to want to sit at work with the blinds open and no heater on?

(90 Posts)
Iwantsun Tue 15-Apr-14 13:13:02

I share an office with a colleague who has a disability. I am not sure what it is and she has never disclosed the nature of it, just that she has one.

The weather is absolutely gorgeous at the moment. The minute she gets in, she closes all the blinds, claims it is freezing and has the heater on all day. She puts the lights on because she has closed the blinds. I am fed up of sitting all day in the dark roasting because of the heater.

I have dropped several hints that she should wear more layers but she prefers to sit in a thin dress with the heater blaring on.

I have spoken to my line manager and he says he cannot do anything about the situation because of her disability. There is no other room for me or her to move to.

I just want some sun and fresh air sad

WorraLiberty Tue 15-Apr-14 13:15:25

I wouldn't drop any more hints.

I'd speak to her and let her know I'm too hot and I can't work like that. Then tell her we'll need to compromise, starting with her wearing warmer clothes.

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:15:30

I don't think you're unreasonable, if it's anything like here it's bloody boiling I could NOT sit in an office in this heat.

They have to accommodate her disability but it shouldn't have to have an affect on anyone else. She could wear more layers, or perhaps she'd like a little personal heater? The light thing can't be helped really though

MoreSkyThanWeNeed Tue 15-Apr-14 13:18:28

Can't you tell her you are too hot and just open the blinds?
I'm not sure what her disability has to do with it? And if it does, then surely she can explain that to you when you discuss opening the blinds and turning off heating.
I wouldn't be happy with those working conditions tbh. There has to be a compromise somewhere.

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:22:46

The woman may not be able to have bright sunlight shone in her eyes so the blinds may have to stay closed.

The temperature can be resolved though.

OhGoveUckYourself Tue 15-Apr-14 13:25:26

YANBU. Why should you be forced to work in artificial light and in over-heated conditions to accomodate another's disability! I have a disability and feel the cold more than most but I wear layers and dress accordingly outside of my home. As to the light thing, well I would be insisting on my need for natural light as much as possible. It is a ridiculous situation and if your employer cannot provide for her special needs without imposing on your comfort then they need to rethink.

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:30:57

Loads of people are 'forced' to work in artificial light. I don't think that's a major issue here. The heat is.

Iwantsun Tue 15-Apr-14 13:31:05

Can't you tell her you are too hot and just open the blinds?

I have opened the blinds, she says her eyes are too sensitive. She needs special glasses but they are too expensive so for her the answer seems to be that I have to sit in the dark all day as well angry

I have told her I am too hot but she says "what I can do, I feel so cold". I tell her to wear more layers, she says she forgot. What everyday? hmm

CoffeeTea103 Tue 15-Apr-14 13:31:29

Yanbu, why should your working conditions be placed second to hers. If it's the temperature she could layer up, if she's facing outside and the light affects her then she should move.

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:32:41

If she needs glasses because of a disability she should be entitled to them for free or at a very discounted rate.

ApocalypseNowt Tue 15-Apr-14 13:34:25

I'd approach your manager again. They have to provide a reasonable working environment for everyone not just this lady. If she needs these special glasses could work contribute to the cost? But wouldn't they be available on prescription (I'm not sure how these things work tbh)?

Your manager also needs to talk to your colleague - it's not on that she 'forgets' every day to bring warmer clothes.

Iwantsun Tue 15-Apr-14 13:36:50

I'd approach your manager again

I have mentioned it a few times but he just says he does not know the nature of her disability either because she does not have to disclose it so he is concerned that it might be discriminatory against her in some way if he says anything to her about the heater or blinds

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Tue 15-Apr-14 13:39:29

I think you should see what temp the office is getting up to, ask for a DSE and state the dark hot conditions and buy her a jumper as a present to be kept in the office.

Morgause Tue 15-Apr-14 13:40:33

I'd open the blinds and windows and say you are feeling faint.

slowcomputer Tue 15-Apr-14 13:40:35

Dare I say that she sounds mad as a box of frogs and I'd bet that this "disability" is a bit nebulous?

Iwantsun Tue 15-Apr-14 13:41:15

buy her a jumper as a present to be kept in the office

Would she wear it though??????????

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 15-Apr-14 13:44:20

I Think your manager needs to have an honest discussion with your colleague about what adjustments she needs in the work place. Perhaps an Occ health assessment to make sure she is getting the support she needs. The natural light thing is annoying but I don't think there is much you can do about that as plenty of people work under artificial light. With regard to the temperature I would tell your boss you are feeling faint because it is so hot and stuffy. It just sounds like your boss is tiptoeing around your colleague, misguidedly think he will offend her if he has a frank and confidential discussion about her needs.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 15-Apr-14 13:45:24

Open the window and if she says anything tell her it's tough she can take it up with hr. She sounds ridiculous.

Iwantsun Tue 15-Apr-14 13:46:50

Open the window and if she says anything tell her it's tough she can take it up with hr. She sounds ridiculous

Thank you, this is what I was thinking but thought I may have been unfair because of her disability

PartialFancy Tue 15-Apr-14 13:49:40

Agree with a proper Occ Health assessment for colleague. If she's claiming she needs reasonable adjustments for her disability, it's not unreasonable for the employer to ask her for more details.

Hissy Tue 15-Apr-14 13:49:42

Surely if she has a disability and needs special glasses she can get these on the NHS?

If she's working on a screen, she she can approach HR and ask for help to get the equipment she needs.

I know someone who gets his wheelchair paid for by work, and he's assembly line.

dunsborough Tue 15-Apr-14 13:50:03

Ask her to compromise. You have it the way you like it one day, her way the next.

specialsubject Tue 15-Apr-14 13:51:28

wanting to sit in thin clothes with heating on is wasteful and entitled behaviour, and disability is no excuse that I can see.

when the electricity runs out in 6 years, what will she do then?

ApocalypseNowt Tue 15-Apr-14 13:51:51

If she hasn't disclosed her disability how on earth can reasonable adjustments be made?! Surely that has to be a collaborative approach with hr/your manager and the employee. If she doesn't disclose it then surely no adjustments have to be made...?

I'm loath to say this because every effort should be made to include people and make it possible for them to work but iIt's starting to sound like it's about her preferences rather than her needs.

PartialFancy Tue 15-Apr-14 13:55:11

I think people are being a bit overoptimistic about what's available on the NHS, though, especially post-cuts.

I don't know anything about the thresholds for dark glasses, but a lot of stuff just isn't available for mild-moderate sufferers.

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