Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Cubicle Life: Fellowes Coat Hook Review

A lot of us are destined for the cubicle life. Don't fight it. Just accept the inevitable now and enjoy it the while it lasts.

Did I mention that I worked in an I.T. unit once?

That was the ultimate exercise in the exploration of the cube farm. This position involved working in over a dozen offices with over a hundred employees each. The opportunity gave me a chance to explore how people settled into the home away from home. Some people leave theirs barren, many leave theirs littered with work items, and many more personalize. I found the friendliest offices to be the ones where employees shared four partition walls with more than one other person, and many had a radio going. This is "home".

Like home, it isn't uncommon to find clothing and decorative items around the office. There's always the back of the chair, but having something there can be annoying. Personally, I can't stand having a jacket on the back of my chair because it's bulky and when moving around, it gets in the way. How about formal wear? Might have an important meeting, don't want to wrinkle that jacket. And what about decorating your walls with larger items? Push-pins only get your so far and there are probably rules against putting nails into partition walls. This is when an over the wall coat hook can come in handy.
Fellowes Coat Hook Packaging Details

Welcome to the world of cubicle accessories. I discovered my first over the wall hook a few years ago when my neighbor left and I went into salvage/pillage anything valuable. Out of that trip, I managed to acquire two coat hooks and one white board. One small steel, over the wall hook was atrocious and only had a small tab that would fit a metal wire hanger or a string -- I didn't trust the load capacity of that tab for anything heavier hung on a string. And then there was the larger, much better and sturdier looking hook. It's still in my current cube and I have no idea if it's the same brand as the new ones I bought, but they look very similar. 
Fellowes Coat Hook Front-side
Fellowes Mesh Partition Double Coat Hook - $13.76


The two new coat hooks were purchased from Staples and are from Fellowes. Above is the box for one of them. As you can see, the product is supposed to fit 1.5" to 3" wide partitions. I don't see a load capacity, so be careful? At $13, it isn't particularly cheap, but given the handiness of it and the length of time it may be in use, I don't think it's a bad deal at all. The last few over the door hangers I got were plastic with two usable hooks and those were about $6 each.

Both hooks are fairly closely spaced together and the rear of the hanger is angled inwards. This angling made it necessary for me to use a little bit of effort when installing the product over my wall. My guess would be that the curved back allows it to fit over partitions of different sizes, and the compression gives the hook some grip. Also, the balls over the ends of the hook may go easier on clothing when hung directly without a coat hanger. I have no idea what the wire mesh does.

Fellowes Coat Hook Back-side
Everyday Use
I've only had this model for a few weeks, so can't really say how durable it is. However, I have another one with a very similar design minus the mesh. That one has been in use for three years now hanging both light and heavy coats, and also a diploma frame. The frame is one of those elaborate oversized frames sold from universities and has to be a pound or two. I've also been using one of my newer ones as a diploma hanger and it's been holding up fine.

This coat hanger is preferred over a proper coat rack found in every other cubicle in my area except mine. In case it's not obvious from the pictures, the hook doesn't protrude very far out from the wall and doesn't take up any floor space. Not being tall, I'm not sure how a taller person may or may not get along with one.