Got called "stupid" at work

  1. I am a nurse's aid at a LTC facility. I've been here since January. I took 4 weeks of class then was assigned to a hall on the 3-11 shift.

    The CNA that trained me on this floor is very bossy. I don't work under her anymore but she tends to boss me around, run the show on the floor.

    I've had problems with the gal. She has singled me out to boss me around; I can take criticism when I know it's for my own good and presented in a decent way, but she talks down to me all the time. She's 34. I'm 51.

    I'm beginning to wonder about her. She's been a Personal Care Home Manager, a Medical Assistant and now she's working as a CNA at lower wages, I'm sure.

    Tonight, when we got assignments, the nurse passed that chore on to Ms. Bossy. She asked if I wanted to do a certain hall that I've never done on my own and have only worked it 2-3 times. I said yeah, I'll never learn it otherwise. Ms. Bossy said so sweetly at that point "If you need any help, just ask"

    Well later in the evening before last rounds, I was having trouble with one resident and went to Ms. Bossy. She took over and talked to me in a demeaning, irritable tone of voice. She was explaining things and saying "Now you watch what I'm doing." "Now I want you to remember all of this." It was said like a mother would talk to a misbehaving child. She didn't have to be so bossy or irritable - remember, she offered the assistance when shift began.

    She ordered me to get something for the resident and I accidently shut the door too hard and was taking the soiled laundry out of the room, got sidetracked by someone else for a second and forgot the bib for the resident (I'm afraid Ms. Bossy makes me nervous and I screw up.) I go back, Ms. Bossy is at the door and angrily says "Where is the bib?" By then, I had had it and I angrily and louder than ususal replied "OK, I'll get the bibb."

    After the resident was finished, I got a lecture from Ms. Bossy about how I will never ever yell at her again and how I had asked her for help and how she had helped me. And I said well quit talking to me like I'm 10 years old and then she said:

    "WELL, IF YOU WEREN'T SO STUPID . . . . . (and I don't recall or heard the rest of the sentence.)

    Boy, talk about one angry aid here. I don't like her and she doesn't like me and that's fine but don't get personally insulting with me especially in front of the nurse and the other aids which is where we were when she called me stupid.

    So soon as I got home I typed up a nice little letter to the 3-11 shift Nursing Supervisor and the In-Service Supervisor explaining the events and requesting that I be switched to another shift. I don't even want to work the same shift as this ******.

    I also requested an informal appraisal and stated that if, in fact, I wasn't cutting it (nice word for if I really was stupid), then it made no sense for me to continue to work at that Home and in the Nurse's Aid profession.

    I just want away from this woman.

    If we had just had a disagreement about how we talk to each other that would've been the end of it; but she personally attacked me and that's going to far.

    Tomorrow I plan to give the letters to the Supervisors.

    Suggestions please - am I doing the right thing? Is there somewhere here where I was wrong? When the door slammed, I went back and apologized for closing the door too hard.

    I've tried my best to do my job; I don't talk about other workers; I want to learn. This particular gal seems to lead all the aids around by the nose. No one on the shift came to me - they all hovered with Ms. Bossy. I felt very alone.
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   bubba
    jan
    I think you are doing the right thing. Sometimes two people just can't get along. It's best to just work on a seperate hall or go to another shift--if that is what you want. I wouldn't let her "run you off." but if she has been there for a long time, and you are new, the bosses will likely either take her side or not do anything to help. Chances are that she has been like this to other people in the past and the boss has done nothing to fix the problem. So now, it's your problem. You can try to "save the world" by trying to get your boss to correct the problem, or you can move on as you planned. There is usually some jerk like this anywhere you work. But that doesn't mean that YOU are the one that is going to have to work with them. In some situations, say if this was your dream job, it may be worth it to fight it out. But in most cases, it's best to just get away from a jerk like that. They don't pay you enough to work with those kind of people. Sometimes if you just stand up to a person like that, they will leave you alone. But if you will have to work with that person it will probably be constant turmoil. Maybe you could work on the same shift, different hall and have someone else to help you if you needed help. Do what is best for you! And tell that ****** to bite your a55.
    bubba
  4. by   ERNurse752
    Yeah, I like the "tell that b*tch to bite your a**" too! hehe

    I think you're starting off on the right foot...you stood up for yourself, and now you're taking it to a higher level. All you can do now is wait and see what your supervisors will do.

