The bully strikes again

  1. Here I am trying to lighten everyones day a bit by softly whistling as I was sharpeing my pencil, which I have heard other people do, and she told me to stop and not to ever whistle in front of her again b/c she hates whistling.

    She told me my perfume stunk and makes her eyes water in front of eveyone at the nurses station. It was embarassing. It is NOT strong at all.

    I know these things are minor, but try going thru this crap everyday. It's always something with her, ALWAYS. I'm so miserable when it's time for me to go to work.
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Quote from raindrop
    Here I am trying to lighten everyones day a bit by softly whistling as I was sharpeing my pencil, which I have heard other people do, and she told me to stop and not to ever whistle in front of her again b/c she hates whistling.

    She told me my perfume stunk and makes her eyes water in front of eveyone at the nurses station. It was embarassing. It is NOT strong at all.

    I know these things are minor, but try going thru this crap everyday. It's always something with her, ALWAYS. I'm so miserable when it's time for me to go to work.
    Hello, raindrop.

    I do not know who "she" is, but, she could have been a little more diplomatic about the whole thing.

    Unfortunatly, whistling is considered unprofessional behavior. She should have just asked you politely not to do this.

    As for the perfume, I think you know you should not wear perfume while at work. Many people, staff as well as your patients, have allergies and the odor, no matter how slight, may make them nauseous, too

    This is just IMHO.
  4. by   gwenith
    Document. I know that it is frustrating and more than frustrating spending your precious time off writing this rot down but if she is making comments like this then your only weapon is documentation. Once you have it documented - take it to your nurse manager. If your nurse manager is worth anything she will at least talk to this person. Mind you though, that might make it worse.

    Another way of dealing is once you have enough (say 3-4 pages) take her aside and show her and let her know, quietly that you are determined to stop the comments.
  5. by   KatieBell
    I'm thinking that I don't like this nurse- the bully. BUT...
    I also think Whistling is not going to brighten anyones day (usually its annoying unless you are the one whistling)...but of the unprofessional things I've seen, this one is pretty minor, In my unit, it would be either be overlooked, or the whistler would be made so much fun of (Called one of the 7 dwarves...etc) that it would soon quit.

    Perfume in my opinion is not acceptable in the workplace.

    Yes, the bully could have been more tactful, or nicer, but...
  6. by   raindrop
    Maybe it was annoying, but I have heard many people do it and the grouch wouldn't dare say anything to any of them.

    There are other more important issues, like, me not getting report from her until 1/2 hour after my shift started...and when I do get report she talks at 200 MPH and gets huffy when I ask her to slow down. She has also given me wrong info in report, which I believe is purposely done. Then of course, a million little things she does that HR may or may not roll their eyes at if I jot all of it down. Mom told me I need to report the "little" things (like the perfume) b/c they really add up, but I don't want to sound like a

    As far as the perfume thing, our handbook has nothing about NOT being able to wear perfume. As a matter of fact during my hospital orintation, a nurse represenative was giving an example of dayshift, and stated something along the lines of "When I worked days on Med/Surg I was ready to go and tackle my assignment every morning. I had coffee in my hand, freshly showered, a squirt of perfume on, had a good nights sleep..."

    My argument with the perfume thing is, Ok, she didn't like it. She could have pulled me aside and told me so, and I would have been fine with it.

    I don't like how she stinks like cigs, and I don't think she would like it very much if I told her so...in front of everyone.
    Last edit by raindrop on Oct 16, '05
  7. by   labcat01
    Quote from raindrop
    I don't like how she stinks like cigs.
    Maybe you should have told her that!

    :chuckle No, i'm just kidding! Don't listen to me. I'm so sorry that she's making your job awful. Is she like that with everyone or just you?
  8. by   Tweety
    Stop giving her so much power over your feelings. Confront her directly, in private, whenever she does inappropriate things. Good luck.
  9. by   prmenrs
    I'm reading the OP as saying this is the tip of the iceberg.

    I agree w/Gwenith. Document. This sort of thing is just NOT a nice thing to do to a new nurse.

    Another way of handling @ work is to "nice" to death. Think about things she's said to you and think of polite (as in obsequeous) responses you could make. Like: "Oh, I'm so sorry you don't enjoy whistling. I will remember, and try not to do it again." Or: "I was wondering about this perfume. I wasn't sure it was approppriate to wear, but now that I have this info, I'll be sure not wear perfume in the future." Or: "I really appreciate you taking the time to help me adjust to my new role"; "Thank you very much for that constructive feedback!"

    You don't have to mean any of it! In fact, you probably won't. You just want her to [more or less] believe you mean it.

