Friday, May 11, 2007

Creatures Of Comfort

I am participating this week in the Carnival of the Mundane (it was a perfect fit since that is apparently my legal middle name). The Carnival is being hosted this week by a great blogger and true Belle of the Dirty South, Mist 1.

When I decided to write something mundane for the carnival of the mundane, I got a rude awakening. I came to the realization that everything I write about is mundane and since I write mostly about things I have personally experienced, I therefore must be mundane. And what is the most mundane aspect of my life? Why, my office cubicle of course. You can’t get any more mundane than that. By the way, is there an award for whoever uses the word mundane the most? I’m hoping I’m in the running. Mundanely, of course.

A few Fridays ago were all told to put a certain sticker on our chairs if we wanted them cleaned by the special chair cleaning company that was coming in to clean them that weekend (I used a Post It note on which I wrote the word ‘sticker’). Sadly, this was the collective highpoint of our Friday afternoon. We shrieked in anticipation of returning to work Monday to sit in our clean office chairs.

Then came the highly anticipated Monday. As we all sat down you could hear the grumbles and groans coming from everyone’s cubicles. It turns out that while the stickers on the chairs identified which chairs were to be cleaned, they did not specify who was the owner of each chair. It seems the commercial chair-cleaning experts had neglected to return even a single chair to its rightful owner. Mine seemed especially uncomfortable. I tried for a while to get used to my new hindquarters padding, but it just wasn’t happening. After all, studies have shown that an uncomfortable worker is not a productive one and if you have learned one thing from my blogging, it’s that I’m all about being productive at work…no seriously. Now granted, the study I am referring to is my own and was based solely on the one-hour of agony I experienced while sitting in someone else’s desk chair, but I’m sure that’s plenty of data to base a theory on.

Since no one in the office was going to take the initiative (or cared about their productivity, just in case my boss is reading), I decided I would look after myself and find my chair as one would search for a lost sheep or a CD that hasn’t been played since 1994. Not knowing exactly where to begin, I first started sitting in the chairs in the cubicles closest to mine. Sure, my coworkers were annoyed, until I explained that I was on a mission to reclaim my misplaced chair. After trying four other chairs, I realized this was going to be harder than I thought. So, I asked my secretary for list of serial numbers that were assigned to our chairs (you know she loved handling that request). Yes, my employer puts serial number tags on everything. I can understand doing that on computers, monitors, cubicle walls and #2 pencils, but really, chairs? Unless somehow our managers were smart enough to foresee this coming. No, that can’t be it.

It turns out that while there are serial numbers on our chairs, there is no registry of them. At least that’s what my secretary told me and for the sake of office pleasantries, I chose to believe her. There was only one thing to do: try every chair until I found mine. To say I felt like the Prince from Cinderella would be an understatement…and very foolish. Along about the 13th chair, I realized I had left a trail of very irritable office mates in my wake. I explained the secret of ‘butt-groove’ technology and the belief about comfortable workers as it relates to productivity and that was all it took. Soon everyone was looking for their chair. It did nothing to help productivity as everyone in the office scurried around looking for their perfectly molded chair, but that was only a temporary setback.

On the 29th chair, I finally found mine. At least I think I did. The patented ‘butt-groove’ felt similar so I just assumed that the chair cleaning experts’ methods slightly changed the way the chair felt. The chair was in the cubicle of a coworker who is out on leave for several weeks so if I did indeed get the wrong chair, I won’t have to hear about it for a while. Now, if I could just find who took my staple remover. Did I ever tell you about how ergonomic office supplies relates to worker productivity…

16 comments:

Odat said...

OMG That is so funny....I once did something similiar...not to find my own chair, but just to find a more comfortable one. I went into e'one's office when they weren't there....I settled on one of the conference room chairs! (really).
Peace

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I was going to say that this was a brilliant post but then I remembered that you are going for mundane. In that case, it was brilliantly mundane.

Patti said...

You did well mixing the mundane with high tech with your "butt-groove" technology.

I see a Friday afternoon game of Musical Chairs on the horizon. Your fun-loving co-workers would surely join in.

captain corky said...

"I therefore must be mundane"

Sorry pal, pig hearts are anything but mundane.

Michael C said...

Odat: I knew you would fit in at my office ;-)

Lone Grey: I thank you...in a mundane way.

Patti: If I were to take a chair from a coworker, they would become anything but fun loving towards me ;-)

Captain: Yeah, I guess the constant ticking in my chest isn't too mundane, is it?

mist1 said...

Is a butt groove like a fingerprint? In which case, do Lucy and Ethel have identical grooves?

Michael C said...

Mist: Excellent question...I'll have to get back to you on that. If they do, it would sure make getting comfortable very easy for the both of them.

Natalie said...

You would think they would have put the chairs back. How rude!

Erica AP said...

I'm totally anal about how everything has to have a certain spot on my desk and it can't be messy. Which kinda sucks because sometimes other people sit there...

Scottsdale Girl said...

I am so saying "butt groove" at least 5 times today.

Michael C said...

Natalie: I definitely thought it was rude.

Erica AP: That is exactly how I am at work. I pity the fool who moves my desk toys around!

Scottsdale Girl: I said it 11 times today ;-)

Lee said...

No one writes mundane more amusingly than you. Hilarious.

Michael C said...

Lee: Thanks, that made my mundane day ;-)

CS said...

So, uh, just how long did it take you to recover your own chair?

kat said...

HAHHA - butt groove technology. That made me laugh loudly enough that seceral people gave me sideways glances.

Mundane sideways glances.

Michael C said...

CS: I took way too long, trust me.

Kat: That made me laugh. Mundanely, of course.