    Toxic work environments take a toll on your morale very quickly. You need to either get away from her at work somehow, or just leave if you possibly can. Not so much in the running away sense, as in, just like the song says...

    "Take this job and shove it!"

  5. by   canoehead
    I say go back to that same shift and CNA and do your work proudly and well. Let her sputter, you were doing a good job.

    Remember that for her to treat you like that she doesn't have a whole lot going for her to begin with- with a little time you will show your value to the rest of the unit. Don't let one bad experience makle you run...
  6. by   night owl
    I think you should try and confront her face to face and ask, "What's the problem and how can we fix it?" If you get no where, then take it to a higher level. You should try and work it out between the two of you first. If you can't resolve anything, then go to the unit manager and then go higher if you have to. This nasty a$$ NEEDS to be confronted and I'm sure you aren't the first one to do so...she probably has a history of this behavior. No one should have to work under those circumstances and there should be a stop to it real soon! You keep your chin up and be proud of your work and don't let this ignorant fool get under your skin, let management get under hers, but if you have to change your shift, then by all means do so because you can't do a good job when your morale is low. I bet she bosses her residents around and talks to them in a demeaning way also. Observe her interactions with residents. If they're no better than what she dishes out to you, then you could write her up for verbal abuse. Document, document, document every interaction with her, then you'll have a leg to stand on when you need it. Be as friendly to her as possible even if she's giving you the business, that way she'll have nothing on you. Good luck!
  7. by   MHN
    Jan Its not a nice feeling being publicly insulted,I know the way you feel.However I agree with canoehead don't appear to have caved into this "beings" bullying go back and prove to yourself that you can do the job for your own satifaction.
    The letter to the supoervisor is a good idea.
    I would also ask for a meeting for a meeting with MS.Bossy with the supervisor as arbitrator or find out if there is a staff counsellor that can fulfil the same role. good luck and continue to stick up for yourself.It might be worth your while to look up about the transaxial analysis model and learn from it ,this may help you to deal withis person.One thought that came to me was maybe this MS.Bossy feels threatened by you or she may have an aged prejudice.
  8. by   Sleepyeyes
    Jan, I think you did the right thing. I was a LTC CNA for about 12 years before getting my RN, so I speak from experience. You established that you will not put up with this treatment.

    Believe me, people like this just "come with the territory," and even nurses are stuck with them. Sometimes, after you assert yourself, they'll pretty much leave you alone. I found that one of the good things about being a CNA is that you can work independently, and not necessarily rely on help from one particular CNA.

    Hopefully, your supervisor will give you assignments on either end of the building, or even different shifts.

    Til then, remember that you don't have to interact with Ms. Pinkie&theBrain (I imagine people like her sit home and plot, "First the nursing home, then the world!" ). The key here is: You don't have to do what she says.

    Next time she tries to boss you around, literally turn around and walk away. (It might help to explain politely to the charge nurse that you will not be taking orders from Ms. Megalomaniac , as she is not your boss :wink2:, but you will do what the charge asks you directly.)

    Every place you work, there will be people like that; trust me. I don't know where they come from.... but i wish they'd go back :chuckle

    Let us know how it works out. I'm living proof that you can survive this B.S. and move on to give excellent care to your Residents.
  9. by   Teshiee
    The one thing I can't stand is a bossy overbearing individual. I assume you are not confrontational and she preys on that. You did the right thing by typing the letter they say the pen is mightier than the sword. There is a time you should address to her that you are not her child and if you want respect it must be reciprocal.

    My personality being that it is I would have put her in check a long time ago. I realize we have different ways of handling tyrannts like that. Why should you change your shift if it works for you. Don't bow down to her behavior stand your ground. Trust me tell her to go to hell with a smile. When she realizes she can't bully you she will leave you alone.
  10. by   janmae1950
    Originally posted by bubba
    jan
    I think you are doing the right thing. Sometimes two people just can't get along. It's best to just work on a seperate hall or go to another shift--if that is what you want. I wouldn't let her "run you off." but if she has been there for a long time, and you are new, the bosses will likely either take her side or not do anything to help. Chances are that she has been like this to other people in the past and the boss has done nothing to fix the problem. So now, it's your problem. You can try to "save the world" by trying to get your boss to correct the problem, or you can move on as you planned. There is usually some jerk like this anywhere you work. But that doesn't mean that YOU are the one that is going to have to work with them. In some situations, say if this was your dream job, it may be worth it to fight it out. But in most cases, it's best to just get away from a jerk like that. They don't pay you enough to work with those kind of people. Sometimes if you just stand up to a person like that, they will leave you alone. But if you will have to work with that person it will probably be constant turmoil. Maybe you could work on the same shift, different hall and have someone else to help you if you needed help. Do what is best for you! And tell that ****** to bite your a55.
    bubba
    Ms. Bossy has been there a little over a year.

