I was fired today

  1. I have been working for an agency as a home health aide supervisor.

    Yesterday a memo was placed anonymously on my desk, detailing concerns of staff who are organizing a union. One of their concerens is that the staff have been intimidated into falsifying time sheets for the Mediciad program, and other programs. This memo had apparently been faxed to the board of directors of the agency.

    Now, I ask you, if such a memo crossed your desk, would you not express concern over being asked to open new cases? Especially when you have given your resignation, effective at the end of this week?

    I was asked to detail all the issues I have been working on, then asked to open 2 new cases. I informed my director that I knew about the memo, and I had reservations about opening any new cases until the issues are resolved.

    She asked me to wait until she got back, about 5 minutes or so she said, before I left for the field. Next thing I know, the exec director and my dept director come into my office, and the ex dir says, "If you are not able to do the job you were hired to do, you 'may as well pack it up' and leave now." I turned and looked her right in the eye and said, "That would be just fine with me." Then they watched me get my things, I guess so I wouldn't take anything from the office, like I am the CRIMINAL, and asked me for the key, access card to the building, and the pager. Which I gladly turned over. Unfortunately, my travel charts were home, the one and ONLY time I ever forgot them there, probably b/c my nerves have been so FRAZZLED by everything going down there the last few weeks, SO TENSE. So, I had to drive home, get that and drive them back. When I got back, I noticed a sign annoucing an emergency staff meeting, I guess so they can announce my leaving, among other things they want to finally acknowledge so they can cover their butts!

    I am actually relieved. Going into that office every day in the last few weeks, since I shared my concerns with them about what I had heard, has just been unbearable.

    The home health aides have been calling me all day since I called one (it only takes one!) to tell them what happened. They said the patients all want to write letters to make them give me my job make. How innocent they are! I advised them that please, I appreciate their kindness, but I just cannot work in that environment any longer. I will miss the aides. They are an extremely hard-working group of women, who have taken a lot from this employer. They are organizing a union. They told my situation to their union rep, and he called me too. All this in the space of three hours.

    My head is POUNDING, my phones are now off the hook, and I am cracking open the bottle I just got from the liquor store. The aides wanted me to go to their union meeting at 4:30, and I had planned on it, just to show my support for them, but I need to drink MORE, so I called them and said I can't come, cause I can't drive after I drink, and I plan to have at least 2 glasses in by 4!! LOL!

    I have notes for the last 6 weeks, everything is written down. I will mail them to myself after I show my husband some of the info I have this evening. My kids are shocked. My dtr said NO mom, they did NOT fire you, you quit and they just got mad and made you leave sooner. Gotta love her spirit!

    Peace out!
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   delirium
    Hoolahan:
    Sheesh, I don't know if I should say I'm sorry or congratulations. Unfortunately, I know what its like to work in such a hostile environment, and I consider you lucky to have gotten out with your mental health intact (give or take a little alcohol).
    They can be just as miserable without you, although I hope that the aides have some luck unionizing and eeking out some better working conditions for themselves.
    Take good care of yourself.
  4. by   annies
    I agree with your daughter. enjoy the time off.

    Don't get caught up in an old job, just move on to the next one.

    Annie
  5. by   Cascadians
    It is really sad that Home Health Care is increasingly being wracked with the same tired Corp BS that has destroyed the working environment in hospitals.

    The manager-types are clueless that there's a nursing shortage, or why.

    Gotta laugh at the rampant stoooopidity, and celebrate the open door of fresh new opportunities.
  6. by   prn nurse
    to be in that envoirment. I'd hang onto any paper work I had, or maybe jot down a few facts, allegations that were made, e.g., who said what. If the government were to investigate them for any kind of fraud, it could be that you will be their scapegoat. It could be 2-3 years down the road, and Medicaid investigators --kinda like IRS investigators -- might be looking into their charges. If one type of charge is fraudulent, e.g., the time issues, then you can be sure there are other felonious charges. Cut the cord with this outfit! Once there is the slightest hint of something fishy going on, Bail ! Where there is smoke, there's fire.
  7. by   thisnurse
    my only concern would be what they are stating as the reason for your "termination". otherwise, cya, and move on. i too agree with your daughter
    congratulations
  8. by   Huganurse
    Congratulations for getting out of that environment!!! And I'm sorry that this has happened to you. Good luck! Take it easy and enjoy the time off with your kids untill you figure out where you want to work. Then negotiate your pay and benefits for all that is worth. Oh, and remember everything happens for a reason! I like to think that something way better is just around the bend.
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
  9. by   night owl
    I don't know what to say, but I think your daughter said it best! You are lucky though for getting out of there. Take some time off and enjoy...Come work with me Linda, we could use you, and the vets would love you to death!
  10. by   -jt
    Congratulations Hot Lips...... on having the fortitude to stand up, hold your ground, and not compromise your integrity. You were absolutely right to be concerned about starting new cases in this situation. Good for you for holding to your principles.

