Handling chauvinistic male charge nurse

  1. 3
    I work with a recently promoted male charge nurse who I would best describe as a clever 'men lead, women follow' type.

    He is a second career type with a professional background ....smart and accomplished in areas outside of nursing.... but with only a couple of years of nursing experience.
    He was acceptable as a junior staff nurse but loathsome to several of us who picked up upon his poor attitude. Leaving his messy bedspaces for his female coworkers to tidy was standard behaviour. Am quite upset this guy was promoted over-and-above several more experienced others with the same smarts and degree

    This guy irritates me . Constant need to 'lead' me despite me having so much more experience and the same BScNursing degree....even as a staff nurse.
    He has really stepped over the line a couple of times eg 'look at me when I am talking to you' .... LOL

    However he usually knows how to stay within boundaries but at the same time be subtle with his expression of his perceived importance. He alters his body language to do this eg makes sure he is standing up and I'm sitting when he is telling me something.
    Or he uses a slightly dismissive tone when I voice my opinion. Or he walks away immediately after saying his piece thus cutting out participation from anyone else.

    He is subtle .... but he's clever with it.
    He is an evangelical type and I suspect his beliefs are responsible for his offensive 'men lead and women follow' attitude.
    But of course he knows he needs to keep religion out of the workplace. Because the moment he brings religion in, we will nail him.

    I need to have several effective retorts up my sleeve that allow me to both maintain my self-respect and stay out of my managers office.
    Any ideas ??
    Last edit by pedicurn on Dec 21, '10
    Jarnaes, fuzzywuzzy, and lindarn like this.
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  3. 105 Comments so far...

  4. 11
    Send him to us, we'll take him down a few notches.....

    Sounds like he followed the rectal stepladder up the promotion chain. Unfortunately, BS has a habit of baffling brains.

    When he wants to talk to you, offer him a seat and put your feet up on the table, or just stretch them out in front of you and stick your hands in your pockets. Laugh at him, it's what he deserves. Never let yourself become irritated, you give him undeserved power thereby.

    And if he tells you to "look at him", tell him you're trying to keep your breakfast down....
    canoehead, LouisVRN, mskate, and 8 others like this.
  5. 6
    If he's not telling you anything you need to know, just ignore him. If the circumstances allow, just turn your back on him and walk away. If he tries to call you on it, just tell him that you thought that was his preferred method of communication and you were just following his lead.
    Chapis, caliotter3, fuzzywuzzy, and 3 others like this.
  6. 3
    Quote from GHGoonette

    When he wants to talk to you, offer him a seat and put your feet up on the table, or just stretch them out in front of you and stick your hands in your pockets. Laugh at him, it's what he deserves. .
    Yes thanks Goonette.
    I'm going to have start playing the game and get subtle too.
    Perhaps a slight air of amusement ...barely detectable but there.
    I'm taller than him ...so guess I should be thinking about that too

    I need to stay out of trouble. However I view his promotion as discriminatory ..... appears his previous skills and prior degree counted.
    These qualities are not even acknowledged for the several female nurses I work with from previous industries who possess prior degrees and professional work experience.
    Jarnaes, lindarn, and GHGoonette like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from GM2RN
    If he's not telling you anything you need to know, just ignore him. If the circumstances allow, just turn your back on him and walk away. If he tries to call you on it, just tell him that you thought that was his preferred method of communication and you were just following his lead.
    Oh good ....
  8. 7
    From what you've described he's authoritative, decisive, charismatic, knowledgeable, and concise. All good qualities in a manager.

    You've also said that he's short, dismissive, non-engaging, and heavy handed. All bad qualities in a manager.

    One thing I would do is try to put an end to any rivalry and bickering between you two. Try to deescalate the situation instead of escalating it, which I'm sure as a nurse you have a lot of experience doing.
    canoehead, greenfiremajick, Katie5, and 4 others like this.
  9. 16
    Why are you looking to play games? You can handle this in a professional manner, be forthright and direct. You don't need to acknowledge anyone who's demeaning to you. You confront him on inappropriate behavior and if he becomes antagonistic, you take it up the chain of command.

    But by looking for "clever retorts" you are stooping to what you say is his level. That is neither professional nor desired. And in actuality, is reinforcing the stereotype of nurses being "catty". You don't know what criteria were used to hire him and honestly unless you yourself applied for the position, is it really any of your concern? For whatever reason, he's now the manager. You need to deal with it in a positive and professional manner.

    As a side note, your comment about him being "evangelical" and contributing to his behavior is a biased and judgemental statement. What does that have to do with anything? As you stated, he's never brought his religious beliefs into the workplace, why are you bringing it up? That statement about "you guys nailing him" if he brought his religion into the workplace really shows an imature attitude and IMHO has no place in the workplace.
  10. 5
    Don't play games. Go on about your business.

    Sounds like somebody is jealous and upset they were passed over for the position.
    Katie5, Mike A. Fungin RN, Murse901, and 2 others like this.
  11. 7
    Quote from GHGoonette
    Sounds like he followed the rectal stepladder up the promotion chain.
    Exactly what I was thinking: put him into management where he can do less damage.
    caliotter3, JacknSweetpea, pedicurn, and 4 others like this.
  12. 7
    Ahhhh, yeeeeeeesssss! Your height is an advantage, use it. I do.

    Though I would never do this (often tempted) at work, I will tell you a bar story from years ago just for laughs, when I was in college for my first degree. I was sitting at the bar with some friends male and female. The bar served popcorn and I was also having a draft of beer. This short guy was trying to flirt but chose to be obnoxious and this was bothering me after about 30 minutes of his tossing popcorn into my beer to get my attention. I bought a new beer, and after a while he started this again. Of course I did not speak to him except to say "cut that out!" and continued enjoying my friends.

    Well, with me, I will suddenly decide I've had enuf, and end things without negotiation (it's how I roll). So, I suddenly stood up from my bar stool, spun around and picked up my beer cup and raised it as high over his head as my arm could stretch. Towering over the little guy now, I said for all his buddies to hear, "You wanna try to toss popcorn in my drink now? No? I didn't think so" All red-faced and humiliated he left the bar with his pals laughing the whole time. Cruel? yup. Then as a young woman, I realized this power I will always have.
    mskate, greenfiremajick, Chapis, and 4 others like this.


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