Since my recent post about the Soup Martyrs , I’d like to describe another variation of self-imposed martyrdom in the workplace.   And it involves chairs.    

How often have you been forced to attend a meeting in a tiny room and there aren’t enough seats to go around the table?  Late-comers end up having to sit against a wall.  

To me, this really sucks.  Hell…if I’m going to be stuck in a stuffy box for God knows how long, watching painful PowerPoint slides that would euthanize a Great Dane, I need to be at a table where I can take notes, sip my coffee, and more importantly…doodle.  

But that’s just me.

And what if there are no chairs left?  People then usually start borrowing them from other rooms.  Because (all things being equal) nobody in their right mind would prefer to stand at work when they could sit.

But some do.   So beware, kiddies!  For we are now entering the realm of the dreaded “Standing-Room-Only“.

I could understand wanting stand if you know it’s going to be a short meeting (but how often does THAT happen?)   Or perhaps you’ve been sitting on your butt all day and you want to stretch your legs.  Or maybe you have a chronic back problem.  Or it could be there is absolutely, unequivocally no more room to squeeze in ONE MORE CHAIR, and you’re screwed.

But a Standing-Room-Only will remain on their two feet regardless of the reason.  I’ve seen them refuse to sit, even if a chair is offered. 

I just dont’ get it.  What are these people are trying to prove?   What are they thinking?

Oh, LOOKIT ME , everyone, I’m just EVER so dedicated to my job.  Unlike the rest of you sit-tees, I’m not afraid to stay on my feet and experience a bit of discomfort.  After all, it’s work-related; isn’t this what we’re paid to do?

Oooh, good for you.  Uncle Big Brother approves.  You get an extra gold star on your performance review, and your chocolate ration has now been increased to 25 grams. 

(…What a tool!)

I think it could also be a dominance thing.   You will often see bosses stand.  I can imagine myself listening to Marlin Perkins narrate this on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom:  

“We observe the dominant office-ape assuming the upright position.  This position allows them to tower above their sitting lesser-subordinates, giving the illusion of extra height, which favors their position of authority”. 

The longest I’ve seen a Standing-Room-Only last is well over TWO HOURS!  They probably would have gone longer too, but the meeting had ended.  In-freaking-credible.  

Well, better them than me.

Now if you’ll excuse me (Ook. Ook.  AEECKK!) this office chimp has a meeting.  There’s an extra banana pellet in it for me if I show up early and get a seat.


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12 Comments on “Standing-Room-Only’s”

  1. Reading this post felt a lot like watching an episode of “The Office.” Ryan is definitely a Standing-Room-Only. I’ve known a lot of them in real life, too, but I won’t dignify their dominance by mentioning them by name.

  2. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Marlin Perkins always sent Jim out to do his stuff. Why was that? By all means Jim should have been the dominate alpha male. I was always waiting for Marlin to get out there and big a big fish and all but the moment never came.

    Love the ass dangling spider.

    Really Friar, I am waiting for you to upset the status-quo. Like I said, you, being my age, have that stellium of mars-pluto-uranus going on. Revolutionary! And, this being a Pluto Capricorn year, old power structures will soon go through a metamorphosis.

  3. Friar Says:

    I used to laugh a lot at “The Office” and movies like “Office Space”. Until I realized that this is what it’s like in REAL LIFE.

    I don’t buy that dominance thing either. When I look at Standing-Room-Only’s, instead of admiring them, I just lose respect. Idiots.

    Yeah, I remember that. Marlin was an old fart, and Jim did all the dirty work. “Watch as Jim tapes the crocodiles mouth shut so he can tag him with the radio transmitter”. Meanwhile, Marlin hosts the show from his studio-prop office, holding a baby chimp.

    Thanks for coming out, Marlin.

    I hope the stars align themselves and I change the Planet this year. But I dont’ like my Zodiac sign. CANCER.

    Lamest. Zodiac sign. Ever.

    (Oooh..look at me…I’m a crab! Pinch! Pinch! Pinch!)