    Arent you the one who had that long list of experience in a whole lot of different jobs and is so marketable because of it & can do anything? You'll be fine.

    And SAVE all those documents you have - you never know what "shan will hit the fit" later on down the road. After your head clears, you may want to talk to a lawyer & the ANA about what that might mean for you, just in case. CYA at all times.

    I agree its a good idea to get out of there now & also I agree with the poster about the whistleblower issue. The lawyer and ANA can help you with info on that too. You could be in for a windfall of $$$ for wrongful termination, among other things, in the future even though you move on to another job. You never know until you talk it all out with a professional and show him what youve got. Good luck.

    Your daughter is right. Hold your high
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 23, '02
  11. by   hoolahan
    You guys are the besht! (hic!)

    Seriously, I am glad. The union guy did advise me of one smart thing, he said to send them a registered letter stating my interpretation of being terminated. It was weird that they would pay me til the end of the week and in the first breath they said I wasn't doing my job. So, I typed a short and factual to the point letter, requesting "kindly advise me if I have misinterpreted anything."

    Also advised them I only wish to be paid for the actual time I worked unless it is the policy to pay out terminated employees. I frankly don't want their tainted money! I don't need money to be happy, or know I did the right thing. They can shove it!

    Yes -jt, I am the one with that loooong list. I already have another FT job, start Monday, more details on that at another time. I will show my new employer the memo I recieved and tell them exactly what went down, so I have nothing to hide, and in case those vindictive back-stabbers decide to be spiteful.

    My former employers KNOW me, and I have never been anything but honest, usually painfully so. It's why I make a bad manager. I have diarrhea of the mouth, and am very outspoken. When I told the aides that, they said I was a good supervisor, the best they ever had. That was nice.

    My dtr is practicing her hip hop routine and has her Jennfier Lopez CD playing full blast, the song is Let's Get Loud! It has a good beat, and is working on my happy receptors. Course with the drinks, I'm about ready to put a lmapshade on my head and dance on the table.

    If I hear anything juicy, I'll fill you in.

    The moral of the story: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably IS!

    Another Lesson: DON"T quit your day job, stay prn when trying something new, BOY am I glad I did!!!!
  12. by   -jt
    <My dtr is practicing her hip hop routine and has her Jennfier Lopez CD playing full blast, the song is Let's Get Loud! It has a good beat, and is working on my happy receptors.>


    So put down that bottle and get up & dance! Alcochol just ends up leaving people depressed anyway. Get the endorphins flowing with some honest to goodness exercise. Happy Party!
  13. by   Huganurse
    Hi Hoolahan,
    Just wanted to clarify something here. You said that the situation involved medicaid. The whistleblower law says something about that if you are the person to turn them in for MCD fraud then you will get a % of the money that they recoup.
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
  14. by   hoolahan
    Hug,

    I have heard of what you are talking about, it is called a qui tam lawsuit or someting like that. I looked into it, but truly, I don't want any $$ out of it, I just want the consumers to get what they deserve, the hours they were promised of PCA service.

    I cannot publically comment on what you have presented. All I can say is this. MY motto in nursing is and always has been/ will be "Do the right thing." You will have to take my word that the right thing has been done. I have visited the whistleblower web site, and consulted with the NJ State BON and my medical malpractice company in addition, to protect myself. They have advised me that I have indeed done everything that I should have done and they were glad to hear that I have been keeping notes.

    I would be more than happy to cooperate with any investigators and hand over my notes (or my garbage), go to court, whatever I have to do to clear my name,. and ensure justice is done. I am 100% prepared for that to actually happen.

    This old dog has been around long enough, and lived through others' vicarious struggles here, to know what I need to do.

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