Help telling co-worker to stop complaining!!

  1. I have a problem. A RN that I work with is getting out of the Navy in 41 days. (We both work at a military hospital) Since I have been here for the last 5 months, all she does is complain, about EVERYTHING! She is just a miserable person who gives poor care, she's very loud, very rude to patients & I'm tired of hearing all her negativity. She sits right next to me at the station & there are only 3 of us in our unit, so I can't avoid her. It's gotten worse as she gets closer to getting out of service. She talks about everyone in our neighboring units behind their backs & also about the other nurse in our unit, who is incredibly sweet! I'm just so tired of hearing constant negativity all day long that it makes me not want to be at a job I love doing. Please help me find a way to professionally tell her to shut up or complain to someone else. I can't take 41 more days of this. :angryfire
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   biker nurse
    EITHER tell them you have heard enough,change the subject or walk away.
    after you walk away a few times the'll get the hint.
  4. by   TazziRN
    My mom is a complainer. I put up with it for years, until one day we were out shopping and she started again. I swear this just slipped out: "Mom, do you think we could spend one day together without you complaining about something the whole time?"

    She was so startled. She didn't realized she was doing that. She still complains, because some people are just like that, but it's not nearly as bad as it was. I would be willing to bet that this nurse doesn't know she's this negative, and there's nothing wrong with you pulling her aside and saying something like "We've all noticed that you seem to be very unhappy lately. Is there something going on that you'd like to talk about?"

    This would open the door. If she gets all huffy and stomps off, then just walk away if she does it again because she would deserve it, but she may surprise you.

    I would be willing to bet she's scared to death of getting out, if it's getting worse as her separation date gets closer.
  5. by   bigsyis
    Sounds as though that nurse has a BAAAAD case of short-timers syndrome. If you haven't encountered it yet, people who know they are on their way out figure that they have nothing to lose, professionally, so they open up and let fly verbally about anything and everything they have been stifling. Sometimes, as in the case of the nurse that you work with, it can be quite venomous. As someone else suggested, I would change the subject. Don't respond to any of her negativity, in any way, except to focus on the fact that she is leaving, and what her plans are after she is out of your facility (ahem, hair). You will still be talking about her, but in a more positive way. Good luck. It is only 41 days, not 41 months, and you all surely won't be together every day of that time, will you?
  6. by   luvbug
    I tend to agree with bigsyis on this. I know it is easier said than done to walk away, but if you don't you might say something yoiu regret. If you can just hang in there for the next month, all will be well. Her negativity is undoubtedly affecting your mood, but if you contribute to her conversation and make it seem like you are interested, she might just get worse. so walking away is probably the best bet. Sure, she's probably looking form someone to comiserate with, but when she realizes you aren't that person, she'll go find someone else. Good luck!
  7. by   TazziRN
    Quote from luvbug
    when she realizes you aren't that person, she'll go find someone else. Good luck!
    But why expose someone else to being put in that position? I'm willing to bet that the nurse doesn't realize what she's doing and deserves to be informed.
  8. by   angel337
    there is always a complainer at every job. misery likes company. don't respond to her complaints. period. and if she seems a bit surprised that you seem uninterested just tell her " i don't feel like hearing complaints today, i want to have a good day". trust me, she will back of. i did this to a nurse when i was a new grad and that same nurse to this day just says hi to me and that's it. and something else to think about, if she talks about the other nurse on your unit when she isn't around...she's doing the same thing to you.
  9. by   teeituptom
    Quote from LilDKessler
    I have a problem. A RN that I work with is getting out of the Navy in 41 days. (We both work at a military hospital) Since I have been here for the last 5 months, all she does is complain, about EVERYTHING! She is just a miserable person who gives poor care, she's very loud, very rude to patients & I'm tired of hearing all her negativity. She sits right next to me at the station & there are only 3 of us in our unit, so I can't avoid her. It's gotten worse as she gets closer to getting out of service. She talks about everyone in our neighboring units behind their backs & also about the other nurse in our unit, who is incredibly sweet! I'm just so tired of hearing constant negativity all day long that it makes me not want to be at a job I love doing. Please help me find a way to professionally tell her to shut up or complain to someone else. I can't take 41 more days of this. :angryfire
    Ahh You already mentioned what you need to do. Either put up with her for 41 more days, take a vacation for 41 days untill she is gone, Or be direct and tell her to shut up, you dont want to listen to her anymore. Personally I like simple and Direct
  10. by   DEB52
    We have a nurse like that who never shuts up and is negative about everything. So one time I put a sign up that stated " BE POSITIVE "it was placed where only the staff could see it. It did seem to help for a while:smackingf
  11. by   Sabby_NC
    Heck I WOULD open my mouth and say ' geez hon you seem to always be miserable is there something I can do for you?' Maybe she has heaps going on in her life that her co workers are not aware of.
    You could always sway the conversation away from her some how!!
    Hang in there not too long to go.
  12. by   Kyrshamarks
    There is one more option open to you. She is active duty so go to her immediate supervisor and file a formal complaint about the way she is acting. There are regulations against her type of behavior in the UCMJ (maroon harpoon) and even though she only has 41 days left she could still face disciplinary action that if she is careful could keep her in longer....
  13. by   Loribabble
    Quote from angel337
    there is always a complainer at every job. misery likes company. don't respond to her complaints. period. and if she seems a bit surprised that you seem uninterested just tell her " i don't feel like hearing complaints today, i want to have a good day". trust me, she will back of. i did this to a nurse when i was a new grad and that same nurse to this day just says hi to me and that's it. and something else to think about, if she talks about the other nurse on your unit when she isn't around...she's doing the same thing to you.
    Oh, I soooo wished that would work in my situation. There are only 2 of us for a 12 hours noc shift, so it is pretty close quarters and I tried that tatic only for her to get really defensive and say that she wasn't/doesn't complain and sometimes there is a reason to complain. This coming from someone who will call pharmacy 10 times for a missing routing colace and then complain about it for 2 hours.

    Memory like a steel trap that one... definately keeps a running tabs of "wrongs"!

    UGH!!!!

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