    Either that, or I’m a terminal illness. THANKS….ancient Greeks.

    I prefer the Chinese Zodiac. At least I’m a DRAGON.

  4. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Ahhh! Yes, I am a Dragon too! No one can mess with us!

    All Zodiac sign have their strengths and weaknesses. I’m a Sagittarius. I am generally to the point with my verbal arrows but sometimes put my foot in my mouth. Then I have to run around and apologize. And make things worse.

    I usually get along very well with Cancers.

    Cancers aren’t lame. They are pretty crafty I’ve learned.

    You have to look at your whole chart to get an idea of what potentialities your life has for you.

    For all I know Caillou could be a Sagittarius. Ha! Little bastard.

  5. Friar Says:


    Well, the Friar’s going to have to bite his tongue, because I dont’ believe in astrology. But if people enjoy it…hey, go for it.

    But if I have to be anything, I think it would have been cool to be a LION…or a BULL…..or even the ARCHER. Those are kick-ass zodiac signs!

    (The Viking would also have been acceptable).

    Those stupid crabs are getting their asses kicked (on “The Most Dangerous Catch”) on the Discovery Channel.

    Well, at least I’m not Libra. The Scales…hah! That’s not even a living thing. (At that point, you might as well be a Toaster Oven or a Chafing Dish) 🙂

    Heheh. Now that I know you’re a dragon, I can guess your age (plus or minus 12 years).

  6. I hope you did get that extra banana chip..

    But with regard to SRO: I prefer to stand when possible because I spend too much time sitting. even when working with someone at their desk, I’d rather kneel down to show them something on the ‘puter than drag over a chair. It’s just a little extra exercise for the day..

  7. Friar Says:


    It sounds like your meetings are a little more dynamic then the ones I go to. (Once, we spent 20-30 minutes debating one single Powerpoint slide). When it gets that bad, all the life force gets sucked out of me and I need to sit.

    To combat boredom, they’ve provided a food dispenser at the table. If we ever get too bored, we can always pull the lever and out comes another banana pellet! (AECK!)

  8. […] I work in a cubicle, surrounded by other people working in cubicles. I go to meetings in which people stand out of an over developed sense of dedication. Throughout my day in this delightful corporation, […]

  9. I used to like to sit in the back of the room, on the counter that ran along the far wall. My reason for this was simple: it had a great vantage point that allowed me to see the entire room and observe everyone in it. And that’s what kept me entertained through long, dull meetings – watching snackers, nose-pickers, and doodlers. But the best are always the daydreamers and sleepers. I like to watch them with that glazed-over look on their faces. Sometimes they drool.

  10. Well, I’ll sit if I’m obviously making people uncomfortable, but I prefer to stand.

    Maybe I am being subconsciously dominant. I’m a very strong minded person and usually feel dominant or on equal footing; possibly the standing is part of that and the “I sit too much” is just an excuse. In fact, considering that most days I spend two hours at the gym, it probably is an excuse 🙂

    I do have an advantage though: I’m always the outside consultant, so I’m either there because my opinion is important or because I need information or because I’m pitching something. With any of those, I’m already in a somewhat dominant position, so maybe that’s why I tend to stand up too.

    I think I should sit down now..

  11. Friar Says:

    I’d be one of the sleepers. I’ve been in meetings where we’d debate the semantics of a 250 word paragraph for 30 minutes. (My Gawd…do people ACTUALLY ENJOY THAT?!) That’s when I tend to doze off (especially in a hot room with no air conditionning). It’s like my brain goes into self-defence mode to protect itself from the sheer boredom. Though at least I provide amusement to people like you when I play bobble-head and start to snore. 🙂

    Mabye it’s different if you’re in a meeting where your presence is actually required and they value your opinion. Unfortunately, I dont’ get too many of those.

    Could be you’re the dominant type. As Eric Cartman says, could be you want people to respect your AUTHORITAW. 🙂

  12. […] – Don’t forget the Soup Martyrs and Standing-Room Only’s. […]

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