Skip to comments.Seat of power - Fed agencies defend fortunes spent on hippest chairs in the office
Posted on 09/04/2012 11:38:53 AM PDT by kcvl
An investigation by The Daily reveals that federal government agencies bought 1,002 ergonomic chairs from 2005 to 2011. All but 194 of them were Aerons.
Uncle Sam spent at least $497,494 on the chairs during that period, at an average cost of more than $500 each.
Among the evidence of the federal governments unbridled enthusiasm for pricey chairs:
The State Department spent $128,036 on 235 Aerons in December 2009 to furnish its Bureau of Overseas Building Operations in Arlington, Va.
The Army dropped $82,925 on 194 Raynor Eurotech Ergohuman chairs in August 2007 for Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
The Health and Human Services Department bought 30 Aerons for $17,651 in September 2011 to furnish its headquarters in Washington.
In the current fiscal climate, even liberal critics wonder why federal agencies continue to spend big bucks on fancy office chairs.
I dont know why theyre paying that amount. You can find [ergonomic chairs] for $350, said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York Universitys Wagner School.
Federal officials said Aerons, the sleek, adjustable seats that first gained popularity during the 1990s dot-com boom, are necessary for employees suffering from back problems or repetitive-stress syndrome.
Bruce Ridgely, property management specialist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the 272 Aeron chairs the agency bought from 2005 to 2011 were for medical purposes.
Beth Gosselin, a press officer for the State Department, said the agency buys Aerons for their orthopedic value and availability.
It is typically highly ergonomic and includes passive or active adjustments to fit a wide segment of the population, she said.
But Aeron critics like Charlie Peters, founding editor of The Washington Monthly magazine, say federal employees often request the chairs to establish their rank in the office pecking order.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedaily.com ...
Kind of funny, when I worked as a contractor in DoD, I asked for and was denied getting a telephone headset so I can talk and use the computer the same time ! I was also denied training on some hardware I was expected to know but saw others who were the “golden children” get to go like to training and conferences.
It is definitely true about pecking order.
Because they're thieves, professor.
The makers of the Aeron, BTW, are big advertisers on NPR News, which tells you a lot about the demographics of their audience.
Always wanted an Aeron office chair...
Bunk. Just chasing a fad with taxpayer money.
While I, who had to buy my own chair, sit in a cheap Office Depot chair while I work all day. I did add a small, cheap Walmart footstool under it though. Helps alot.
“Bunk. Just chasing a fad with taxpayer money.”
The taxpayer’s get to sit in whatever the hell is available and work like dogs to earn enough to keep a small portion and send (by force) them the rest so they can buy their arrogant butts a fad chair.
Why don’t they get off their behinds and, as Michelle would say, MOVE.
More crony capitalism. “We take care of our own”......with someone elses money liberal public policy.
The USAF bought a gazillion of these here at Gunter back around 2000. Almost every desk still has one, best desk chair I have ever sat in period.
I loike them so much I ponied up and bought one for my office at home. It is 8 years old now and still in perfect shape.
Wonderful wonderful chairs.
They are great chairs. Sure wish I could afford one.
Nothing’s too good for our Politburo.
It seems to have gone over a lot of heads judging by the comments. Hint: no one cares if they’re good chairs.
I’ve had them before along with other relatively expensive chairs at work and even then, I still swear by a 150 dollar kneeler chair. I’ve got a real bad back and they have saved me.
They should get those plastic nesting patio chairs... Just $6 at Big lots.