Saturday, October 20, 2007

Update #3, part 2: The office saga

I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but since this whole thing started, I've been trying to get my employers to get me a keyboard tray (to mount under the desk, therefore lowering the keyboard). As it is, I am reaching too high, pulling my elbows out, and bending my wrists to type. And I am quite sure, now, that this has a lot to do with my condition. I am short. My chair is pulled up as high as it will go, and I have a footstool so that my feet and legs are positioned properly. But I have a short torso. I even have to buy 'petite' sized shirts, as the ones for the regular people just don't fit right. So even though my chair is high and I have a footstool, it cannot make my arms be high enough in proportion to the desk. I actually asked for a keyboard tray over a year ago, well before I was having any problems, just because I knew this was a bad position for me. They 'looked into it', but then the whole matter just dropped, and I didn't pursue it. Now, I'm pursuing it again. It's been weeks. I am going through my supervisor, who is a good guy and I think it being straight with me. The hold up seems to be that if they get me a keyboard drawer, they have to get everyone one (probably 50 people or so). [eyeroll] And they are hesitant to get everyone one now because there could be personnel changes coming up and therefore desk-configuration changes, and they don't want to install all these keyboard drawers only to have to remove them again to change all the desks. Every week I ask my supervisor if there's any progress, but there never is. Well, there is a little. They've actually gone ahead and ordered 5 ergonomically correct keyboards, that (hopefully) will look something like this:

Apparently the PTB have noticed that many of the employees who type all day wear wrist braces. DUH! So they've ordered 5 of these keyboards to run a 'test' to see if it helps. I will be one of the recipients. So this is progress, but not enough. This keyboard will not benefit me if I still have to reach up too high to type with it. I really can't understand their attitude of "if we give her one we have to give everyone one". Well, I do understand, from a political correctness point of view, but certainly not from a practical point of view. Many employees (well, nearly all) are taller than me. I'm sure MANY of them can type comfortably with the keyboard on the desk, as it is. Can't they just offer the drawer to whomever feels they need it? Or to everyone under 5'4"? I even told my supervisor that I am willing to purchase and install my own drawer, and to find out if that would be ok. He's asked them, but there has not been an answer yet. It's getting crazy. It's been over a month. I'm feeling very much like they just don't care what happens to their employees. I believe that they've already decided 'no', but don't want to tell me 'no', so they plan to just ignore me until I go away. But I can't go away, because this is damaging my body. So yesterday I left a message at the doctor's office, asking if they can provide me with a note that states that I NEED a keyboard drawer. So we'll see what happens. If that doesn't pan out, I will be telling my supervisor that I AM going to buy my own and install it, and I don't care whether they like it or not.


Jess said...

Oh, that's infuriating! I don't see why they feel it has to be all or nothing. Where I work, you can request things like ergonomic keyboards and footstools if you need them. Not everyone has the same requirements, but surely you should have those things provided if your health is suffering without them!

allison said...

Have you discussed this with your human resource department? This is an employee safety and health issue, not a random request and they should have acted on it a long time ago.

jenn said...

Yeah, I made my last job buy me the keyboard and nobody else had them. They had to accommodate me as it would, otherwise, become a potential WCB (workmen's comp) issues.

And they don't want that.

CosmicAvatar said...

What Allison said. I don't know what your rights are in the US, but that wouldn't wash in the UK.