The New Chairs

Check out my fancy new ergonomic office chairs. Woot!

A few weeks ago, we in the department were asked if we wanted new office chairs. It's probably surprising that, in this climate of budget shortfalls, such an extravagant expenditure would be possible. Well, there's "hard money" and "soft money." Hard money funds things that are required, like the salaries of staff and faculty, but soft money comes and goes. The recent (and ongoing) budget cuts affect hard money. (Alarmingly, because I am not a professor, I am apparently paid out of soft money. Eek! Keeping fingers crossed!) Anyway, these chairs are funded out of soft money.

I had the option to decline these new chairs and just keep my old ones. If I had done that, I would have saved the university some money. So why did I opt to get new chairs?

Getting new chairs is not a common thing. In fact, it's become a once-in-a-generation event. Literally. The old chairs I had in my office were around since before my time--they were new before I was an undergraduate. Yup, they're around 30 years old. If I had chosen to stick with my old chairs, new chairs might not come around again for another 30 years. If my contract is not renewed, wouldn't the person who inherits my office like to have chairs from this century?
In case you think I'm a spendthrift, I did turn down the offers of new filing cabinets and new desks. (And I'm still going to use my old gray-and-beige chair--I brought this one from home. It was a birthday present that I used at home, but as a spent more and more time in my office, it just made sense to move it to campus permanently.)

On the other hand, I did accept the offer of a box of paper and some "Department of Psychology"-branded pens. Oh, and then there's my iPad 2 that the university... But that's another post.

Why aren't you studying?

UPDATE #1: My fellow Faculty Lecturer, Dr Jennifer Passey, also decided to get a new desk for her office. That is, she wanted to have a desk--period. Since she was hired, she's only had a table to serve as her desk!

UPDATE #2: Almost forgot to mention--I also got a foam rubber brain with "Department of Psychology" on it. Mmm, brains.

UPDATE #3: It's like Christmas! Today in my mailbox, there was a box of pencils, a roll of tape, a staples, a box of staples, a staple remover, paper clips. sticky notes, a highlighter, a ruler, and two red pens. My desk drawer is stuffed!


Anastasia said...


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the post about how the UofA financed your iPad2!

Karsten A. Loepelmann said...

@Anonymous: Can't say anything much yet, but I was asked to participate in a project that will have the UofA partner with...oops, better not say any more.

(I'm actually a lot more jazzed about my new-ish Samsung Galaxy S II phone anyway. Woot!)

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