When office chairs die

A victim of chair rage

There seems to be a disturbing level of chair rage out there. These days, it is rare to come across a dead office chair that hasn’t been wilfully tipped over or mutilated in some way or simply smashed to pieces.

Whatever happened to letting chairs die with dignity? Is it really necessary to humiliate them in such a heartless manner? I’m trying to figure out what these chairs could have done to deserve such treatment (In case you didn’t realise, I’m talking only about office chairs here, swivel, with or without armrests, low and high backs).

The humble office chair has a touch of the mule about it; it carries our weight, supports our bodies as best it can, rising and falling, spinning and sometimes reclining. It both accommodates us and resists us and, in the main, it does this uncomplainingly and dumbly, always ready and responsive.

Maybe it is this unobtrusive, ever-willing character that provokes such explosive outbursts of anger when something goes wrong. When the wheels fall off or the height adjuster jams, then we really do start to notice the chair. Oh boy. Then the full force of our frustration and fury comes to bear on this hapless seat. Rarely are chairs given a second chance or the opportunity to defend themselves. They are cast aside for their momentary dereliction of duty, abandoned with extreme prejudice.

There is a sense in which we are always suspicious of office chairs. They are never quite right. They are always guilty of inflicting a host of aches and pains on us, some of them long-standing because, as always, we prefer to sit and suffer in silence rather than actually do something. Like get a new chair. And if you do find a good chair then be prepared to defend it with your life because it is constantly under threat of being stolen, swiped, pilfered. Borrowed.

‘Can I borrow your chair?’

‘Yes, but be sure to bring it back…’

Too late, too late. Your life from now on will become a daily struggle with a sagging, wheezing clunker that tips alarmingly at odd moments and manages, with evil intent, to apply acute pressure to the most sensitive parts of your vertebrae.

So go on, mourn the loss of your Good Chair after years of service. You, personally, have been betrayed and it’s all the chair’s fault. Let your rage build, good, I can feel your anger, my young Jedi, strike the chair down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete…

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