Friday, May 29, 2009

Sofas And Psychology

Some folks in administration have decided it's a great idea to put out a sofa upon which visitors can sit and wait for the grand-high muckety-mucks to deign to visit them. The sofa is located in a long hallway, approximately midway, facing into the copier room, which actually provides the visitor with a veiw of nothing but gray cubicle wall due to the way the copier room is set up.

So, despite the comfort of the sofa, the visitor is definitely placed at a psychological disadvantage. No one likes to merely hang out in a hallway; if the sofa were at least at the end of the hallway, the visitor would feel a bit better, having at least accomplished the small task the hallway represents. No staff are visible from the sofa, so the visitor can easily imagine, especially during long waits, that she has been forgotten. Also, when the visitor does encounter staff, or indeed anyone, they are walking through the space from both directions. The difference in height created by this can cause some psychological discomfort, as can the general sense of exposure- a hallway has little function other than going from point a to point b, so the visitor shall feel as if she has been placed 'outside'.

It's about as discordant as setting up for high tea in the back alley.

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