Monday, August 25, 2008

Achievement

(Just realized that the past two titles have sounded like motivational posters. Only the ones I like are from despair.com and as I believe in sharing I present to you: Achievement. However they don't have "success" so instead try Bitterness, Dysfunction and Government.)

In addition to the new computer I was presented with this summer (see angst, blogging of and annoyance, excessive description of for more details) I also managed to snag a new wheely chair. When I started work here I was given an office that contained 1 wooden chair weighing about 40 pounds, equipped with large arms at just the right height and width to make using a computer utterly and completely impossible (without whacking your elbow every time you reached for the "b") and sporting a grand total of no wheels. Which meant that whenever I tried to get up from my desk I would slam violently into the back of the chair, lifting the front legs up about an inch but not budging it backward in the least. The person who held my job before me had spent a happy six months "telecommuting" which meant that every page on the web site had a "last updated" date of slightly more than six months earlier. It's possible that the choice of chair was deliberate on the part of my new boss who seemed eager to keep me at my desk doing actual work.

Eventually I talked my way into a chair with exotic accessories like padding, a swivel seat and wheels. It was a fine chair, a useful chair, a chair which (and this is the important bit) let me actually get up at the end of the day and leave.

It's impossible to overestimate the importance of this. When I was a child my goal in life was to grow up and have a wheely chair. Well, there was also the short-lived goal to be a janitor so I could have a very important looking massive ring of keys on an extending chain. I had, naturally, had many wheely chairs in my career but the symbolism of the wheely chair remains and I still get a ridiculous but undeniable thrill from the fact that I WORK IN A WHEELY CHAIR.

Now it wasn't that I needed another chair really, but there was a new one going spare (meaning it had been right in plain sight in the corner of a friend's office at the end of a hall and yet no one had claimed it for some reason) and I have learned here not to look a gift chair in the mouth (give me a moment while I try to work out the logistics of that...) so I kindly donated my own slightly used chair to the greater good (meaning there is now at least one chair in the computer lab that will not shed casters like a political activist sheds pamphlets) and adopted the new one.

It is a fine chair with many excellent features like arm rests that actually let you rest your arms (and don't slam into the desk drawer). However I am having to learn a certain amount of caution because the first time I pushed back from my desk I sailed gracefully across the office floor and nearly bumped up against the book case on the opposite wall.

These childhood dreams are always more complicated than they seem.

Of course, you should totally check out my key ring...

2 comments:

emily said...

lol, the acquisition of office equipment is something similar in my office... i personally filched a rolodex - mainly because it was sitting on a desk looking lonely and unloved and iv always wanted one!
chairs are important - people underestimate how important - i am currently working towards persuading my boss to order me a shiney new one with specific back rest because of various back problems.... He is slowly yielding but its like trying to melt an iceberg!

hwo is your computer nowadays?!

For Kirk said...

emily - computer seems to be cowed and subdued. The mouse still behaves strangely - as in it sometimes ignores me unless it's three inches or fewer from its little beam-me-up-Scotty thing which is a little annoying.

The chair, however, is very, very wheely and superior. And owners of rolodexes are automatically cool because they are Very Important People. I wonder if I can acquire a rolodex somewhere if I try...