Author Topic: "You stole my chair!"  (Read 15758 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2012, 02:29:26 PM »
OP, I don't think you did anything wrong.  Coworker wasn't wrong to be miffed with you before she talked to Boss but now that she has talked to him?  She has no right to be miffed with you.

But what might have helped is to have left a note regarding what was happening, as a PP suggested.

I have back issues and was cleared to order an Obus Forme chair (not the standard) in order to alleviate some of the problems.  When I had an ergonomic assessment done to make sure I was working as well as I could, the assessor suggested I take the arms off my chair because I'm so short in the torso that they were lifting my arms at the shoulder.  So now, I don't have to worry about anyone stealing my fancy chair because no one else wants one without arms.   ;D
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Sharnita

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2012, 02:38:21 PM »
Questions...

Does she have a back (or other) problem and that is why she had a nicer chair? (I assume there is such an issue in this post...otherwise why does she have a nice chair?)
Did you explain that your boss switched chairs because you have a back problem and you have more hours to need it?
Did anyone explain to her that one is on order for her?
(And the new chair has been ordered right?)

I think your boss handled this badly. The thing to do would be to order you a better chair and leave hers alone if she has a medical reason for it. If she just has a nice chair, then a switch would be okay.

I think you should explain all of this about the boss switching, your back problem, a replacement for her, and any regret you feel for her being inconvenienced with a reminder that you have a medical need. And then ask her to stop commenting on it to you and take it to the boss or HR. If she keeps it up, remind her you asked her to stop and to take it up with someone else.

As someone who also has a lot of back pain, I sympathize with her. In her place, that you get the nice chair and don't have any empathy for someone that might have the same health issue, would upset me.

The thing is, if she does have some sort of medical issue, she wouldn't be obligated to disclose it to OP or maybe even her boss.

ETA: and really OP shouldn't have to disclose a medical need to her co-worker either.

LazyDaisy

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2012, 02:56:12 PM »
OP you did nothing wrong at all and she has no excuse to be upset with anyone. First off, it's not her chair unless she purchased it and it is her personal property (then, she can be upset), it belongs to the company. The boss has the right to assign company assets to any employee -- desks, chairs, phones, staplers, computers, monitors, printers... He states he will order a second chair in time, but he isn't obligated to and even that one will belong to neither you nor her. Maybe stop referring to it as her chair to make that point. The company's chair was reassigned to you. If she has a complaint, she can take it up with the boss. I am always amazed at people that believe company property is "theirs" and that's even if it was purchased for their specific benefit.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." — Douglas Adams

Pippen

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2012, 03:13:19 PM »
People do get attached to things they consider 'mine' in the workplace so just taking them without any consultation will get someones hackles up. Your boss should have approached her and explained the situation and asked her if she would mind swapping chairs until the new one arrived. Any reasonable person would be OK with that.


fountainof

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2012, 06:07:07 PM »
I guess I cannot relate as in my office you would never take someone else's chair and neither would the employer reassign chairs, most chairs were personally chosen by people based on their needs.  If you have a back problem don't you need to go and try out chairs though?  At my firm you would buy your own chair and submit for an expense refund.

Jaelle

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2012, 06:13:14 PM »
I guess I cannot relate as in my office you would never take someone else's chair and neither would the employer reassign chairs, most chairs were personally chosen by people based on their needs.  If you have a back problem don't you need to go and try out chairs though?  At my firm you would buy your own chair and submit for an expense refund.

I think this is quite unusual, though. We have a collection of all fairly lousy chairs at at work. Buying one and then submitting for a refund would get you laughed out of the building. :P  A friend who had to request a special chair much like the OP eventually got it (it was a battle), but is still labeled an SS among some higher-ups.

I don't think you did anything wrong, OP. You weren't obligated at all to smooth things over with the other person. Your boss, however, definitely could have handled it better.
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
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LazyDaisy

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2012, 07:01:21 PM »
I know that some people get attached to things at their job that they either use exclusively or routinely, but IMO it's not reasonable to do so to the point of possessiveness that the OP's coworker displays. When I was hired on, my boss led me to a desk and chair and told me that's where I would be working. After several years there, my employer decided "my" office would be a better location for someone else and my department was moved out and into a different building. Since we were moving into a furnished space, and the people moving in needed someplace to do their work, Facilities wasn't about to go swapping desks, chairs, phones, file cabinets...just the stuff specific to my job -- heck, if they could have, they would have just moved my computer files over instead of the whole computer. I don't feel as if the other people stole my personal belongings.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." — Douglas Adams

threedogs

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2012, 07:19:48 PM »
Reading this has made me realize that I am somewhat possesive of my office chair.  I'm pretty sure no one else wants it, as it's older and I've made a mess of the arm rests bashing them into my desk, but I would be quite miffed if I came to work and found out it had been reassigned.  When the company was ordering new chairs, I had the chance to 'upgrade', but I didn't want to.  My chair suits me perfectly, has features I like, and I see no reason to change it.

