Harsh coworker makes me feel stupid & hate going to work!

  1. 1
    Any advice for dealing with awful coworkers? This person is more than a coworker, but in fact is my "boss" while at work.

    It is so bad that it makes me not want to go to work. When she walks into the room I just tense up. Sometimes I will go to the furthest location from her I can find in order to chart, even though my patients are located at the other end. I find that she is rude to everyone, but there have been 2 occasions where I have been specifically singled out and embarassed.

    I was thinking about it, and realized she has never given me ANY positive feedback - I mean zero. As the person in charge, she should be giving me both positive feedback and constructive criticism. Once she lectured me in front of 4 fellow nurses, and in essence called me a slacker (but tried to make it look like she was joking)...what's worse is that it wasn't anything I should have ever been lectured on. ANY TIME I ask her a question, the person that should be there to support my learning, she looks at me like "you are retarded, I can't believe you are asking me this." Oftentimes I will avoid asking questions and just try to figure things out on my own, which I know is not safe, but I am just so scared of her. I get positive feedback from EVERYONE else I work with, I have people go out of their way to say nice things to me and encourage me. From the person who really SHOULD be doing these things, however, I am scolded for trivial things.

    I don't feel like I have any right to report her, because 1) who am I going to report her to without her finding out? and 2) what if I am just being totally irrational/I really do suck? Sometimes she is nice, she is so nice to the patients, and I just can't decide if I am the only one perceiving her to be someone who is not fit to be in her position.

    At this point in time I am planning on leaving once the committment I made to the unit is fulfilled, and I can honestly that if it wasn't for her, that might not be the case. I know it's silly to let one person have so much influence on me, but I can't escape her if I'm working where I am right now. I am never confrontational with her, I always accept her criticisms and fix whatever she tells me, I never complain or ask for days off or do anything to cause her grief, and yet she still treats me like crap...

    Please help &/or share similar stories. I posted in this forum as I am a new nurse and because I feel that my fellow new nurses will best sympathize with feeling inadequate.
    barbaratruth likes this.
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I hate to say it, but no matter where you work, there will always be one [evil]person[/evil] who will either drive you nuts or make your work life almost unbearable - sometimes both. What's worse, is that this person is your boss.

    Is she a charge nurse, or higher up on the food chain? If she's your charge nurse, I would try talking to her privately - ask her directly what her problem is with you. If that doesn't help, then I would definitely go to the next managerial level above her (always follow the chain of command) and file a complaint. What she is doing is bordering on harassment, and you have every right to complain. Don't take what she's doing sitting down because you are new and lack confidence - that's probably part of the reason that she's doing it - because she knows that she's initmidating you and getting away with it. Sometimes with people like her, once you get "back in her face", so to speak, they will back down and find someone else to pick on. Or it might be her warped way of testing you.

    Regardless, you are going to be miserable until you confront her and if needed, go above her. If all of your other coworkers are giving you positive feedback, then obviously you are doing a good job.

    Good luck!

    ~Laurie
  6. 4
    OK........you need to nip this in the bud IMMEDIATEY.
    If you continue to lay down and make a "mat" out of yourself -- you shouldn't be surprise when a ***** like this "whipes her feet on you!"

    First get organized for a "meaningful confrontation."
    Keep a diary for about a week and record everything she says and every circumstance. If need be, put a tiny tape recorder in your pocket so you can accurately remember and/or record each incident.
    During this week, spend every possible minute you can working with....or in the presence of this idiot. Give her every opportunity to "perform."
    Once your have a number of specific incidents "worthy of discussion".....ask her for a private meeting.
    Tell her you do not appreciate and will not tolerate her treating you and/or speaking to you as she has in the past.
    She will 1) deny all.....2) blow you off....or 3) apologize (not likely).

    REGARDLESS of what her response is.......you need to detail for her all of the incidences that have made you uncomfortable.
    SHE MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT IS OFFENSIVE & UNACCEPTABLE TO YOU.
    She will probably be shocked that you have kept a diary and can provide many examples of her harrassment.

    Depending if she responds # 1 or # 2......go immediately to the Director of Nurses AND the Director of Human Resources. Provide...in writing to BOTH DIRECTORS ....the same information in a formal complaint of workplace harrassment. I assure you....things will happen quikly after that.

    If she responds # 3 and feigns apology and sorry......from that moment on...everytime she treats or speaks to you in an unacceptable manner.... stop her and tell her you find the tone of voice, choice of words, general attitude, etc unacceptable. If she does it more than twice.....proceed with the formal complaint with the additive information of the personal confrontation you had with her and lack of improvememt.

    Don't tell me you "don't have time" .... or you "don't want to make trouble" or you "don't want to make her mad at you."
    Get up off of that "mat" and demand the common courtesy and respect you deserve. Lean to take command of your work situation and your happiness and don't let some bully ruin your environment.

