A friend of mine asked me to go shopping with her for an office chair. Her significant other recently was given a promotion and it came with a very beautiful executive desk and a not-so-comfortable office chair. Annie was the designated chair buyer. I might sound a bit odd to send someone to buy chair they will not be sitting in. But Annie has an eye for these things. I was along for moral support and the promise of lunch at a favorite downtown pasta bar.
I also agreed to go for my own self-motivated reasons. You see, I don’t know much about what makes one type of office chair more desirable than another. And I really need a good computer desk chair. My work station at home where I do most of my writing currently has a traditional style accent chair with a carved rose motif back splat sitting in from of it. My grandmother gave it to me when I moved into my own first-absolutely-roommate-free apartment after coming home from university. The once-lovely pale yellow button-tufted seat is developing a definite dip. After sitting in front of the computer 45 minutes tops, it plays havoc with my lower back.
So when Annie asked me to help her shop for an office chair I agreed to go with her hoping that, in the process, I would pick up some helpful hints that I could use when I buy a computer desk chair of my own. Of course, the
chair for Annie’s partner had to be made of leather. But she was looking for other specifics, as well. The chair had to have a high back with built-in head, neck and lumbar support; a wheeled base for maneuverability; arms and adjustable levers for height and backrest positioning. The office chair, while made of leather, had to be contemporary and not traditional in style. He would prefer arms with wood accents in a medium wood finish to complement the dark cherry color of the desk.
To be honest, the first hour we weren’t really office chair shopping, but rather catching up on news. Another reason I agreed to this adventure because we hadn’t seen each other in awhile. Then we spotted a leather executive office chair set that included a matching guest chair and something for “free” definitely caught our attention. It turned out that the office chair itself didn’t quite match the list of must-have – the back turned out to be not quite high enough and the product information didn’t say anything about lumbar support. But it inspired us to keep looking.
After two more stores and numerous close calls, we were about to break for lunch when Annie spotted it. It had a high back and arms with a wood trim; included several ergonomic features and was made of leather. I promptly sat in it before Annie could. Yes, I sighed, snuggling into the backrest and breathing in the delicious new leather smell. This is the one, I told my friend, as I gave it a gentle spin, making myself feel slightly off-balance. Annie was a bit more critical when she finally got to sit in the prospective office chair. She made sure the levers were easy-to-use; that it was comfortable and that it would be a good fit for the person she was purchasing it for. When the office chair had been purchased and a delivery date and time agreed upon we were off to lunch.
Although I couldn’t persuade Annie to come with to buy a chair for my computer work station at home, I learned a lot. I now know what to look for when shopping for an office chair. But now I’m not sure if I really need an office chair with wheels at all – maybe a computer desk chair without casters and a contoured, upholstered seat and back would be a better fit for me.
Stay tuned to see how I will solve my work space seating dilemma because I’m definitely on a mission. Grandmother’s chair needs to be retired, re-upholstered and re-purposed.