I have worked very hard to set up my workstation in a manner that is ergonomic for me. I put thought into it when I designed my desk. I thought about it when I bought my chair. I think about how my body positioning and work habits will affect my physical well-being every day. I know if I just shrug and apply “I can make it work” thinking that I am considerably less likely to be able to enjoy a 40-year career behind the table.
I’m about half way through my planned career now and I think I’ve done a very good job of maintaining my health, especially when I compare how I’m holding up with other people in my industry.
What I’ve really started to notice as I get older is all the little things that I don’t have control over. Primarily — my clients.
I can spend hours of my day trying to explain to my clients how their body positioning affects me, my health, and my ability to do my job … not to mention how it affects their health in the long run. I once had a client who had to have surgery because she’d crushed the sheath over the tendons running from her elbows to her wrists — and there she was, week after week, leaning on the edge of the manicuring table with the weight of her whole body. Gee, I wonder how she jacked up those tendons?
I can explain it to them politely, I can talk to them like they’re 4-year-olds, I can scold them, I can lecture them, I can lose my temper and snap at them, I can rant like a maniac shouting into the wind. Nothing I do seems to be effective though. So I just keep grabbing their arms and wrestling their elbows to a new position.
Lately, I’ve noticed I’m dealing with little bubbles in my gel top coat on more than an acceptable number of clients. Nothing on the desktop has changed. The lamps are cleaned and the bulbs are new. It’s the same top coat. So what do I notice? How many of my clients have become complacent about the placement of their hands in the lights. They’re sitting there with their hands relaxed at an angle and sideways in the lights.
How does one ergonomi-cize her work station when her workstation consists of another human being?