Monday, May 4, 2015

Standing on principle

I sometimes chose which charitable events I attend based on the quality of the folding chairs the facility uses.


Many organizations sell tickets to these events that far exceed the price of a comfy movie theater seat. Nice meal, intriguing conversation, stirring presentations.

Chairs at MIT graduation. By Dan4th Nicholas,
via Wikimedia Commons.
But the hosting location often tries to save a few bucks by using folding chairs. Often plastic, wobbly seats, with inadequate support for your back or bottom. And they ask you to sit through multiple speeches and recognitions, plus a meal. 

And if it's a graduation ceremony, you could be seated for hours. Painfully, if it's at MIT's commencement, in the chairs shown in the photo.

(On Dave's Seat Comfort Scale, these rank at No. 8. If they were those undersized wooden jobs, they'd be a 9 or 10.)

I spent a few years in my corporate life attending luncheons, galas, etc. After a while, I had memorized which museums, conference centers, and universities provided reasonable seating. And which ones owned or rented the least-comfortable chairs.

The irony? Part of my corporate giving job at that time involved donating surplus furniture, including -- you guessed it -- chairs. Usually good chairs.

So, even if I'm a supporter of an organization, I really pause before sending my check. I'd love to attend, but I'm standing on principle. At $50 a ticket, I'm not buying a plate -- I'm renting a seat.

And it ought to be a good one. 

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