doing lately, I realized moments after sending it that it would probably have been a good post topic (well, let's not fool myself here: an adequate post topic), and I'm generally pretty hard up for things to write about as of late. Well, nothing better really presented itself between then and now, so to those of you who received the aforementioned e-mail, I apologize in advance for revisiting the topic. The only other thing I could think of to write about was why I hate the Olympics, and that would just be me bitching about missing a few TV shows and expressing my distaste for watching effeminate men dance. How can something involving two sharp metal blades be so interminably boring?

In any case, moving on-- I got a new chair. It was wheeled into my office earlier this week (Tuesday afternoon, perhaps?), and I've been luxuriating in space-age comfort ever since. I'm not sure what I did to deserve said chair, unless they hand out free chairs here for looking angry and exhausted (if so, I'm going to need a bigger office), but I'm very pleased to have it. The chair I had before this was fairly comfortable, and rests solidly on the upper half of the office chair spectrum (I've had much worse chairs before), but it squeaked embarrassingly loudly whenever I did anything to move it. You know, things like swiveling, reclining, typing, breathing, or blinking. Sometimes I think it would squeak when I wasn't doing anything, just to amuse itself. However, as everyone knows, there's no sound in space, so my new chair is blessedly quiet. The old chair is still sitting against the far wall, though, silently mocking me with remembered terrors, staring at my back with demonic intent, threatening to squeak every time I so much as glance at it. You no longer have any power over me, chair! Space-chair is here now! I don't need you! YOU HEAR ME!?

*cough*

Well, demon-spawned chairs wrought of pure evil aside, the new chair is very nifty. It's kind of ugly, but its ugliness is entirely functional, and, given the choice, I'd much rather have a comfortable chair than a pretty one. The seat, rather than being solid, as convention would dictate, is a fine but strong mesh of some sort that slowly conforms to your body over time. Similarly, the back is made of a hard but flexible plastic full of holes that bends to fit your back with extended use. Besides this process of long-term corformation, the other idea behind both the holes and the mesh is that they allow your body to breathe. I can't speak for anyone else, but I generally breathe out my mouth, not my back and ass. The back and the seat are also independently moving parts, and as you recline or tilt the back, the seat slides in such a way as to keep the various back and seat settings consistent through your full range of motion.

And it's in the variety of settings that this chair really shines. Starting with the aforementioned mesh seat, it can be raised and lowered, and extended to become larger, via a rolling extension at the front that can be rolled up and out or down and in to varying degrees. The back has a separate lumbar support attached in behind that can be raised or lowered and loosened or tightened to give your back whatever strength and location of support that you want (although, admittedly, I wish it was able to go just a teensy bit higher). The tilt range of the chair can specified by limits to the tilt's forward and backward motion, and the ease of recline (and consequently, the support felt while reclining) can be adjusting using a tension knob. Finally, the arms of the chair can be individually adjusted in three different ways: height, angle, and width (distance from each other).

So, yeah, it's a comfortable chair, and an expensive one too, I should imagine. However, I think that it'll go a long way towards making work a more enjoyable experience. I'm certainly happy with it so far, and I can be pretty picky when it comes to chairs. I'm one of those people who'll walk into a conference room (or classroom, living room, etc.), choose a chair, and, if I feel that it's lacking in quality, steal one of the chairs next to me at the first opportunity. When I was working Sundays at Evention for a while, the first thing I'd do after I got there was roll one of the nice chairs from the conference room down the hall to my desk and use it as my office chair for the day.

In other back-pampering news, I'll be having an ergonomic evaluation this afternoon. All of the recent hires are getting them, and I suspect they're meant to function as protection against lawsuits relating to the development of back problems or carpal tunnel syndrome. I'm not sure what precisely this evaluation involves, but it's scheduled to take place in my office for a whole hour, and I suspect it may simply entail a person sitting in my office with a notepad or form and watching me work for an hour. However, I desperately hope that I'm wrong in this instance, since I get incredibly nervous when someone watches me do anything, and the possibility of someone staring intently at my back for an hour while I work causes me no end of trepidation and doesn't bode well for the quality of the work I'll be doing this afternoon. Apparently, depending on the results of this evaluation, I could be looking at a number of office alterations, from a new keyboard/mouse setup to a new chair or a new desk height. Frankly, I'd rather just avoid all of the hassle, but since I suspect that I may have gotten my chair in preparation for this evaluation, I'll struggle through it somehow.

Wish me luck. And if I don't make it, avenge my death! I think beating someone with a chair would be the appropriate reprisal.

[Unrelated but exciting link: Classic Sierra adventure game compilations! Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry? I am DOWN with that.]

6 Comments:

Anonymous Craig said...

Glad to see my tax dollars are going to a worthy cause.

Friday, February 24, 2006 1:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Aiden said...

I want your old evil chair, we could plot your demise...



On a side note, that random text you have to write to post your comments is "tvkid" i think it was meant for you jordan.

Friday, February 24, 2006 1:29:00 PM  
Anonymous vern said...

I've heard of some sort of good quality chair which sounds like the one you have. If it's not the same brand as the one I've heard of, then it's gotta be a knock-off or an improvement or something.

Monday, February 27, 2006 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. I think the site should be called "Bramble's Rambles". It has more of an old arcade game name sound to it.

2. Where's the chair update? I was hoping to read what happened in your "ergonomic evaluation". Do you have to use wrist splints? What about some sort of back brace?

Thursday, March 02, 2006 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jordan said...

Your cloak of anonymity shrouds you in mystery.

In any case, the ergonomic evaluation was so disappointingly uneventful that I thought it not worth bothering to relate. She took a bunch of measurements of me, my desk, the items on it, my chair, etc. and then concluded that my office was very well set-up. The only changes she recommended were bringing my monitor a couple inches closer and getting a different type of keyboard tray. My desk is apparently 1/4 inch lower than it should be, but she decided not to change it for the moment.

I received a formal 5-page write-up summarizing this several days later, relating these recommendations to my boss. I love government.

Friday, March 03, 2006 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks.

I feel satisfied knowing "the rest of the story".

Thursday, April 13, 2006 3:47:00 PM  

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