Hutchinson SA- The office chair: humped & lame before going to beach



The Target: Apart from the lighting issue, I have experienced much discomfort also with the defective office chair I’ve been given. It leans paradoxically forward, not allowing me to rest my back.

Mr Benoualid: If you want more comfort why don’t you place a pillow at your back? The company’s office furniture had been bought many years ago. How employees could use the chair in the past? Their back differs than yours?
The Target: My back is normal, defective is the chair, unless it was designed or adapted deliberately that way for keeping the employee restless. It is indeed to question why this chair has not been thrown away as being defective. I don’t know if it has been used by others. I believe that this chair has been kept in the company for a reason. I did not rush to complain about it, but other employees being aware of its status asked me if it accommodates me well. Indeed, the issue has been escalated recently, as somebody unscrewed a roller of the chair and now the chair is not only humped, but also lame.
Mr Benoualid: Did you ask replacement?
The Target: I was told that I could order only a plastic one, but I would be the only project manager having a cheap chair, while the others, including even technicians, would have the old luxurious wooden chairs and this could be considered as less favourable treatment. I understand that the company’s revenue does not allow to buy new luxurious chairs. But I would prefer a low-cost plastic chair with proper back than a wooden chair with broken back and roller.
Mr Benoualid: Indeed, we can not afford to buy new office wooden furniture and if we would order a wooden chair only for you we would get complaints by the others who would also ask replacement of their old chairs. Then you would be benefited by more favourable treatment. Did you ask if there is a spare chair in any other department which you could transfer to your office?
The Target: I sent numerous emails to the responsible security manager of the research centre notifying my issue and kindly asking a replacement, but she ignored all my requests. A technician told me that it is probably the department manager, Natacha Carniol, who does not allow the replacement wishing to cause me discomfort. Does the security and health team along with the management aim to cause me hump or back pain? Is their corporate mission to compromise the physical status of the employees? Finally, a technician came to my office to replace the lame chair in order to “avoid an accident in the workplace” as he told me. He replaced it with another wooden chair which is actually a swing with its back leaning now much backwards! I can not sit in proper position up or forward in order to be able to work. I have to press the chair’s arms below the desk in order to stay up, being fixed close to the desk.
Mr Benoualid: So, the issue has been solved, but now you complain because the replacement chair allows you to relax back while the previous was keeping you forward?
The Target: Mr Benoualid, I prefer having a plastic standard office chair which can allow me to work staying up, than a wooden humped and lame or beach chair. Such practices are great provocation, indeed being supported by a service called “health and security”! Only autistic kids could find joy by causing such inconvenience to others. I asked the security department to have another chair even a plastic one, but they keep ignoring my requests. They do not process an order. I also asked to have the humped and lame chair back as I prefer it, but it has been disappeared. It is probably kept somewhere for getting offered in the future to another victim.
Mr Benoualid: No, no. We refuse that this is an intentional inconvenience or mistreatment. In work you need to compromise. If you have at home a chair which accommodates you better, then you are free to bring it to work or you can wait to use it in the near future at home.

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