Rodney M Bliss

An 8 Page Instruction Book. . .For A Chair?

It was mind numbing work.





Repeat 500 times.

Yesterday was my last day in Louisville for the week. Today is the audit. While it’s happening I’ll be 35,000 feet headed home to Utah. We’re ready. Our team has been working round the clock for weeks getting ready. There’s always one more thing. My role was pretty simple. I was supposed to pick up the instruction books off the chairs.

I picked up about 40 or 50 books before it occurred to me that I was picking up an instruction book for how to use a chair. I thought I already knew how to use a chair. I thought most people older than 5 knew how to use a chair.

I opened up the instruction book to see what hidden chair knowledge I might be missing. First they wanted to make sure that I understood what a chair looked like.

I appreciated the fact that they included two views, just in case I couldn’t recognize it from a single view. Open the instruction book up fully revealed pages and pages of diagrams and instructions.

I had no idea. It was all very confusing. I understood very little. That could have been because I was reading the Spanish instructions. Eight pages and three different languages.

The back of the booklet provided care instructions.

I thought the line about dry cleaning was especially interesting. Who owns dry cleaning products?

We got a good laugh out of it. However, on a more serious note, our call center has 500 seats in it.

That means not only did the Haworth company print an 8 page instruction book in 3 languages telling us how to use a chair. In our case, they gave us 500 of them. And it was all going to waste. We are not going to read a single one. A lot of trees went into making those 4000 pages of instruction on “chair mechanics 101.” At least if they had just printed them in English it would have only been 1333 wasted pages.

Think before you print. . .unless you are one of those who reads the instructions on use of a chair.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

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