Friday, February 20, 2009

The Chair's Conference

By Bub

The Chairman walked into the conference room. The group was already sitting subdued around the oval table. The Chair walked to the head and commenced.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I have asked you all here today to address a dire situation.” An attentive hush swept the group.

“I know we all have better things to do than to sit around and get lectured about productivity and technique and whatnot. But the truth is folks, this economic crisis is going to weigh heavy on our particular enterprise. And if we don’t do everything in our power to pull ahead, we will certainly fall behind. Our competitors are driving on all cylinders. People, we have to give 110% and then add another 35% to the top, otherwise we will be crushed like babies… (underneath his breath) how ever they are crushed…”

This awkward remark was met with uncomfortable silence.

“Point is, that we have got to step up our game. You folks are the best and the brightest that we’ve got here at our organization. And if I can squeeze 145% out of you people, that enthusiasm and extra effort will trickle down to the lower ranks much in the same way as Ron Reagan’s successful tax policies.”

The group sat in quiet agreement.

“But it’s going to take even more than that. And that’s why you’re here. I need your input, people. What are we gonna do to weather this economic storm?”

There was a nervous lull about the table. The Chairman grew agitated at the group’s reticence.



The Chairman decided that it was not a dearth of ideas that was causing this rift in communication; rather they were simply a taciturn lot.

“I know this isn’t easy. It hasn’t been easy on me either. I’ve been sleeping in a cot in my office. I wont even get into what I’ve been eating. It’s going to take serious sacrifice from each and every one of us. But listen folks, I have complete confidence in you and your abilities. I will be your servant leader. I am here to facilitate your knocking it out of the park. Need me to cork a bat? I got my bat corker right here. And I’m not kidding.”

The group emitted a constrained air of amusement.

“Alright folks, don’t get carried away. But let the ideas flow, I’ve asked all these interns in here to take diligent notes. You put it on the table and they’ll take it down. Mr. Stackingchair, let’s start with you.”

Stackingchair sat motionless, in mocking contempt. The Chairman squirmed a bit, then got a hold of himself.

“Fine, how about you Ms. Recliner? Can you add anything to Stackingchair’s brilliant remarks?”

Ms. Recliner was mute. Her laconic response incensed The Chair. He knew he had to regain control of this meeting or face a mutiny. This was exactly what he was afraid of.

“OK! It looks like we may be a little over-exerted as it is. Let’s take a break. Grab a sandwich, have a smoke. Hell, grab a rum and water. I don’t care, just clear your heads and come back ready to work. Fair enough?”

Nobody moved. The Chair didn’t understand. He thought this would smooth things over. The group’s insolence began to seem threatening.

“Alright, folks, head on out.” He said anxiously.

Dead air.

The Chair looked from group member to group member, each more menacingly sedentary, and the room began to spin.

“That’s enough… people… I can’t… take it… We’re NOT… going to… FAIL!”

The Chair flew into a frenetic rage. He had lost control. He tore violently into the group and became a blizzard of battery. The group didn’t stand a chance. They could not even put up a fight. When it was all over a screaming silence filled the room.

Only one intern was left standing, frozen with fear. The Chair came to his senses. He realized that he now had to replace the entire group. He called out to the intern to take a list of positions for a want-ad.

“Two quantity - High Back Contemporary Executive Swivel Office Chair.
One quantity - Ergonomic Power Rest Executive Recliner Office Chair.
One quantity - La-Z-Boy “Accel” Executive High Back Office Chair.
Four quantity - Vinyl Comfort Class Stacking-Chair.
Five quantity - Stackable Mayline Office Chair.
And how many of you were there? Ten? A dozen? Let’s make it ten quantity - Task Office Chair."

1 comment:

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