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to buy my own stool? (work woes)

(14 Posts)
MabliD Tue 26-Jul-11 18:21:24

Ok. Here it goes. Sorry for the wall of text.

I am 16 weeks pregnant, and just starting to get larger than usual. It's not been a difficult pregnancy as such so far, but I've had issues with low blood pressure (including passing out at work) and in recent weeks have developed really agonising sciatica pain in my left leg - although some days it is better than others. The doctor reckons I have a dodgy disk and the baby growing is putting pressure on it and on the nerve, and that the pain is likely to go away when the baby is born. For those counting, that's five months away. Happy times.

I work in retail, and as such spend the majority of the day standing behind a till, fetching and carrying, and occasionally crawling about on the floor looking for things people have dropped. I've been finding it pretty hard going recently, to the point where I've locked myself in a cupboard and cried with the pain. Management have previously promised me a stool to sit on behind the till, so that I can serve and rest up a little at the same time. They did provide me with a stool, but took it away again after about two weeks, saying that they needed it for their office. They have replaced it with a kickstool, which is so low that I can't get off it without assistance if I do sit on it and certainly can't serve customers - I can't see the screen on the till from down there! I can't go and sit elsewhere as we are massively understaffed and I'm often alone on the tills for hours at a time - there'd be a riot. I asked again for the stool today; no-one was in the office and I offered to bring it back as soon as they needed it. I was refused.

So would I be unreasonable to turn up with my very own stool, park myself on it, and get on with my job without being in pain all day? I don't want a row with my mangers, and I know It's pretty passive aggressive, but I'm running out of ideas.

Beachedbabe Tue 26-Jul-11 18:25:05

YANBU but have you had a risk assesment? That should cover needing to sit down and should ensure you are given a stool?

Bohica Tue 26-Jul-11 18:25:51

Sounds hard going. I would bring one if they are not supplying it. As long as it's not stopping you do your role then I don't see a problem.

You shouldn't have to buy one imo but if you need it....

limitedperiodonly Tue 26-Jul-11 18:26:55

I think that's more than reasonable of you. Make sure you nail it down mark it indelibly with your name so it doesn't go walkabout.

MabliD Tue 26-Jul-11 18:39:56

I had a risk assessment at 6+4 because my job also used to involve a lot of heavy lifting. It was done by a temporary manager (covering my usual manager whilst she was away) and she agreed that I should have a chair (this was before getting out of a chair became a mission in itself!). My usual manager agreed to the risk assessment, but it seems that since the temp manager left it has been slightly... forgotten. I'm due another assessment next month - exactly how much of a fuss should I kick up? (First baby, no clue what I'm doing)

Fuzzled Tue 26-Jul-11 18:40:34

Um, by Health & Safety, they should have done an assessment with you and then provided you with whatever they have agreed.
Think you can go to HSE if they don't and they can get fined etc...
Threaten and cajole! grin

mrsbiscuits Tue 26-Jul-11 18:42:04

Don't wait kick up a fuss now! Sorry but this is out of order and the company have a duty of care to you - so speak to your manager tomorrow. x

Gissabreak Tue 26-Jul-11 18:53:59

Message withdrawn

MabliD Tue 26-Jul-11 19:04:01

Hah! I nearly wrote 'my own bloody stool' but that was a deeply unpleasant image!

Manager has gone on holiday - so will have to fuss at the deputy who accused me of skiving / faking illness when I was hugging the work toilet at 7 weeks pregnant as "No-one gets symptoms this early" hmm. Not my idea of fun, but needs must. She's not a mum (quelle surprise)!

Andrewofgg Tue 26-Jul-11 20:43:59

Had the same unpleasant thought, Gissabreak, there are two of us with a juvenile streak around.

OP - Go to the office, take the stool, say the manager agreed it if you need it because you are pg, and if they need another one they will have to get another one. Mark it with your name. And TNS about it. Face the buggers down.

There are times when the line is not between men and women - it is between parents and those who never have been. I once had to point out to the (female) lawyer on the other side that no, it was not realistic to expect my heavily pg counsel to carry three lever-arch files to a station, onto a train, off a train and to a taxi, as well as her own bag, and that while I obviously could if I had to I couldn't take six, so her clients were going to have to send both sets to our hotel and damn the expense. She said she would ask the partner in charge and rang back five minutes later to apologise and say she would. And later over a drink she confirmed that the partner was a father and had told her not to be so bloody silly.

Pkam Tue 26-Jul-11 21:16:28

Make sure you know your rights - have a look at the HSE pages for expectant mothers. Then go in and demand they look after you in a way that meets their legal obligations.

LadyOfTheManor Tue 26-Jul-11 21:20:44

When I read "stool" I thought it meant poo.

LadyOfTheManor Tue 26-Jul-11 21:21:05

Ah, I see I'm not alone.


MabliD Tue 26-Jul-11 21:30:54

Thanks for the link Pkam - I think I'll print the relevant parts off and take them in to back up my point. I'm a wet fish with management atm (too weepy and hormonal to stand up for myself) so having the legal facts in front of me will really help.

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