Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Donald Rumsfeld

No, this is not some rant regarding the politics or policies of one Donald Rumsfeld. Millions of heated words have been aimed at him. Deserved or not, he has certainly been wrung through the wringer. I have no intention of trying to squeeze him any more.

My comments today are more to recognize one peculiarity of his I find fascinating. Fascinating in that once I noticed his, I noticed mine. It is his habit of working behind a stand up desk. The man does not sit down in the normal course of his work day.

Many folks find this an odd way to conduct business. I did too at first. But then I heard an interview with him regarding his stand up style. He felt more alert over the course of the day if he remained standing. He said his back did not ache from sitting for hours on end.

Hmm. I thought about this. I remembered my days as a truck driver and the stupid number of consecutive hours I would spend behind the wheel without a break. And then jumping out of the cab only to find my back hated the few minutes it always took me to straighten up. I notice also, this same unpleasant tendency after I have been sitting in front of this 'puter for more than an hour or two.

I then regarded my typical workday these past 17 years. While I did not work at a desk much, I did work at a tool bench and on my feet repairing bikes. I thought the lack of back pain these past years were the result of lighter workloads and more awareness on my part. Now I wonder. Maybe being on my feet all day had more to do with the pain free back than anything else I may have done.

Donald is no pioneer. More of a retro grouch. Stand up desks were actually the way to go when desks really got going. In 1800s England, I read there were more stand up desks in operation than sit down ones. Bob Cratchett from "A Christmas Carol" standing all day crunching numbers for Scrooge was the norm, not the exception. Churchill, Jefferson,Virginia Woolf, and Hemingway all stood while they toiled away at their desks.

There is a price to pay for standing all day. Sore feet. But it takes me 8 hours of standing to bring pain to my dogs and but an hour sitting can make my back complain. Who do you keep happy? The feet will just have to suck it up. My back rules this debate.

1 comment:

Apertome said...

Interesting bit of trivia there ... and when I saw the title, I assumed this would be a political rant about Rumsfeld. I started rolling my eyes -- not that he doesn't deserve it, just that I've heard enough rants like that.