So I understand how the OP's co-worker could be upset by this.  It's not so much the chair, as the way it was done, arbitrarily and behind her back, essentially.  Or it could be that she is used to her chair and finds the substitute less comfortable or less ergonomically suited to her and is cranky about that.  I don't think she's handling it well, and I think redirecting her to the boss, as others have suggested it about all you can do.

I also wonder if instead of ordering a new chair for her, the new chair would be for you, and you could ask her to agree to allow you to use her chair until the new chair arrives, and then promise to return her chair.  She may feel better if she has some say in the situation.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2012, 07:24:58 PM »
The fact that the coworker is filling in for a maternity leave and is only there part time makes a big difference to me.  If this were my regular coworker who was there every day but just happened to be off the day I talked to boss, I wouldn't have taken her chair; I'd have waited for a new one to be ordered.

But a contract, part time employee?  Sorry, I'm snagging the chair so I don't backslide until a new one comes in.  At that point, I return her chair and use the new one.  However, as a concession, if the chair I snagged was only a couple months old, I'd give coworker the new chair for having to give up her chair.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Docslady21

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2012, 09:31:19 PM »
OP you did nothing wrong at all and she has no excuse to be upset with anyone. First off, it's not her chair unless she purchased it and it is her personal property (then, she can be upset), it belongs to the company. The boss has the right to assign company assets to any employee -- desks, chairs, phones, staplers, computers, monitors, printers... He states he will order a second chair in time, but he isn't obligated to and even that one will belong to neither you nor her. Maybe stop referring to it as her chair to make that point. The company's chair was reassigned to you. If she has a complaint, she can take it up with the boss. I am always amazed at people that believe company property is "theirs" and that's even if it was purchased for their specific benefit.

This. This right here. The boss doesn't even have to order her another chair. He/she's being more than kind in even getting a second chair. If this woman is a temp, she's even more out of line to get possessive over furniture in the office. And continuing to rag on you would get her dismissed from temping in our office because she is essentially criticizing the boss' decision. Imagine if the boss told you to stay late and then you loudly, repeatedly mocked that request to everyone around you.

I have no patience for these territorial games. Everything I did not bring into the office myself belongs to the office--my chair, my desk, my computer--everything.

I would firmly, cooly, tell her: "It's not funny, please stop. The subject, for me, is closed. You can talk to our boss if you have an issue, but I do not want to hear another word."

sweetonsno

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2012, 02:38:19 AM »
While I think your boss majorly dropped the ball, I think you could have handled things a little better from the start.

I think that, before switching chairs, you should have talked to her in-person or at least left a note on her desk. Something to the effect of "Co-worker, Boss has asked us to switch chairs for the time being. Please talk to him if you have any questions. Sorry for the inconvenience."

I can imagine how upset I would be if I had a really nice comfy chair, and came into work one day to find it...gone. I then had to track down the culprit, who blamed it on the boss, and then had to track down the boss. And who knows what kind of explanation the boss gave her?

While she's wrong to keep harping on you, I think some understanding, rather than deflection to the boss, would help smooth things over. Tell her you're sorry for switching without talking to her first, say that you're dealing with a medical condition, and tell her that the boss promised to order a new chair.

Parking my POD right here. It doesn't matter that she is part time. It doesn't matter that she's a temp. The way the boss handled this was disrespectful to both your coworker and you. To her, it was sort of a straight out from underneath decision, and unfortunately, you had to take the brunt of it.

I don't think you should apologize for taking the chair, as you were told to do so, but I do think it would go pretty far to offer sympathy for her situation, because honestly, she got the short end of the stick. You mentioned that you put in a request for one. Have you told her that? For instance, "I know you're upset that I got your chair. I'd be mad if someone changed out the equipment I was using without letting me know, too. It was absolutely not my intention or desire to get your chair. I was hoping that Pointy Haired Boss would order a new one. I know he has, and I hope it gets here soon."

bopper

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2012, 08:52:21 AM »
"You know I went to boss and asked for my own chair, right? And he told me to temporarily use this chair as I can literally be unable to work for a day if I get back spasms?  I agree that was not the best way for him to handle it, and I know I would be annoyed too but I am just doing what he said."

wyliefool

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2012, 12:36:33 PM »
The chairs around here were old when I started 13+ years ago. I finally solved my back problems by buying my own chair. I've made it well known that the chair is MINE  and it's not to be moved and if I'm fired or anything (been a lot of that lately) it's going home w/ me.

It's so much easier than trying to pry anything out of the boss.

auntmeegs

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #28 on: October 19, 2012, 07:22:06 PM »
No way would I have taken her chair.  At the very most I would have used it while she was not there and put it back on her days in the office.  Then I would have waited for my new chair to arrive.  I don't blame her for being PO'd.

June24

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Re: "You stole my chair!"
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2012, 07:37:25 PM »
No way would I have taken her chair.  At the very most I would have used it while she was not there and put it back on her days in the office.  Then I would have waited for my new chair to arrive.  I don't blame her for being PO'd.
POD. Boss may have "told you" to do it, but I think you're still responsible for your actions. It's not cool to take someone else's chair without asking. You're basically telling her that your comfort is more important than hers. I'm not surprised that she's upset.