Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Feng Shui? Phooey

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Feng Shui? Phooey

Article excerpt

If you hate coming to work and you are tired and listless once you get there, it could be because your office cubicle is suffering from bad feng shui.

(More likely it is because you are stuck in an awful, dead-end job or are not getting enough sleep, but never mind that; this column is about feng shui.)

Feng shui, for those of you who have been trapped in a negative energy field for the last few years, was dreamed up thousands of years ago by an ancient Chinese interior-design consultant who was looking for a way to perk up business.

The idea, basically, is that you can improve your mood by moving stuff around. If, for example, your wife tells you to push a heavy sofa from one side of the living room to the other, and then changes her mind and tells you to push it back where it was, she is (probably) not trying to ruin your back or give you a heart attack; she is simply attempting to improve your living room's feng shui.

Feng shui (literally: "Enriching chiropractors") is especially important in the office environment, according to author Patricia Santhuff. Santhuff claims you can improve the power and energy of your workspace by repositioning your desk and chair, adding mirrors or replacing harsh fluorescent lighting with attractive desk lamps.

She said you can tell if your cubicle has good feng shui if other employees spend more time visiting your cubicle than they do at their own desks.

(Cynics would probably argue that you could accomplish the same thing with a box of glazed doughnuts, but let us ignore their natterings and remain focused on the subject.)

Although I am willing to concede that the mood of your average cube-farm dweller could be improved by moving his or her desk nearer a window or providing better lighting, I think Santhuff takes this feng shui business too far.

For example, she recommends hanging a windsock and wind chimes in one's cubicle to enhance creativity. …

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