Anyone whos worked in a corporate setting or even seen a movie set in a corporate setting is probably familiar with the Herman Miller Aeron chair. Its the leading ergonomically-designed office chair on the market. With a retail price tag of around $900, it has also sometimes been decried as an embodiment of corporate greed and gluttony. After all, who really needs a $900 chair?
It turns out that this chair is pretty great. Its a very comfortable chair its made of mesh, which is nice and airy, and it also is pretty much entirely customizable, from arm height to forward tilt to level (and type) of back support. The Aeron also comes in three sizes, depending on your height and weight A through C (A being for short people like me). Roy uses one at his office, of course, and credits the chair with providing comfortable, back-saving lumbar support crucial when you spend 12 straight hours coding each day.
In the past, wed usually gone with more affordable faux-leather office chairs the likes of which you often see at Staples or Office Max. While our last chair purchase served us faithfully for two years, the faux leather quickly disintegrated, leaving little black leatherette specks that littered our office for weeks (and eventually spread to the rest of the house). So for our new home office in Austin, Roy was determined to have better chairs, and Aerons seemed the right way to go.
There were a couple of obstacles, of course. First, the price tag is way steep, especially since we wanted at least four of the chairs ($900 x 4 = $3,600!). The good thing is that at this price, Aerons tend to hold a decent bit of after-market value, leading to a decent number of local sellers on Craigslist attempting to get rid of their own chairs often in very good condition. After a couple days of lurking on Craiglist, we were able to find a great Aeron size B for Roy in like-new conditionfor $450, right in south Austin. We drove down, picked the chair up, and also met the sellers friendly white German Shepherd as a bonus.
Then came the task of finding an Aeron size A for me, which turned out to be much harder. It turns out that nearly all the Aerons that are circulated and/or sold in the Austin area are either size B or C. This is not surprising, as B is for normal-sized people (like Roy) and C is for somewhat larger than normal sized people (like some Texans after a lifetime of too much barbecue). Size As are apparently like unicorns here, as no one has them. Not only did I check Craiglist daily, but I also made weekly calls to used office supply stores like all with no reward. TOPS told me that they apparently had two size A Aerons that they held for an entire year due to lack of demand but which they had finally been able to move just weeks before I had contacted them.
In the meantime, we were searching for solutions for chairs for our workshop. We were lucky enough to snag two matching Aeron side chairs for $325 combined. These side chairs dont roll, but theyre made of the same material and offer the same level of back support as the office chairs do. We figured theyd be fine for the workshop since we dont plan to spend as much time in there as the office. Only catch we had to drive to San Antonio for them. It wasnt too bad about a hour one-way, and we also got to meet another friendly dog.
Finally, this past week, nearly a month after our initial Aeron search began, an Aeron size A finally popped up on Craiglist. By this time, I had widely expanded the radius of our search, and the Aeron size A ended up being in Houston! It was only $350 and in fantastic condition, though, and we didnt know how long wed have to wait before finding another size A in Austin. So we ended up making a trip of it this past weekend. The chair was being offered by a gentleman who apparently buys used office supplies from companies that are shutting down, and hed received 13 Aerons from a local law firm that was getting rid of them. Luckily, two of them were size A. We were quite impressed by the size of his warehouse, which was packed with used furniture.
So after a month, we finally have our chairs. We also bought a cool kneeling chair that we thought would be fun to try out (except that Roy hasnt had time to put it together yet).
On a side note, Houston did not impress us too much, although to be fair we werent really proactive about planning the trip. The highlight of the trip was seeing our first wild armadillo too bad it was roadkill.