I'm an intern in a company (let's call it ABC Company) that offers outsourcing for banks, and we work in the banks, we are almost never in the company office, we are about 10 developers working in a laboratory in the bank, on Wednesdays 4 to 6 people come from ABC Company for meetings, and other business with the bank.

So the last 4 people to arrive are left with no chair or desk (we don't have a personal desk it's basically a very large table and you take a seat and work with your laptop), no one has a special position around the table, we do sit almost everyday in the same spot but it's not defined

There are other areas in the bank that we can use, but only for coffee or a small meeting, they are not appropiate to use them as an office to work (1 -2 chairs and small coffee table), so the people that couldn't get a seat stay on their feet all day and use some ATM's as tables to put their laptops in the laboratory.

For reasons of the building security, the lab where we work can only fit 10 people, we are not allowed even to bring more chairs.

When this happens no one says anything, our direct boss is one of the people that comes on Wednesdays.

How could I manage to overcome this situation? I am not sure if I should express my discomfort somehow. What alternatives I have here?

The Ministry of Labor of my country does specifies obligatory norms on this subject, being this the briefest that I can put here:


d) The screen shall be placed at a distance not beyond the reach of the arms, forearms and hands extended, taken when the back is resting on the back of the chair. From this way the flexoextensión of the trunk is avoided.


2 Answers 2


How could I manage to overcome this situation? I am not sure if I should express my discomfort somehow. What alternatives I have here?

Tough call. I am afraid that expressing your discomfort in such way (demanding application of the norms or similar) may not be too advisable. It is true that you are on your rights to have those stated conditions, but just demanding for them may be seen as too harsh or threatening; do it at your own risk.

However there is one detail that could work, you mentioned that:

...When this happens no one says anything, ...

So the first thing I recommend you do is to politely talk to your boss about this situation (maybe one-on-one quick meeting). It may be that he is not aware of this situation causing discomfort; in the best case he will immediately solve the problem after you talk with him.

If it is not the best case, and he is somewhat reluctant to fight for the extra chairs, I suggest you propose some alternatives. A few I can think of are:

  1. For the days you have meetings (Wednesdays) try to get a meeting room in the Bank facilities, or some other office room with adequate space and materials (probably you could need a projector, or some power connectors also to have a productive meeting).

    This makes more sense when you consider that you have periodical meetings, something that will help you schedule the use of room space so you get better chances of being "authorized" or whatever procedure is necessary there.

  2. If getting a meeting room is not feasible, maybe you could go to another public space in the Bank facilities, like a garden, plaza, or other area, where you could conduct your meeting in a more comfortable way for everyone.

You can also try mentioning to your boss that having a more comfortable space would benefit the meeting, as everyone will be more willing and capable of concentrating and participating in a more fluid and enriching way.

If this situation keeps recurring, and you really can't endure those conditions once a week (some people may have back troubles or similar, so it is valid to find it uncomfortable), plus your other efforts did not go well, then you would probably be better recurring to stronger actions (like mentioning the norms).

That or, if you no longer consider the job a fit for you, quit and look for other place where these conditions are met, so it is not a discomfort for anyone working there. I hope you can manage to solve this situation.

Bonus: Just came to my mind that you could also try getting one of these (in case nothing works), making sure there is no trouble using it in the lab:

enter image description here

(Took the image from google, in no way am I promoting that specific item nor I take profits from it)


It isn't your problem

You have your group of 10 people in a room that's designed and furnished for 10. That's great.

The issue is with the other guys who are there for their weekly meeting without a designated place to go. They're taking up your space and leaving one or more of your team-members out of a space.

The solution seems obvious:

Arrange for your team to arrive in the office especially early on Wednesdays to ensure all of your team members have somewhere appropriate to sit.

It's then up to the visiting members to find somewhere for themselves, and since that's no longer your problem, it's theirs.

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