An investment in chairs? My eyes nearly popped out when I just read in the July/August Allegro that the Executive Board has voted, nearly unanimously, to spend $1,169 each for 20 new chairs for the board room. Am I reading this right? Are we really about to spend more than twenty-three thousand dollars for new chairs for the board? Please tell me there is a decimal point missing somewhere. Scott Robinson
Recording Vice President John O’Connor replies: I am sympathetic to Scott’s point of view. If I were looking at this without background, I would probably have the same first reaction. However, there was a consensus among the board that it was time to get new chairs. Our old chairs had lasted more than 20 years but were at the end of their lives. When we began pricing well-crafted, American-made chairs, we quickly got a lesson in the retail market value of such an item – and it was eye-opening. In the end, a majority of my fellow officers and I did indeed vote to purchase 20 new chairs at $1,169 each. And this price, believe it or not, was a bargain. We consider the chairs to be a capital investment, one that will last for decades. In fact, the new chairs have improved the Executive Board room so much that it was like redecorating the entire room. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that this room is where many of our most important negotiations and meetings take place.The attempt to claim it as a bargain is hysterical.