My office guest chair

Adam writes about his office guest chair.

Microsoft's a big company, and, like all big company has all sorts of silly rules of what you can have in your office.   One of them is that for office furniture, you get:

  1. A desk chair
  2. One PED (sort of a mobile filing cabinet)
  3. One curved desk piece (we have modular desk pieces with adjustable heights)
  4. One short straight desk piece
  5. One long straight desk piece
  6. One white board
  7. One cork board
  8. One or two hanging book shelves with THREE shelves (not 4)
  9. One guest chair.

If you're a manager, you can get a round table as well (presumably to have discussions at).

In my case, most of my office stuff is pretty stock - except I got my manager to requisition a round table for his office for me (he already had one).  I use it to hold my manipulative puzzles.  I also have two PEDs

But I'm most proud of my guest chair.  I have two of them.  One's the standard Microsoft guest chair.  But the other one's special.  You see, it comes from the original Microsoft campus at 10700 Northup Way, and is at least 20 years old.

I don't think that it's the original chair I had in my original office way back then - that was lost during one of my moves, but I found the exact match for the chair in a conference room the day after the move and "liberated" it. 

But I've had this particular chair since at least 1988 or so.  The movers have dutifly moved it with me every time.

Daniel loves it when he comes to my office since it's comfy - it's padded and the standard guest chairs aren't.

Edit: Someone asked me to include a picture of the chair:

Comments (41)
  1. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have to feel alone in your pride in owning such a mundane (to many) object.

    At my last job I worked there 10yrs, it was actually a Casino in Upstate, NY. Being such a new company, the majority of original employees was very small (I wasn’t original but I started about 2-3yrs since the company was created) and I took pride in the fact I had an ariel photograph of the casino which has since gone 4 massive renovations to the point that the building was totally recognizable.

    I’d get a little kick when a coworker asked what it was and I would tell them it was the Casino when I strated to work there.

    But then maybe instead of being nostolgic I was subconciously creating senority for myself among my peers. There’s no way to tell without a shrink!

  2. Anonymous says:


    this is turning into /.


  3. Not intentionally a dup – the blog server’s been having hiccups recently, this was a symptom.

  4. Anonymous says:

    pics or ban!

  5. Rosyna says:

    I don’t think this is Fark, however….

    Larry, can you get your manager to requisition you a beat?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The beat he speaks of would most likely be the same as the one that Hermes requested on Futurama from the episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back."

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is no one else thinking "Puzzles! Look at all of those puzzles!"?

  8. Anonymous says:

    "One or two hanging book shelves with THREE shelves (not 4)"

    Forget the chair, what’s with the highly specific shelving limit? What happens if — *gasp* — you need more shelf space? Presumably MSFT employees collect a lot of cruft over the years (hence your totally unauthorised round table, you rebel!), so do they have to just pile it up on the floor or what?

  9. I have absolutely no idea what happens if someone else needs a 4th shelf.

    What I did was to requisition a new bookshelf, took one of the shelves (and the shelf pins) and told the furniture delivery guy to put it back into the warehouse.

    It was a totally outrageous waste, but the facilities people were more than happy to give me a complete bookcase but not a single bookshelf. So I worked the system.

  10. Rosyna says:

    Paul, correct, that is exactly what I was speaking of. I just realized that if you had thought I was a really bad speller or had really bad grammar, it could have been interpreted as "Larry needs a beating delivered unto him by his manager."

  11. ryanmy says:

    I think the enforcement of office rules varies depending on your admin and building. Over here in B26, they don’t really care what we do as long as we’re not violating fire codes or breaking walls; it’s not uncommon to see people just go buy a second whiteboard, or another hanging shelf, etc. and just put it up themselves.

    Our team in particular was very cramped recently; our headcount nearly doubled in six months, and it was approaching the level of having 5- and 10-yearers doublebunked or even triplebunked during intern season. When space was finally freed up and everyone got their own office again, they pretty much sighed and let us do what we want, since they knew that anything else would result in explosions — which has resulted in the occasional "photo out of the IKEA Catalogue" office.

    But then, I rather miss being doublebunked, if only because I learned a ton on the side from the constant foot traffic. It’s far too easy to just close the door and only interact by email, when everyone has their own office.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft is generally fine with allowing you to put whatever you want of your own in your office. People have couches, mini-fridges, etc. And the official moving policy is that the movers WILL move your personal items, although they have some restrictions…like they won’t move plants (I have the handout from our last move at work, if anyone cares enough, it spells this all out).

    – adam

  13. Emphasis on the word GENERALLY. The movers have refused to move my guest chair in the past, at least one time I was forced to bring it across campus manually.

    They also once refused to move my main desk chair because it was non standard (it’s one of the "ergo" chairs you get if you get an office ergonomics exam (due to carpal tunnel, etc). I raised a HUGE stink about that one and they came over with it the next day.

    But you’re right, in general, if it’s tagged it moves.

  14. Anonymous says:

    nice item collection on the round. Did you take this pic using a cellphone? the resolution is very low for today’s standards.

    is it Possible we can get pics of the ‘new’ guest chairs?


  15. Anonymous says:

    Some of the puzzles in your photo look like you must have got them at an IPP. But I’ve never seen you at IPP. Though there was one in Seattle during some previous millennium. Did you go there?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Just a quickie, Ped is short for "Pedestal"

    The name comes from desks have two one at each side where they act as a pedestal keeping the top up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You haven’t been to an IPP then. If you had, you’d know what it is.

    I wonder if Valorie’s secret source is Ebay ^_^ Some people sell their unwanted duplicates, or inherited items, or sometimes their own manufactures, on Ebay.

    There’s also a famous puzzle dealer in Seattle who used to come to IPPs and is well known in the community. I guess he can sell a lot of the same stuff you have on your table.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Joel just *nails* this one. June 15, 2005: Recruiting To Gretchen: recruiting successfully isn’t only up to recruiters. The best recruiting department in the world can’t make people want to work at a company that’s moribund, that can’t…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Joel just *nails* this one. June 15, 2005: Recruiting To Gretchen: recruiting successfully isn’t only up to recruiters. The best recruiting department in the world can’t make people want to work at a company that’s moribund, that can’t…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Are the rumors true? Microsofties get their own private office? I’ve got to apply to Microsoft. Most of the rest of the software development world would love to be able to complain about office furniture rules.

  21. Gary,

    Your own office isn’t guaranteed. Microsoft tries to give you your own office, but it doesn’t always happen – if groups are tight on space, people get doubled up. Doubling up usually goes by seniority, so it’s unlikely I’ll be doubled up except by choice.

    And contractors NEVER get their own office.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Cool! You’ve got the Constellation in your office. 398 or 10021?

  23. Duq, it’s the newer one (I think that’s the 10021)

  24. Duq, it’s the newer one (I think that’s the 10021)

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