The Old Office Chair Graveyard


What does your business do with dilapidated, unloved, and unusable old office chairs? Hopefully, you don’t have a graveyard like the one posted over at slog.thestranger.com. Here are just a few examples of what can make employees shy away from sitting on the seats featured in this horror show:

  • A broken or missing arm
  • Busted hydraulic column (chair sinks to the lowest setting when you sit on it)
  • A bumpy or uncomfortable seat
  • A broken back
  • Jammed casters or no casters at all
  • Rubber coming off the arms and transferring to clothing/skin

Any of these conditions is obviously a deal breaker. This litany of awful seating options begs the following question: Why do businesses keep these chairs around?

  • Do they hope that some poor intern who thinks she doesn’t deserve a decent chair will resign herself to sitting in one of these monstrosities?
  • Do they think that having a visitor sit in one for just a few minutes wouldn’t be so bad?
  • Is there a secret contest going on to see who can accumulate the most embarrassing chair collection?
  • Are they hoping that if they get enough busted chairs, they will have sufficient parts to build one really good chair?
  • Do they believe that the Chair Fairy will come at night to fix or replace all their broken office chairs?
  • Are they using these broken chairs as a cautionary tale? When an employee asks for better working conditions, perhaps they say, “You should be grateful for the cheap $50 chair you get to sit on every day. See what the other options are?”

When an office chair has really reached the end of the line, it’s time to put it out to pasture with a little dignity. Don’t stick it in a supply closet or a dimly lit conference room, hoping no one will notice. Take it apart to recycle the plastic or metal components and send the remaining parts to the landfill. Then, make sure the next office chair you buy is better quality. That way, it will be a long time before you have to say that last, sad goodbye.


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