A few weeks ago the folks here at TechRepublic were told we were getting new office chairs. The chairs arrived, but before we were allowed to have them we were required to attend a short seminar on how to operate them. Apparently, an office full of programmers, engineers, writers, and editors could not be trusted with the deeply complex world of ergonomics. So we all signed up for a five-minute training demo led by an attractive woman contracted by the chair company. One just has to wonder why. I'm thinking there were one of two reasons behind the formality of the training:
- It's just something for this young woman to do until Vanna White dies and another career opportunity opens up.
- There was some kind of geeky insurance rider that required extra instruction lest an overly eager "sitting person" [party of the first part] blow out a sacral nerve in an exuberant burst of seat-height adjustment.
And after all that? The chairs just seem kind of average. With the build-up, I was expecting voice control ("More lumbar support, Hal") or something to do with biorhythms. But no, click, you're taller, clack, you're shorter.
Am I clearly naïve or have there been documented cases of ergonomic chair abuse that I'm not privy to?
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.