When I first entered that goddamn blue-carpeted office, things, rules and roles weren’t any clear in the company, so you had people who were being named managers but didn’t have anyone to manage, people who didn’t know who their manager was, people who said they were responsible for something they weren’t, and at the same time you never knew who the hell was responsible for all that mess.
When they showed me my desk and chair, I didn’t think for a minute it was anything privileged. The one who was supposed to be the boss had placed the desks in a way he could spy everything on everyone’s monitor, instead of working. You know, he was the owner’s kid, and the company was his little toy. It’s quite sad if you think about it.
Anyway, the fact is that I got this luxury, big, comfortable black office chair that someone had put at my desk – as you can imagine – by accident.
Then, when things started to get worse and worse and everyone was planning to leave – it was a family company, but even the family’s members would have run away at some point – they started introducing more and more pathetic rules, and also a clocking machine that mysteriously got broken the day after it was installed.
The next thing they did was getting me a regular, small, blue office chair. They didn’t even tell me. One morning I sat down and I realised that this was not my chair. I got up and I made a scandal. No one seemed interested, I just annoyed them as hell, this was the truth.
They told me that black chairs were now meant for managers only. They told me that I looked like Sheldon Cooper of The Bing Bang Theory, you know when he doesn’t want anyone else to take his spot on the couch.
They told me that nothing could be done, that my chair was upstairs in the boardroom and that no one could get in the boardroom. What I did, was actually going in the boardroom and getting my bloody black chair back. From that day on, I got the impression that they started to respect me.
This old crap came to my mind a few days ago.
I was chatting with this good friend of mine on Facebook. He is a proper geek. He is the top IT man who fixed the nasty bugs on this website. He is also a big fan of Sheldon Cooper. I don’t remember how we ended up talking about office chairs. I told him this story, and he was not shocked either. He simply told me: Well, didn’t you know that the office chair is the first item that distinguishes managers from slaves?
I actually didn’t, but now I really do.