Take a Seat – Gimme that chair!

Never underestimate the power of a good chair. Yes, a chair–that stiff, cheap thing in your sad cubicle on which you rest your weary rear for eight hours every day. A chronic sloucher who has suffered near geriatric soreness caused by a catastrophic setup at work, I am drawn to chairs.

This is why our gadget editor, Jeremy’s, sleek black chair was so alluring. We all eyed The Chair when the slick salesman from a company called “Humanscale” wheeled it in about three weeks ago. Jeremy, the willing subject of this product demo, leaned back in The Chair, all smarmy like a rock star, as the salesman busied himself with its levers and knobs, customizing it to snugly fit his height, girth, and design of his spine. I sneaked a peak from around the corner. “Come here,” I wanted to command of the ChairMan. “Come here and give me that chair!!!”

As it turned out, the chair, a 2001 Freedom model reviewed in our June 26 issue, cost a whopping $1,220–at least six times as expensive as the one at my desk, a shade less than the down payment on my Honda Civic. Times being what they are, I do not suspect my company would take kindly to my request for a chair like this one.

So when Jeremy worked from home, we all took turns testing the Chair We Will Never Have. My turn with the chair (five hours) seemed comfortable enough. At day’s end, however, my lower back ached, perhaps because the hump in the chair intended to improve my posture didn’t really work for me. When neighbor Carol took her turn with the chair, I stared at the back of it, which resembled a plastic cage. “It looks like the contraption they used to restrain Hannibal Lecter from eating peoples’ faces in “Silence of the Lambs,” I said. As for Jeremy, parting with the chair brought sweet sorrow.

“I already miss the chair,” he confided. “I could totally nap in that,” he said. We’ve caught our editor, Damon, catching a snooze in his own higher-end chair once or twice, too. But Jeremy knew he had the best throne in the office; the Corvette of all office seats. “It made me feel like the office pimp,” he says. A pimp with groovy hair and a rockin’ chair.

Posted by on June 8, 2001