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to not want my work to make me take someone elses chair!

(25 Posts)
passingtime Tue 16-Aug-11 15:04:52

I have been diagnosed with sciatica recently and HR want me to take my colleagues chair because its a special support chair and the lady in question just inherited it - she doesn't actually have back problems.

AIBU to not want to cause a row with a colleague over a chair she has had for years (I am fairly new) and to think HR should just order me a new one?

itisnearlysummer Tue 16-Aug-11 15:07:27

I wouldn't want to give up my chair, I would want HR to buy a new one.

But if it was necessary I wouldn't fall out with my colleague either - their decision is not your fault.

Flisspaps Tue 16-Aug-11 15:07:28

Well, if hers is what you need, and she can use a normal chair, then YAB a bit U.

The chairs are all company property and as such, should be distributed as appropriate by whoever is best placed to do so. Why should they pay for another support chair, when there is a perfectly good one being used by someone who doesn't need it?

Flisspaps Tue 16-Aug-11 15:08:04

Forgot to add - if she does have a gripe, then it should be with HR/Management, she shouldn't fall out with you as it's not your decision.

GoldenGreen Tue 16-Aug-11 15:08:54

YABU, sorry. Assuming you've been assessed and the chair is suitable for you, you should have it. They are expensive and it isn't "her" chair, or an inherited chair, it is a chair in the office. People desk share as a matter of course - you can't claim ownership unless you need special equipment for some reason.

TheMonster Tue 16-Aug-11 15:10:33

What does your colleague say about it? Is she cross?

HPonEverything Tue 16-Aug-11 15:13:11

The chair should be yours, but I can see what you're saying about the colleague being miffed (I work with a very unreasonable woman who would kick off big time about something like this). However that's not your argument to have, if she has a gripe she needs to speak to management/HR and not start casting blame in your direction.

Is she generally pretty unreasonable or would she be sympathetic to your cause?

passingtime Tue 16-Aug-11 15:16:40

She is not in today and they have just dont the assessment but all my other colleagues have been raising eyebrows over what her reaction will be

I don't know her that well really but she seems really lovely. its my other colleagues saying she will kick right off if i take her chair.....

HPonEverything Tue 16-Aug-11 15:19:42

Have they suggested that you just steal it from under her type thing? And she comes back and has no chair and you're just sat there in it typing away?

God that would be really awkward!

If they give her a decent replacement and then contact her saying "unfortunately your ergonomic chair was needed by another colleague" then wouldnt' that be enough? It's still not really your problem though but I'd try and facilitate that if I were you.

RedBlanket Tue 16-Aug-11 15:21:29

This is the sort of thing which kicks off many office fueds.
Make sure she knows it wasn't your idea.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Tue 16-Aug-11 15:22:06

It is not her chair. It is a chair in an office.

If HR decree it, so mote it be. Use the chair, feel better and get on with work. IF your colleague kickes off she really does need to either get a life or a diagnosis from a doctor so that she can 'reclaim' it if warranted.

Office politics! Got to loathe it all!

Kladdkaka Tue 16-Aug-11 15:27:03

Is sciatica classed as a disability? Sorry, don't mean to be ignorant, it's just that I have back problems from fibromyalgia, which I know is. If it is, then you can get someone from the disability service (contact through the job centre) to come to your place of work and carry out a work station assessment. They will tell you exactly what type of seat you need for your condition and your company can claim back the costs of providing it for you from them. The seat then belongs to you and if you change jobs you take it with you. The one I had was like being captain of the Starship Enterprise.

momobiker Wed 17-Aug-11 10:39:36

as predicted by my other colleagues, the lady has come in today, kicked right off, claims she too has sciatica and is shooting me very evil looks.

Meanwhile I feel like crying with pain. She has got her phone wedged between her shoulder and her ear rather than using a headset - maybe that is contributing to her newly developed bad back!

ProcrastinatorGeneral Wed 17-Aug-11 10:52:11

What a patetic specimen she is momo

I think taking the high road is yor only option here. Along with copious amounts of tea.

TheMonster Wed 17-Aug-11 10:53:21

Tell her to contact HR.

momobiker Wed 17-Aug-11 10:58:15

my manager has said they will order me a new chair. I am just extremely irritated now that a colleague would see me in so much pain and not offer to give up the ergonomic chair

Pandemoniaa Wed 17-Aug-11 11:07:12

I was once responsible for managing aspects of local government reorganisation in a council department. Right from the outset - and despite the chief officer thinking differently - I knew that the so-called "hot issues" would not be land transfer or how to make the traffic lights work without any of the kit being transferred to the new authority or even which council staff ended up working for.

Instead, people became almost hysterical about whether their cups, desks and chairs would go with them or be used by upstarts from the councils that were being combined.

It could be deeply frustrating when such depths of emotion were displayed over such apparently trivial objects but actually, these were the only things that people felt they could control when everything else around them seemed to be going to hell in a hand basket. Since then, I've never underestimated the potential for trouble that occurs when relatively simple changes are planned at work.

So yes, OP for all sorts of reasons I can understand your colleague being unimpressed (even if your need for the chair is greater than hers) but it is not for you to suffer the grief from your colleague. It is for HR to handle the matter properly. In the meantime, explain that none of this is your doing and you don't want to jeopardise your working relationship with her.

Ormirian Wed 17-Aug-11 11:08:25

I think YABU. Those chairs aren't cheap and if she doesn't need it. Does she object?

Ormirian Wed 17-Aug-11 11:09:20

Oh, I see she does object hmm

She should complain to HR then!

gaaagh Wed 17-Aug-11 11:11:34

"I am just extremely irritated now that a colleague would see me in so much pain and not offer to give up the ergonomic chair"

Well maybe she hasn't noticed. Or she thinks you've already put in motion the HR process. Or it's just a temp thing.

You shouldn't be relying on your colleague to "offer" her chair to you. Go through the correct channels which have been formally outlined. This isn't high school - just go through the official process, surely? hmm

Unless you are the OP and you've been given it by HR confused In which case I fully support the General's comment about it: "It is not her chair. It is a chair in an office." and you'd be in the right...

PissesGlitter Wed 17-Aug-11 11:14:44

i have back and shoulder pain (yet to be diagnosed)
if i found a chair (or anything) that help with the pain then i would be using it
get HR to check if this woman has a medical reason for the chair and if not then tough shit lady!!
if she does then HR will need to get a new chair

DontGoCurly Wed 17-Aug-11 11:25:22

Those chairs cost hundreds. I doubt HR will buy you a new one if there is one already there.

JanMorrow Wed 17-Aug-11 11:27:40

HR should email her to let her know if they're inisisting on this, absolving you of any "blame" as it were.

HPonEverything Wed 17-Aug-11 11:37:13

She should surely be formally assessed before being allowed to keep the chair? She can't just have it because she 'claims' to have a niggle in her neck!

You have been formally assessed and should have the chair with immediate effect.

I think HR have put you in a really difficult position and it sounds like they are being cowards tbh in the way they are responding to it (instead of tackling her, they're ordering a new chair for you). Hope it comes quickly!

(I'm assuming that momo is the op here, a bit confused)

SnapesMistress Wed 17-Aug-11 11:46:04

What a cow. Seriously, see if you can get HR to come and insist t her that she gives you the chair.

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