Not so long ago we had a little shake-up in the office where I work. I went from sitting under a very comfortable high ceiling in a light and airy part of the office, to suddenly feeling squashed up in the kooky bit of our room under a significantly low ceiling. It was quite a change, and whilst being moved to sit opposite someone I hardly spoke with didn’t fill me with much glee, I did get to sit back to back with one of my favourite people in our team. So, as you do, you suck it up and get on with it and look forward to making better friends with the other side of the office. Except it didn’t quite work out that way. But I did ended up learning a super valuable lesson along the way. Never let a work colleague pressure you into ignoring an office hazard!
I can remember it like it was yesterday. Once in and settled at my new desk, it was probably a couple of hours in and I had the most raging headache. An hour on and despite getting out for fresh air and taking pain relief, I felt like my head was going to fall off. Actually, you know, plop, fall off into my lap. That’s how bad it was. By the time the day had ended and I was off home I was in an absolute state. Mr Button put it down to a stressful day, so I took it easy that evening. But it wasn’t a one off. It happened again. And again. And again. Every day it seemed to get worse, and no matter what measures I took, by the end of the day I was in a state of no return with a migraine so unbearable I could barely move, let alone have a conversation.
We both thought maybe it was flu on the way. But, I didn’t feel ill, I just had a mother-of-all migraines that seemed to be getting worse, but was weirdly alleviated at the weekend. Mr Button joked that perhaps I was allergic to work (Haha! Not). Now, I do get very occasional migraines, but I know they are almost always triggered by something in the environment. And that was the ding moment. It had to be something at work causing the crippling headaches. On went the inspector gadget glasses, and back on Monday, I was determined to get to the bottom of things.
No really. It was a light bulb. Well two to be precise. After wracking my brain for what on earth could be causing the headaches, as I sat staring at the ceiling it hit me. It really did. Right in my eyes that is. I was only sitting directly under a beaming bright hot spotlight that was cooking (frying?) my head. And not only that, in-line with the spotlight above my head, and further on away from me, another was beaming right into my eye line every time I looked at my computer screen! Ouch! It was an office hazard in the making, sitting directly under and in front of spotlights placed in a very low ceiling. No wonder I was coming home fried every single day.
Before I could think twice, our health and safety officer was on the case and sorting out a fix to the problem. I am so thankful for having such an amazing workplace who care about their staff. I truly am. Nothing was too much for them. Which was just as well as the now ex colleague opposite me decided to cause a truly hideous song and dance about it all. Instead of supporting me, she tried to make me feel extremely stupid for reporting the office hazard. Because it wasn’t directly affecting her, she didn’t understand why anything should change. The wobbly’s that were pulled were quite a spectacle to say the least.
Looking back I do wonder if she had been more educated on the dangers of office hazards, perhaps she wouldn’t have been as unkind as she was. There’s a brilliant infographic over on the accident advice helpline website which may have done the trick, and perhaps even helped me to spot the office hazard earlier! And these days? I’m still in the kooky bit of the office, but happy, healthy and enjoying life out of the spot light.
Have you ever come across an odd office hazard? Or ermmm…. an odd colleague who made you feel terrible for reporting one?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. All views and words are my own.
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