Chairs Should Not Have Wheels

Okay folks, I’ve decided: chairs should not have wheels.

Wheels belong on cars, bicycles, and baby carriages.

imagesWhat a wonderful invention: the wheel. A beautiful, perfect circle, having frictioned contact with a horizontal surface. Wheels are great for making things move at really high speeds, like infants in baby carriages being pushed through crowds by mothers who are trying to catch a bus.

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 11.29.15 AMChairs are things that people put their asses on in order to do work, rest, or eat dinner. Chairs function well when they remain in a single place. While eating dinner, one expects not to move to another part of the room (unless the mustard needs to be retrieved from the fridge). While participating in a meeting, one can achieve optimal results by remaining in a specific place. In short, chairs work best when they are not in motion.

Hyperactivity + Chair + Wheels = Disaster

executive-ergonomic-chairPerhaps I despise wheeled chairs because I’m a fidgety person. I can never stay still. So, if you put me in a chair that thinks it’s a vehicle, there is a strong likelihood that I will end up on the other side of the room within five minutes. If it is one of those chairs that spins, I am likely to end up rotating against my will. This happens often when I stretch my feet out to look at my shoes: I notice a slight dizzy feeling, and then when I look up, I m surprised to be looking at a wall, instead of the faces of the other people in the room.

The Dreaded Ergonomics “Expert”

I once worked in a company that was flush from the dot.com bubble. They hired an ergonomics expert to recommend chairs for all the employees. We’re talking expensive chairs here: chairs that have levers for changing height and incline, high-tech wheels, and adjustable arm-rests. These chairs were absolutely frightening.

images-1The ergonomics expert and I had a heated argument about what kind of chair I “needed”. I was trying to convince her to get me a chair similar to the one shown in the illustration at right. She was not having any of it. She was convinced that I would be better served by being buckled into an absolute monster. I told her that I could easily get my fingers caught in the complicated machinery, or that my computer power chord would get tangled up in the wheels, of which there were FIVE.

Somehow, I was able to get rid of her, and I think it is because she began to fear me. After the other employees got their fancy chairs, it took them a while to get used to seeing me sitting on a piece of plywood supported by cinderblocks. Eventually they got used to it. And I was able to get a lot of work done.

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A Theory of Grumptitude

I have been called “grumpy” at times.

From my perspective, as the person inside of the grump bubble, I have only this to say:

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Likewise, if no one is around to witness my grumptitude, am I actually grumpy?

Answer: NO. Grumptitude is an observed phenomenon.

Oftentimes my grumptitude is simply a product of my not wanting to interact with others. Not because I hate people, not because I’m mean, reclusive, anti-social, or anything like that…in fact, I am generally quite cheerful, social, and people-oriented.

Unless I’m not.

There are times when one needs a bit of down-time… some “me” time.┬áHaving introspective time to oneself is a way of finding balance. It’s a way of allowing whatever moods and thoughts and feelings inside to stir naturally, without distractions. It is a balancing and realignment period. A period of self-reaffirming.

For me, there are times when the germs of a creative idea are asking to be given a chance to emerge from the subconscious. I sense this need, even through I may not realize what is causing it. All I know is that at these times I have no desire to generate language for anyone who exists outside of my brain. And so I close down, become unresponsive, and let my internal world germinate whatever it is that needs to germinate.

Now, have I convinced you that I am not a grump?

I don’t think it’s possible. Because from any perspective other than my own, I’m the Grumpmeister.┬áSolution? Simple. Go away. You and I both will notice that my grumptitude will disappear as soon as you’re gone.

Chances are, when you come back, my batteries will be recharged and I’ll be ready to party.