    Why should you do this? There is the surprise factor--she's trying to 'get' you-your lovely polite answer will foil that mission, and, hopefully, frustrate her at least a little! You'll have to practice so this comes out sounding oh, so sincere! she might just pause before doing it again. And, you will be more prepared for her jibs, so, again, hopefully, it won't bug you so much.

    She won't stop right away, and she may even get worse (and if you think no one else notices her behavior, you're mistaken. She may get in trouble for this). Just take a deep breath, look thoughtful, and give her one of your prepared comebacks, and go home and document again. When you feel you have enough, talk to the nurse manager. You'll have witnesses as to your own behavior, and that might help.

    Good luck to you! Don't let this get to you! If you do, she wins, and that makes it harder on the next newbie. You don't want that!
  10. by   raindrop
    Quote from labcat01
    Maybe you should have told her that!

    :chuckle No, i'm just kidding! Don't listen to me. I'm so sorry that she's making your job awful. Is she like that with everyone or just you?
    Just me. Most of the other nurses are her smoking buddies. Seriously.

    Tell me about this one, guys. is it worth reporting to my manager or HR??

    I was looking for a pair of keys to open a double locked drawer on the med cart. They are usually in a certain drawer at the desk. Often, the keys are pushed to the back or under papers and require some searching. Well, I was searching thru it, and I must have PO'd the GROUCHY unit clerk who was sitting next to the drawer on a personel phone call (she is the bullys buddy). She said to me in a VERY condescending tone "the keys aren't in there. Someone must have them. Now go find them" as she quickly slammed the drawer shut, practically catching my hands in it.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Tweety
    Stop giving her so much power over your feelings. Confront her directly, in private, whenever she does inappropriate things. Good luck.
    so well-said , as always Tweety.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I also like prmenrs' idea of "killing with kindness"...it often does the trick.
  13. by   raindrop
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I also like prmenrs' idea of "killing with kindness"...it often does the trick.
    You see, I am the sweetest and nicest person, wanting/willing to do anything to please these people for the past 9 weeks. I jump out of my seat to do things, always asking people if they need help, give compliments, rarely have time to take a lunch. This kindness thing isn't working.

    I may have a different job lined up that has a union! However, I haven't even intervieed yet, but I always do well in interviews and have a family member that works there, so I may stand a chance. The bad part is, they take forever to hire (3 months typically). i don't know if I can take it there for 3 more months. I could always transfer to a different unit promptly, but I don't believe I want to put THAT unit thru the grief of training me, only to see me go PRN shortly after, that is, IF I get the job.

    I often times really feel like my license is at risk. It is a Burn ICU, and I have pretty much taken my "own" patients since the 3rd week, with my preceptor around to help , even though she had her pt/pt's as well. The way I desribed to you how I get report now that I am on my own, and the fact that I am often times to scared of getting fried or made fun of for simply (non life threating) Q's is not how it is suppose to be.

    When I was giving report to a night shifter, I told her about how labs were ordered on a patient 15 minutes ago and Dr.X is to be called with the results. I told her the unit clerk sent the order to lab. She asked me what time she sent it for and I didn't know, I told her the unit clerk knew it was to be STAT. She got huffy and asked me to "look it up on the computer". So, I got on the lab page on the computer, but honestly didn't know how to find out the "time" the clerk requested it be drawn. I told her "Here is the lab page, but I don't know if I am on the wrong page. I have never done this." She didn't say a word. Instead, she let out a big sigh, picked up the phone and called lab herself and asked them. Never showed me or told me what page to go to. Instead, she got pissy and made me feel so small.
  14. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from raindrop
    Here I am trying to lighten everyones day a bit by softly whistling as I was sharpeing my pencil, which I have heard other people do, and she told me to stop and not to ever whistle in front of her again b/c she hates whistling.

    She told me my perfume stunk and makes her eyes water in front of eveyone at the nurses station. It was embarassing. It is NOT strong at all.
    Yes, she could have been much more polite.

    But, whether others do it or not, perfume/scent really should not be considered remotely acceptable for nurses. If another can smell it, then it is too strong.

    And whistling, along with humming, etc. can be annoying beyond all belief. In some units, they play the radio, and then you will have one nurse humming something completely different, another with the sound on ..on the computer watching an interview and the cacophony is INSANE!!!!!! Add in the normal bells and alarms, and it can make one want to go postal.

    These things happen to experienced nurses, also. I was on assignment in Florida (I have yet to have had an assignment in Florida that didn't have staff members that treated me like garbage...and I am a native Floridian), and they had assigned "pods" for the nurses working in certain areas of the unit. I had set up my station in the assigned pod. Another nurse dumped my stuff, told me that it was her seat ...even though her assigned pod was way down the hall. Same witch made nasty comments all the way thorough my assignment about "travelers this, travelers that". The management wanted me to return/re-sign for another 13 weeks, but I said, "No way".

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