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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2011-08-08

What should I do?

I recently bought myself a brand new laptop which I use to work from home –  since I work from home twice a week. It was supposed to be my turn to get a new laptop at work, but management asked me whether they could rather give the laptop to someone else who doesn’ t have a laptop at home - on the condition that I’ d get a faster(but second-hand) desktop to replace my current one.

The only problem now is that the machine they wanted to replace mine with is lower spec than my current one! (ie. It’ s slower instead of faster). Now the only way for me to not be frustrated by a slow machine, is to bring my personal laptop to work and to use that. BUT then I have to pay travel insurance in case I get mugged or robbed –  out of my own pocket, while the company machines all have travel insurance paid for by the company. Plus I have to make the long slog(4km both ways) to and from the train station with a heavy laptop.

I really don’ t think this situation is fair but I don’ t know what to do about it because I gave them permission. What should I do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Not, I suppose, strictly a psychiatric question, unless your laptop is VERY depressed about all this.
There was a verbal but binding contract between you and the company, that in return for not receiving the new work laptop ( but maybe you should be next in line, for the next one they buy ? ) you would use your own at home, and receive an upgrade on your desktop to a faster machine. Point out to them that this has not happened, and you have instead received a faulty and SLOWER desktop, which is not fair, and clearly not what had been agreed.
Point out that obviously your productivity will be severely reduced by this inferior machine, and that you can't afford to bring your own machine to work because of the extra cost of insuing it and the difficulty of carrying it all the way from the station. This should be a firm, assertive but pleasant conversation, reminding them of the agreement you reached so as to help them, and your concern to be able to maintain your best quality of work.
Like Jenni, I tend to wonder why they had this inferior extra desltop available, and wonder whether its previous recipient had refused to work on it. Whatever, you did NOT give permission for this unsatisfactory swop.
There, now, I hope your laptop is feeling a bit better

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: Unemployed! | 2011-08-08

Then take the slower machine, which u will still have to carry, and put in writing your output will not be as high as u would like!
Inform management you no longer have a personal machine at home due to theft.
Then stop complaining and be thankful you have a job!

Reply to Unemployed!
Posted by: Liza | 2011-08-08

Unfortunately a discussion won''t decrease the 4km I have to walk every day. I have notified my manager that the current machine is faster and so it won''t help to replace it, but I haven''t had any feedback about it yet. And to try and get them to pay for the insurance, is an exercise in futility. Other colleagues have used their personal machines at work and no-one has been reimbursed for insurance.

They also already know that the slow machine is impacting on my performance - which is why I was due for an upgrade.

I guess I''m just upset and need to vent. I''m so angry I have difficulty concentrating right now...

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Jenni | 2011-08-08

Explain to them that the laptop is slower, if you''re friends with someone in the IT/ tech department get them to verify. Tell them you''d be willing to use your own laptop if they pay for the insurance on it. Like Obvious said, they broke the verbal contract. Maybe they asked if you could get the second hand laptop because the person who was supposed to get it didn''t want it because they knew it was slower.

Reply to Jenni
Posted by: Obvious | 2011-08-08

You gave them permission to give you a faster laptop and they have not . In doing so they have not fufilled their contract as explained 2 u - verbal or written both apply.
If they cannot do so the fair compromise would be for them to pay your insurance on your own supplied machine.Or u use the slower one supplied by themselves on the understanding it will affect your output.
There is no need for conflict but a discussion on the issue can resolve your problem.

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-08-08

Not, I suppose, strictly a psychiatric question, unless your laptop is VERY depressed about all this.
There was a verbal but binding contract between you and the company, that in return for not receiving the new work laptop ( but maybe you should be next in line, for the next one they buy ? ) you would use your own at home, and receive an upgrade on your desktop to a faster machine. Point out to them that this has not happened, and you have instead received a faulty and SLOWER desktop, which is not fair, and clearly not what had been agreed.
Point out that obviously your productivity will be severely reduced by this inferior machine, and that you can't afford to bring your own machine to work because of the extra cost of insuing it and the difficulty of carrying it all the way from the station. This should be a firm, assertive but pleasant conversation, reminding them of the agreement you reached so as to help them, and your concern to be able to maintain your best quality of work.
Like Jenni, I tend to wonder why they had this inferior extra desltop available, and wonder whether its previous recipient had refused to work on it. Whatever, you did NOT give permission for this unsatisfactory swop.
There, now, I hope your laptop is feeling a bit better

Reply to cybershrink

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