How To Handle?

  1. Yesterday, towards the end of an extremely busy shift, my direct supervisor chose to approach me directly in the doorway of my patient's room and tell me, "Oh by the way, according to our policy, I have to give you a verbal warning regarding attendance. It's no big deal." At the time, I just said, "Oh, okay, I thought some of my points would have fallen off by now," (we operate on a 1 point per call in policy, you get a verbal warning after 3 points, and it takes 1 calender year for the points to fall off.) and then I went back about my business, as I really was extremely busy.

    The more I think about it, however, the more I'm irritated that she a) approached me in the middle of my unit, in front of my patient, my patient's family, the aide assigned to me, and several other nurses and talked me about this and b) that she chose to interrupt me in the middle of me working on a critically ill child. The whole thing seems very inappropriate and unprofessional.

    I very much would have appreciated the opportunity to *see* the points I have accumulated as I suspect that some are from the death of my mother in law, in which case, they should be considered bereavement and not absence. But, since she approached me the way she did, I didn't exactly have the chance to discuss it.

    I'm having my yearly evaluation with both her and my manager in 2 weeks. I'm not entirely comfortable with my direct supervisor. I'm halfway tempted to just forget it, but then I think, well, if I do, perhaps she'll advance to discussing even more personal issues in public. I'd like to discuss it with my manager first and get her take on it, and then discuss it during my evaluation with both of them.

    Would that be inappropriate?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   ebear
    I think that I would speak with my direct supervisor (behind closed doors) and tell her that in the future you would appreciate it if those issues could be discussed privately. It was neither the time nor place to do so. Be very cordial and polite. She may have had the issue on her mind and simply did not THINK before speaking. I wouldn't bring it up at evaluation time, unless she does. I know that's difficult, but it's the best way to go about it. I'll bet she hasn't given a second thought to her error in judgment.
    ebear
  4. by   GrumpyRN63
    I believe how she approached you was completely unprofessional, not to mention inappropriate. I think you have a great opportunity at your review. Attendance will be a factor, you have every right to see your record. You don't need to be defensive, just factual, Oh,that absence was due to a death in the family, if in fact that youare correct you can clear up her mistake. I would follow that up with " in the future, if you could please approach me in a more appropriate setting rather than in front of a pt, I would really appreciate it" :trout:
  5. by   tigger2sassy1
    :trout:
  6. by   Weeping Willow
    It is hard to imagine anything more inappropriate than what she did. Your personnel issues are private and you deserve a chance to discuss attendance, etc. in a private setting when your mind is not on the critically ill patients.

    You should definitely correct any errors in her calculations and do so in writing. Ask Personnel (HR) to put your written correction/explanation in their file that they keep on you, also, don't just give your written word to your boss because she is apt to not put it in your file. Keep a copy for yourself, too.

    I suppose she was time stressed, overextended in her own duties, or whatever but her approach was totally wrong. IF it's not a big deal, why are you being written up or verbally warned?

    Do be courteous and calm, as she might just be young and inexperienced (or older and inexperienced). She might be afraid to be a disciplinarian and figure that, if she catches people off guard, there won't be fireworks. Or maybe she's sadistic and likes to provoke. Who really can say except her? You might want to consider a transfer out of her jurisdiction, before anything really bad happens.
  7. by   anonymurse
    Don't say a word to her or anyone about the incident. Press on with doing your best at work, but begin to explore new prospects immediately.
  8. by   Tait
    Quote from anonymurse
    Don't say a word to her or anyone about the incident. Press on with doing your best at work, but begin to explore new prospects immediately.

    Change and progress doesn't come from silent lips and aversion.

    Tell your manager, in her office, that next time you would appreciate it if she didn't talk about your attendance, or any other private issues in front out on the unit. She owes you an apology and a little respect. This doesn't involve finding a new job.
  9. by   MzMouse
    You are well within your rights to approach her privately about the completely unprofessional way you were treated. You may also wish to bring it up at your evaluation that is due soon. It amazes me when managers will approach nurses up to their necks in work and disrupt them with matters that can be taken care of later. :trout:
  10. by   GrumpyRN63
    Quote from Tait
    Change and progress doesn't come from silent lips and aversion.

    Tell your manager, in her office, that next time you would appreciate it if she didn't talk about your attendance, or any other private issues in front out on the unit. She owes you an apology and a little respect. This doesn't involve finding a new job.

    :yeahthat:
  11. by   Susan9608
    Thank you all for your replies. I'm still very torn about how to handle this issue.

    I've had two other problems with her, both of which I've kept quiet about, so I'm thinking keeping quiet about things is not helping anything.

    The first incident is when I called to tell them that my mother is law was hospitalized and was dying and that I needed a few days off. This supervisor asked me when I worked next, and it happened that I worked the next 3 days. She actually had the gall to say to me, "Well, if I take you off the next 3 days, then I'll need to put you on at the end of the week." Um, no. That's what paid time off is for and bereavement leave. However, feeling spineless and being overwhelmed with my family obligations at the moment, I just told her I'd have to get back with her about that, and when I called again, I spoke directly with my manager, who was way more understanding.

    The second incident was the same day that she approached me about my attendance. I have recently begun having migraines, and before they were diagnoseds and before I had started on medication to control them, I was having a hard time with the headache pain. I was at work one day, about 3 weeks ago, when the pain was really bothering me, so I went into the break room to take some more advil, and I had a kind of mini-break down. She came in in the middle of it, and basically told me to get my act together. That's just background information. Anyways, earlier on the "attendance" day, she walked by me, complaining of a headache, and I offered her some advil. She turned to me and said, "No, I think I'm going to go and cry in the break room about it."

    I didn't say anything ... maybe she was trying to be funny? But it hurt my feelings. I wasn'y trying to be meladramatic the day I had a problem with my headache and I hadn't asked to go home early or anything like that, so it seemed uncalled for for her to make a comment like that.

    I kind of feel like she's got an issue with me ... or perhaps now I just have an issue with her and am looking for things to be upset with her about. I'm not sure.

    I am going to ask to see my attendance record, because I don't think it's legal for them to penalize me for the death of my mother in law. I'm not sure if I'll talk to her then or not, though. I would like my manager's advice and involvement. Actually, I'd like to be transferred to a different direct supervisor.

    Thanks again for the thoughts and opinions.
  12. by   ebear
    Susan,
    Document every one of these instances, discuss with her manager, and request a transfer. She is WAY out of line and your health is not worth it!
    HUGS!
    ebear
  13. by   VivaRN
    Quote from Susan9608

    The second incident was the same day that she approached me about my attendance. I have recently begun having migraines, and before they were diagnoseds and before I had started on medication to control them, I was having a hard time with the headache pain. I was at work one day, about 3 weeks ago, when the pain was really bothering me, so I went into the break room to take some more advil, and I had a kind of mini-break down. She came in in the middle of it, and basically told me to get my act together. That's just background information. Anyways, earlier on the "attendance" day, she walked by me, complaining of a headache, and I offered her some advil. She turned to me and said, "No, I think I'm going to go and cry in the break room about it."
    Whoa, that is completely inappropriate. Talking to your manager sounds like a good course of action. She may have some ideas or at the very least should be made aware of the situation.
  14. by   Scrubby
    I can see from reading your posts that the issue is still bothering you. It would probably annoy me as well! I think you need to discuss with your manager that her actions were completely inappropriate. If she doesn't apologize then i would be speaking to your HR department about it and would seek mediation or something. It is also a good idea to clarify the attendance issues you have had, try and clear your name.

    Also wouldn't hurt to remind your manager that criticising someone in front of others is a form of bullying as well.

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