Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Uneasy Chair (NaBloPoMo Day 8)

NaBloPoMo November 2012
One post every day in November
The discontented man finds no easy chair, said Benjamin Franklin. If he were alive today, I’d take him to a corporate office so that he could see for himself that in today’s day and age, even well contented women like me sometimes have to encounter the menacingly un-easy chair.

For some inexplicable reason, the designers of corporate officers think that the best way to design the visitors’ lounge is to stock it with those soft and plush chairs, the kinds that two of me could easily fit into and still have space for a book. I’d like to give some advice to these people. I’d like to tell them, if you want to make it comfortable for us, put in a Flat Screen TV, in 3D, High Definition and have a mini-bar stocked to the full with refreshments on the house for those who walk in from the harsh glare of the sun. But please do away with those soft, plush, cushiony chairs. They do no one any good.

What’s wrong with those chairs? Everything. They are so soft and inviting, they pull you in. No matter how well-intentioned you are, no matter what resolutions you make, about not giving in to the temptation of their gooey softness, about sitting straight backed on the very edge, you can’t help sinking in. Nay, being sucked in.

And when the assistant of the person you’ve come to meet shows up at the visitors’ lounge to let you know that the Big One will meet you now, it is impossible to get up without leaving your dignity behind, if you know what I mean. For that matter, you simply cannot get up with anything that resembles the most distant cousin of what they call office decorum. Because by the time you want to get up, the seat has established some degree of adhesive fondness for your behind and the two have just promised that they will never part from each other again. The person you’ve come to meet might come forward, right hand outstretched, and the seat behind you will think this is a fine time to play tug-of-war and hold on tightly to you, as a good team mate should.

 Then when you try to force the twain apart, you are rewarded with this situation. A little like peeling off a wax strip, minus the pain of course, but with a whole lot of embarrassment to fill its place.

I’m not suggesting that you make the seating arrangements completely austere. Nobody likes to have bars or criss-cross patterns implanted on their bottoms. But there must be something else you can do. Why not have stools there instead? Or folding chairs? It’s a waiting room, after all. We don’t want to spend the rest of the day there.

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