    This isn't the first time I've had problems with this particular person.

    I have another topic on this person I posted back in April called something like "Taking CNA Test This Wednesday" for more information on her.

    We avoided each other for about a week then things calmed down but she reverts to her tactics again and again.

    Thanks for the support!
  11. by   janmae1950
    Originally posted by ERNurse752
    Yeah, I like the "tell that b*tch to bite your a**" too! hehe

    I think you're starting off on the right foot...you stood up for yourself, and now you're taking it to a higher level. All you can do now is wait and see what your supervisors will do.

    Toxic work environments take a toll on your morale very quickly. You need to either get away from her at work somehow, or just leave if you possibly can. Not so much in the running away sense, as in, just like the song says...

    "Take this job and shove it!"

    I don't want to "run away" because of fear. However, I'm 51 and the job alone takes alot of my energy that I'd like to conserve for resident care - not wondering 8 hours a day wondering if this gal will be walking in on me and ordering me to go here and stop what I'm doing.

    Plus like I said, she's a controlling type and the rest of the aids follow her around like little ducklings. It's not pleasant wondering if they are talking about me. One can decide how to be proactive and how to respond to things, but forgetting about stuff is a biological process - one I don't have much control over. Neither is seeing adults running off like hgh school girls to "psss, pssss, psss".

    I'm concerned about my physical and mental health and my work. She is the type of person that negotiating with is a waste of time. She's a control freak and lies.

    I just want to go to work and do my job. I'm not there to make bestest friends. I'd rather request a change in shift.

    I typed my letter but I'm not sure yet whether to turn it in. Because of the always shortage of aids I doubt they'd want her to leave and I'd be branded as a tattletale. I work with a real bunch of backbiting and gossipy people. Perhaps it would end up no one would want to work with me and out the door I'd go.

    I am retaking my CNA test (didn't pass skills first time) in late May or early June and I may just wait till after the test then find another place to work - armed with alot of preparation and knowledge!
  12. by   janmae1950
    Originally posted by canoehead
    I say go back to that same shift and CNA and do your work proudly and well. Let her sputter, you were doing a good job.

    Remember that for her to treat you like that she doesn't have a whole lot going for her to begin with- with a little time you will show your value to the rest of the unit. Don't let one bad experience makle you run...
    There's been more than one bad experience with this person. It's at the point where I dread working when she's there. She's catty, lies, and is a control freak.

    One night, another aid asked me to assist her in cleaning up BM from a hefty resident so I went in with her.

    Ms. Bossy walked in on us and said "Jan, you need to get out on the floor and help answer call bells right now! We've been helping 'N' all night and she can take care of that by herself now!"
    With that, she walked out but I stayed where I was.

    When I was still fairly new but getting more independent, for instance, a resident would call for some assistance, like going to the bathroom and I'd start to help her and Ms. Bossy would tell me "No, you are not taking 'resident' to bathroom, she's been there enough. You need to do 'something else' ".

    She reminds me of my abusive ex-husband. I can sense the same cycle with her as with him. Things would erupt, then calm down and everything would be nice, then the little nitpicking would start and end up with the abuse again. I don't think I want to have to work with this scenario again!
  13. by   fedupnurse
    Jan you are doing the right thing. Where is the charge nurse and why is she letting Ms. Bossy run the show? Sounds like if they got rid of Ms. Bossy morale might be boosted for everyone.
    Mean people suck and it sounds like she is just that: MEAN!
    Hang in there, defend yourself and go up the chain of command.
  14. by   stevierae
    You are doing the right thing by "acting, not reacting." Good for you. Sounds like Ms. Bossy is threatened by you, and she wants to try to set you up to fail. Ignore her. Your calm demeanor and competence will speak for themselves to the people that MATTER. She doesn't. Quietly document her aberrant behavior and go up the chain of command to present your documentation, as fedupnurse suggested. Sounds like that aide is burnt out and/or needs to go to anger counselling. Maybe, if she is unreceptive, your documentation will give them the reason they need to fire her. I suspect she has a long history of this behavior, and it needs to stop with YOU.

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