Long Long ago there was a Chair in a busy IT office, brimming with people. There were just too many people in the building that there was limited room for breathing. They called it the boom, every single maintenance work was getting outsourced to India and the executives called it “Strategic Outsourcing”. No one even imagined the magnitude of growth and hence people were hired by putting fliers on the trees on the roads (Which were later cut by the corporation to build a Metro rail).
Coming back to the chair, this was one special kind of chair. It had a really soft cushion with adjustable height and nice tilting push back. The texture of the fabric was nice and smooth and one could really sink into it after lunch for a nice afternoon siesta, I mean a productive coding session. This chair was really unique, but the office was full of this unique chair. In fact there was one chair like this for every desk. But during boom time, people come in faster than buildings can rise and/or be leased. So people had to double up in cubes/desks/conference rooms/empty dining halls in cafeterias, lonely table by the restroom (which could seat atleast 3, with monitors positioned like the lions in our Indian Emblem on One Rupee coins and oh by the way the Emblem has 4 lions even though you can only see 3. You can’t see the 4th lion because it is a Tenderloin).
They wanted more and more people, but they didn’t have enough chairs. As a result, chairs were stolen from conference rooms which began to look like a big pool table room with no chairs. But that wasn’t sufficient, so chairs were put on Time sharing mode until new chairs slowly arrived and unbundled. In any case, the number of new people coming in out numbered the pace at which they could buy the chair because of all the process involved in procurement and number of signatures needed to buy one chair was equal to the number of people working in one floor.
During conferences with the onsite team, the offshore team usually 10 to 20 in number (or in some case 20 to 40) gang up on that one speaker phone in the conference room with no chair. The American on the other side speaks in his stylish English and the team standing offshore stare at each other, while the Team lead says yes, without knowing that he was answering a question, “Can you participate in a Rodeo contest next week?”.
Chairs were stolen, because people couldn’t understand a thing that the customer sitting onsite said without grounding their asses on the chairs. It didn’t matter whose chair it was, it was vandalised. You could go to the restroom for a 2 minute break but you will be back to no chair to sit on. Heck, you could even get up to connect that PS2 mouse port to the back of the Pentium II desktop, suffering loose contact, and you may sit down and fall to the ground, because that was enough interval time for your chair to be whisked away. “No Mercy”, they shouted and continued “Give us chairs or we will steal it!”. For sometime, it became the motto of the company, I mean not the company just the employees of the company. The shareholders had nice chairs at their home, except those poor souls who bought employee stock with no chair to sit on at work and with no idea that the bubble would burst in 2 years.
Chairs were shuffled, you never sat on the same chair once. So, the chairs were always showered with variable aroma of farts by multiple unrelated employees, whose only connection was eating the food served in the cafeteria.
There was only one way out of this misery. Onsite. People wanted to go onsite because they didn’t have a chair to sit on, while the management keeps taking surveys over survey trying to find the real reason behind people wanting to go onsite (which actually yielded “Disneyland” as the answer), they never knew that it was the chairs. Sometimes, even the employees didn’t know why they were frustrated and unhappy over their career. They kept insisting it was their career, but no it was just their carrier, the chair! All they needed was a chair that can be raised and not a raise.
But then the bubble burst. Everything slowed down. New buildings were leased, unfortunately when people were laid off or when the CEO gets involved in a huge conspiracy, and now there is more space than people. There are more chairs now than people. It can be so unpredictable that between the time interval that the chair is adjusted the person would be sent home. The companies were cutting costs by cutting projects. They were laying off the Developers and restructuring the management during touch economical conditions. It was quite logical. With no work to do, they had to lay off Developers because they were the only ones who did the actual work. Management is quite essential to the company because they had to run the company and they were the only ones who had the power to lay off, so unless every single developer was laid off there was no way that the management could be laid off. Besides it is cheaper to lay off a Developer when you think about the severance package that needs to be given in millions for an executive and in thousands for the ordinary Developer. It all makes sense.
But the employees are now happy because they have more chairs. They can sit on one chair everyday and it will still be enough for the whole year. Heck, they can now fill every chair with the sweet aroma of the fart every single day and not having to sit on the same chair again.
The chairs got back at their theives. They finally got their justice, but they still get farted on.