Bizarre Co-Worker Rant!

  1. We currently have had a very seasoned nurse on our cc float team for the past year who transferred from endoscopy back to the units (tele/icu float). She is a knowledgeable nurse, a bit rough around the edges (potty mouth, bossy, and a bit know it all ish) but is funny and quite helpful on the unit.

    Just... one... thing

    She seems to have a very odd albeit respected hang up about how to be addressed.

    So she has a first and last name which both are typically used as first names (for example: Sarah,Kelly, or John, Michael, you get what I'm saying)

    Our unit/hospital culture is semi-formal. We address one another mostly by last name as Ms or Mr. so and so but sometimes we also use first names or just call one another by last name without using Ms or Mr.

    Well this nurse has a major Hangup about being called her last name without saying Ms. first ???

    I believe because she basically has two first names some may have accidentally mixed up her first and last name and called her Kelly, thinking it is her first name as we don't work with her often because she is not regular unit staff. It doesn't happen often as like I said we are pretty formal with addressing one another.

    She also doesnt make it clear that calling her "Kelly" is offensive somehow to her and so when someone makes the mistake of calling her so, she gets loud and angry and we've witnessed her saying verbatim "that is disrespectful and low class to call me "Kelly" my name is Ms. Kelly!!!!!!!

    So I worked with her recently and we were having a pretty good night (her making jokes and telling her usual stories as most pts were thankfully stable) up until I called to her from down the hall asking for a spare bag of levophed she said I could borrow.

    I said Ms. Kelly could I borrow that bag of levophed?. I guess she didn't hear the "Ms" part and reached in her med cart, slammed it shut and handed me the bag of medication while turning bright red and stuttering that she would write the next person up who referred to her as "Kelly" instead of Ms. Kelly??? and stormed off.

    It all happened so fast before I even could figure what had happened she had picked herself up and sat at the opposite end of the nurses station and then disappeared to the tele side of the floor for a few minutes and refused to speak to me for the rest of the shift.

    It it was so bizarre I had no clue what to do? I've heard her blow up about this before and am very careful to say "Ms." before her last name, but this is borderline ridiculous. She is upset that people can't read her mind and are calling her by her actual last name???

    She says it's not classy to refer to her without the "Ms." yet she doesn't hesitate to use profanity when telling her stories or expressing herself and has made unsavory comments routinely. In fact she has had it out with the ADON numerous times even hanging up the phone on her over a policy issues, openly calling the manager an idiot, and being a know it all.

    I'm honestly nervous to work with her because of how easily angered she became that night. I've never heard of anyone in this day and age demand ppl be so formal with them (outside the usual reasons) esp with her being quite informal and brash herself.

    How bizarre and is the name Kelly offensive? Idk
    Last edit by All4NursingRN on Jan 3
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  2. 56 Comments

  3. by   klone
    What I find bizarre is why you all don't just refer to each other by your first names? I just keep coming back to that.
  4. by   All4NursingRN
    *shrug* I've worked at a few places and while most are informal, some still are. But apparently we're not being formal enough and she wants to give out write ups for this (as if she has any authority to write up a fellow RN)
  5. by   Been there,done that
    Ms. Kelly is a sociopath. Watch your back.
  6. by   All4NursingRN
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Ms. Kelly is a sociopath. Watch your back.
    Funny and really odd that you say this because like I said she makes some unsavory comments at times, one in particular directed at an administrator that I will not even repeat here, but she said it at the nurses station and I'm sure I wasn't the only one that heard what she said... yikes!
  7. by   Davey Do
    Interesting.

    I read years ago, in The Book of Lists, that Kelly was a most popular name since it can be male or female, first, middle, or last name.

    Perhaps Ms. Kelly has a need to feel special instead of spatial, like she's just taking up space.
  8. by   Farawyn
    Quote from Davey Do
    Interesting.

    I read years ago, in The Book of Lists, that Kelly was a most popular name since it can be male or female, first, middle, or last name.

    Perhaps Ms. Kelly has a need to feel special instead of spatial, like she's just taking up space.
    Very astute, Mr. Do.
  9. by   amoLucia
    First thought - military folk (and some LEOs) tend to use last names only, so there is some general civilian use. Wonder if there's some issue there?? But this gal is off the edge on this subject.

    For this, I'd USUALLY say just keep on trying to do it how she prefers. And I'd also prefer to avoid the HR/ADMN/M'gt path. But this is an odd one.

    Sounds like some day she'll get ticked and really file a grievance, so maybe the HR route is the way to go???

    Rather extreme I agree, but it would set the tone that your unit, EN GROUP, does not want any more of the silliness. Just go in with the calm attitude that you don't to cause anybody problems. Beat her to the punch!

    I'm sure we've all worked with military/LEOs and if you live in a military-base surrounding community, like Fort Dix/McGuire/Lakehurst, lots of people talk that way. No big deal.

    Bu whatever floats her boat ...
  10. by   KatieMI
    She might be sociopath. She might be brought up in other culture. She might go through yet another culture(s). She might go through hellish divorce and abusive relationship and value her Ms. more than you can imagine. You can't do anything with it. It is HER past, not yours.

    What I never understood is why people make such huge problem out of small things we all have and just value each other for what they are. She is a knowledgeable, strong nurse - is that not enough? She clearly likes to be named Ms. Kelly - if you know that, just name her so. And let every new nurse you encounter to know the same. Less trouble for everyone, peace be between your all.

    What is also interesting, if a patient named Jack Jones declares that he's going like "Sir Mike", naming him like that would be considered important nursing responsibility. He can be named as he desires. Why our colleagues can't?

    I, for one example, do not like to be addressed as "woman" or "girl". It is cultural thing, and I just dislike it and I let my coworkers know to PLEASE not to do that with me. So they do, and it makes life better for everyone.
  11. by   RotorRunner
    Yeah, I'm also still hung up on the fact that you guys call each other Mr and Ms. I've never worked anywhere like that. Interesting.

    While I certainly agree with the poster above me that people have the right to be called what they want, I think this persons reaction is disproportionate to the situation and not appropriate for the workplace. It sounds like the OP actually was doing their best to call her by her preferred name and was simply misunderstood.

    I've been called every name in the book in my nursing career. I don't lose my mind over a coworker making an honest mistake and calling me by the wrong name.
    Last edit by RotorRunner on Jan 3
  12. by   Here.I.Stand
    Quote from RotorRunner
    While I certainly agree with the poster above me that people have the right to be called what they want, I think this persons reaction is disproportionate to the situation and not appropriate for the workplace.
    My thought exactly. It's an extreme reaction, and I would be concerned about her going full-out postal in the future.
  13. by   Crush
    Where I work we all address each other as Mr or Ms and last name only. Once in a while we might accidentally call one another by first name and joke about how the other person is going to be in trouble.

    First thought was this person may have military background? Perhaps as KatieMI said, it could be a result of a cultural thing resulting from divorce, moved, etc. Or person may be eccentric about it?

    And yes, I think the reaction was extreme for the situation.
  14. by   cardiacfreak
    Calling each other by last names may be weird, but I find keeping levophed in a med cart weird too.

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