#212 – They Stole My Chair

I’ve never run out of space on a card before. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve been left with something more to say, but I’ve been okay with that. This one I wasn’t, there was more to story that I couldn’t fit on the card. See below for the conclusion.

#212 - They Stole My Chair
#212 - back
sent from: London, UK. destination: London, UK

Returning to work after my day off sick I found my chair vanished. I looked everywhere – somehow we were one short. I wasn’t about to steal someone else’s so I used a temporary one while I tried to figure out who to call. There’s no clear person responsible – if my computer setup is broken I contact systems, so maybe my chair is the same thing. Everyone around me is new – we’ve all been there for 6 months or less. I contact systems, they point me to the building facilities manager, a woman with an officious, holier-than-thou attitude who spends her time either berating people or calling them darling and sweetheart, when she isn’t chain smoking outside, that is. I call her number – “CALL BARRED” it says. Wow, I never knew I had pissed her off. I emailed her to ask for a new chair, and waited. In the meantime I was sat in my too-low chair looking up at my monitors. My normally smaller-than-me neighbour teased me at our reversal of fortunes. Hours pass, no chair appears, and then, after lunch, one magically appears. I hug it, blissful, joyful. I name it and promise I will never leave it alone again. Then I got an email… [continued below]

.. it was from her. “I hope you like your new chair,” she wrote, “But, next time please could you mail facilities support or, call the runners who can arrange this type of query..”
That might seem innocuous, but I could hear her voice and it was full of disdain and jobsworthiness. Also, it presumes that it is somehow obvious to anyone walking in the door on their first day, after your 15 minute orienteering session and then what is laughably termed your training (‘here’s your chair. Can you log in? Great, that’s you all trained up then.’), that if one of those three items on your desk misfire you need to call one number, but if any of these other three things go awry that you need to call some other number, unless it’s some other unknown thing, in which case you just have to sit there and figure it out for yourself.
I replied. “Thank you sooo much, it’s brilliant. There’s no clear path to knowing who to contact when there’s an issue like this – I went to systems and they told me to contact you. New people wouldn’t know any different!
That showed her, I thought. She’s going to go, chastened, to upper management and tell them they need to get a better procedure in place for – oh, a reply already? “Hopefully, I have cleared this up for you now.” Why you, you…

3 thoughts on “#212 – They Stole My Chair

  1. hey Nitin – sorry it's taken me a while to reply, but thank you so much!! Please send us your address and I can send you a card as well.

    I checked out your blog, amazing photos.

    Thanks again!


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