In my new office, we rock around the clock

My new job came with an office that was much to my liking. Located in a corridor off the main area, it was quiet and peaceful. I settled myself into it, decorating with the usual family photos and miscellaneous knickknacks.

But something was missing. Whatever it was eluded me until one day, when I suddenly thought: "This office needs a rocking chair." I've never had a rocking chair in any office I've had, but this cozy room cried out for one.

And so began the hunt. I tried dozens of chairs, but none seemed right. Then one evening, entering our bedroom, I looked - and there it was: the perfect chair.

It was in a corner of the room, buried under an old bedspread. I had relegated it there months before. The rocker had been given me one Christmas by my husband and had been happily used in the family room, until changes in decor and lifestyle had moved it upstairs.

It was perfect. The wood finish even matched my office furniture exactly.

As my co-workers wandered by and popped their heads in to say "Hi," they were at first startled to see the rocker.One by one, however, they began to come into the office to say "Hi," gingerly trying out the chair. No one seemed quite comfortable with the idea of a rocking chair in the office, but once they'd sat it in and rocked a bit, they became converts.

And as they sat and rocked, my colleagues would begin to talk about this and that, problems at home or on the job.

While I didn't offer advice (and I'm not sure they were looking for advice), I did offer encouragement. After five or 10 minutes, off they'd go with a smile on their face.

I've noticed another shift in attitude toward the rocker. In the beginning, the rocker was an afterthought: Someone had come to say "Hello" or ask a question.

But now, upon entering my office, visitors announce: "I've got to sit and rock for a few minutes. I'm so stressed out!" And rock they do.

Sometimes they talk, and sometimes they don't. If it's the latter, I offer a smile of welcome and return to my work. If it's the former, I listen and offer encouragement.

The addition of a big basket of lollipops placed right by the rocker gives a third option. Sometimes they just rock and lick, rock and lick.

It's a little like the voice that Kevin Costner's character heard in "Field of Dreams" about the baseball diamond, "If you build it, they will come."Only in my situation, it reads, "If you provide a rocker, they will rock."

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