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.
I don't blame her for beng PO'd either, but I blame her for being PO'd at the OP. Just because you would have acted differently doesn't mean the OP was wrong to do as the boss said.
Pod. The Snarky Coworker is a temp who is filling in for someone out on leave. In my mind, a full time worker takes priority over a temp who (I'm assuming) won't be there next year. If Snarky Coworker has a problem, she should be talking to the boss, not making snarky, bullying comments to the OP.
If I were the OP's boss, in fact, I would think seriously hard about firing the Snarky Coworker, because someone who would be so petty and bullying isn't someone I'd want in my office.
And I think some of you are making interesting assumptions about the Snarky Coworker. We don't know if she has any back pain; the chair belonged to the Coworker out on Maternity leave. Snarky Coworker could just as easily be mad because she just plain ol' liked the more comfy chair over the slightly less comfy one she has now (because the boss gave her two choices, and she picked the nicer chair then the OP's orginal.)
I don't think it's an "interesting assumption" at all. We don't know that she doesn't have back pain. That's why it's polite to take others into consideration and talk to them before going over their head to the boss.
"Go over their head to the boss"? The OP didn't "go over their head to the boss". She asked for a new chair because of her back pain, the boss said to take Snarky Coworkers, because the OP couldn't do their job due to the back pain.
Since the OP is there full time, while Snarky isn't, it's more important for the OP to have a more supportive chair. The OP said Snarky is only there three days a week, I think it's a little much to expect the OP to suffer through her back pain, and ignore what her boss told her, for at least a full day just to talk to Snarky.
And given how Snarky is acting, I sincerly doubt she would have let the OP have the chair. So what's the OP supposed to have done while she waited for the chair that was ordered to arrive? And I'm sure her boss would have noticed the OP ignored what the Boss told her to do, also, which could make the Boss wonder what else the OP ignores, which could effect the OPs rel@tionship with Boss, and possibly her job as well.
The Snarky Coworker isn't suffering with her possible bad back with the OP's bad chair while she waits for the new one ordered for her; the Boss gave her a choice of chairs, and the OP said Snarky Coworker picked the chair that was more supportive then the OP's orginal chair, but not as nice the chair the OP needs and has now. Considering her much her back puts her out of commision, and thus unable to do her job, I don't think this was unreasonable. Maybe the boss could have handled it better, yes, but that's still no reason for Snarky Coworker to bully and snark at the OP.
I think some of you are putting yourselves in Snarky Coworkers place, and just thinking, "I come into work, and my nice chair is replaced with Average Chair," without remembering that Snarky is being a snarky bully to the OP instead of acting like an adult.