All posts for the month September, 2013

I’m An Ergonomic Disaster

Published September 11, 2013 by Malia

Sooooooo…..I’m kind of short.  I’m not full-on munchkin, but I am just barely 5’0″.  (I claim I’m this, but in reality, I’m more like 4’11”.)  Being short typically doesn’t bother me.  It’s just one of those things.  I’ve learned how to deal with it.  Over the years I’ve become an expert at hopping onto counters and climbing all over them so I can access things that are well out of reach.  I’ve come to accept that my feet are just not going to touch the floor when sitting in a normal-sized person chair.

At work, they’re finally training me in my new position.  I get a permanent work area, my own drawer (you have no idea how much having my own drawer means to me), and I’m allowed to be as obsessively accurate as I want (not full/true OCD, but somewhere near the border of it).  It’s great.  I love it.  Well, I love almost all of it.  See, part of my new position involves putting things to be sent out to other labs into bins that are about two feet above my head.  I can barely reach them and successfully complete this task when I stand on my tippy-toes.  However, if these bins aren’t pulled all the way to the very edge of the shelf they sit on, I can’t reach them at all.  Last week, one of my trainers noticed that I have this small problem, and told me she would talk with my supervisors about it to see if they could come up with a solution.

So far, I’ve made two suggestions (because they haven’t come up with any).  A. Move the bins to a lower shelf, and B. Just let me use a step-stool.  Well, suggestion A would work, except they’re not sure what shelf to move them to.  This left suggestion B.  To me the step-stool is logical, and it seems smarter than having me play the tippy-toe dance several times every single day.  However, the step-stool isn’t going to become a reality.  Why?  Oh, this is good…

I can’t use a step stool, because it wouldn’t be ergonomic.

Yup, just let that sink in.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that a step-stool is less ergonomic than me stretching my body out to uncomfortable lengths every single time I need to access these bins.  True the stretching is great for my calf muscles, but it still hurts.  All I can do is hope that the stretching will encourage my body to add a few inches in length.