    I'm rooting for you. Let me know how it turns out.
    luvkitties, vleblance, MaryAnn_RN, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    I feel the same way too, but heck! I have work too hard to let anyone stop me, all the best
  8. 0
    I agree with the person who said you have to nip this in the bud. The thing is, some of these nurses are used to how it was 20-30 years ago, when they were allowed to treat new people like crap..it was part of the culture in many hospitals. This can work in your favor though, because when confronted, most are cowards, and will back down. They'll be all thrown by the fact that you actually stuck up for yourself. I had to learn this the hard way myself, because I am generally a nice, easy going person. Therefore, I was a target for a lot of the crusty, burnt out nurses. One day, I just snapped and told one of them off and the little clique left me alone after that. Scary to do the first time, but well worth it! Now, your situation is a little trickier, because she's your boss. Document and like the other people said, go up the chain of command if needed. Try to remain calm when discussing this with her-you don't want her to spin the situation like your the one who's unreasonable.
    Last edit by ortess1971 on Oct 29, '06
  9. 0
    oh! god..I got the same problem!!!
  10. 0
    I agree with the PP who recommended you ask her if there is a reason she seems to dislike you. I'm going to try and give her the benefit of the doubt and hope that she doesn't realize how she's treating you. Hopefully you two can come to an understanding and better working relationship. If not, then I agree, document the issues and go above her. At that point, it can't hurt, you're already miserable, right? She shouldn't be allowed to be demeaning, especially since she's in a position of authority.

    GL! I hope things improve!
  11. 0
    Quote from Isadora_Faye
    Any advice for dealing with awful coworkers? This person is more than a coworker, but in fact is my "boss" while at work.

    It is so bad that it makes me not want to go to work. When she walks into the room I just tense up. Sometimes I will go to the furthest location from her I can find in order to chart, even though my patients are located at the other end. I find that she is rude to everyone, but there have been 2 occasions where I have been specifically singled out and embarassed.

    I was thinking about it, and realized she has never given me ANY positive feedback - I mean zero. As the person in charge, she should be giving me both positive feedback and constructive criticism. Once she lectured me in front of 4 fellow nurses, and in essence called me a slacker (but tried to make it look like she was joking)...what's worse is that it wasn't anything I should have ever been lectured on. ANY TIME I ask her a question, the person that should be there to support my learning, she looks at me like "you are retarded, I can't believe you are asking me this." Oftentimes I will avoid asking questions and just try to figure things out on my own, which I know is not safe, but I am just so scared of her. I get positive feedback from EVERYONE else I work with, I have people go out of their way to say nice things to me and encourage me. From the person who really SHOULD be doing these things, however, I am scolded for trivial things.

    I don't feel like I have any right to report her, because 1) who am I going to report her to without her finding out? and 2) what if I am just being totally irrational/I really do suck? Sometimes she is nice, she is so nice to the patients, and I just can't decide if I am the only one perceiving her to be someone who is not fit to be in her position.

    At this point in time I am planning on leaving once the committment I made to the unit is fulfilled, and I can honestly that if it wasn't for her, that might not be the case. I know it's silly to let one person have so much influence on me, but I can't escape her if I'm working where I am right now. I am never confrontational with her, I always accept her criticisms and fix whatever she tells me, I never complain or ask for days off or do anything to cause her grief, and yet she still treats me like crap...

    Please help &/or share similar stories. I posted in this forum as I am a new nurse and because I feel that my fellow new nurses will best sympathize with feeling inadequate.
    Im in a similar situation as you and have written a few posts about it. What I dont do is let them know how Im feeling at all. Yes I grin and bear it. I smile and greet everyone, yes them to death just to get through it. With difficult people I dont want to spend any more time with them then I have to so I yes them too and give them the good morning and oh yes.... treatment. I know who has shown me their negative side and I file that away. Im hoping to give a good impression because Im there to learn and work. I am planning on leaving but they have no suspicion. There have been days that I want to cry or defend myself but I never let them know this. Those that have encouraged me continue to encourage me. I just do what they say at this point as the 'new nurse' so as not to make any waves. WE wont always be the 'new nurse' but we have to get through it and you and me will get through it. Hang in there!!
  12. 1
    I have a nurse like this and I did cry and defend myself the other day. When I get really mad, I cry. I'm really embarrassed that I let my emotions get a hold of me though. So embarrassed, I'm worry about going back to work. I told this mean nurse how I feel about how she disrespects me during report. She just continued to disrespect me throughout our whole conversation. Then I had other nurses asking me why I cried. I'm human....I have emotions. I don't want some rude nurse being disrespectful. I could only take so much until I finally BLEW!!!
    Last edit by RedhairedNurse on Oct 26, '08
    barbaratruth likes this.
  13. 0
    Quote from Butterflybee
    Im in a similar situation as you and have written a few posts about it. What I dont do is let them know how Im feeling at all. Yes I grin and bear it. I smile and greet everyone, yes them to death just to get through it. With difficult people I dont want to spend any more time with them then I have to so I yes them too and give them the good morning and oh yes.... treatment. I know who has shown me their negative side and I file that away. Im hoping to give a good impression because Im there to learn and work. I am planning on leaving but they have no suspicion. There have been days that I want to cry or defend myself but I never let them know this. Those that have encouraged me continue to encourage me. I just do what they say at this point as the 'new nurse' so as not to make any waves. WE wont always be the 'new nurse' but we have to get through it and you and me will get through it. Hang in there!!
    I have a nurse like this and I did cry and defend myself the other day. When I get really mad, I cry. I'm really embarrassed that I let my emotions get a hold of me though. So embarrassed, I'm worry about going back to work. I told this mean nurse how I feel about how she disrespects me during report. She just continued to disrespect me throughout our whole conversation. Then I had other nurses asking me why I cried. I'm human....I have emotions. I don't want some rude nurse being disrespectful. I could only take so much until I finally BLEW!!!

    Please tell me what you think, do you think I showed weakness by doing this. I'm so scared to go back to work. I just couldn't help it though. I was so mad. There are several nurses on my floor that are very disrespectful and I just finally got a belly full.
    Last edit by RedhairedNurse on Oct 26, '08


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