To resign early or risk getting fired?

  1. 2
    I've been at my hospital job for three and a half months and just received my 90 eval. The only criticism I received was something along the lines of "You need to smile more and be more welcoming to people" What the hell is that?

    I am always early to work, I am professional, I get the job done, I am polite and respect my patients. Unfortunately the charge nurse is a cow that sits at her desk and gossips the entire time and does not help anyone with ANYTHING.

    I'm a relatively new nurse and have been encouraged by the Director to ask questions and ask for help if I need it. The director has notified me that the charge nurse and manager of the unit have stated that I don't smile enough (am i supposed to have a smile plastered on my face all day??), that I don't ask for help and they think I am too proud to ask (which is bull because I always ask especially if I am unfamiliar with something - which I DID ON ONE OCCASION AND DID NOT RECEIVE ANY HELP), and that I don't look comfortable and appear tense (HELLO, this is a tele unit, it gets crazy sometimes, i'm not the only nurse that gets stressed out).

    Basically the only criticism I received was "You need to be more welcoming to others, if this is not something that can't be worked on during the EXTENDED 30 DAY PROBATION, then maybe this type of work environment isn't right for you". I feel like i'm being picked on or something. First off, my patients love me. I have been praised by the CEO for going out of my way and doing something for a patient that was much appreciated. Yet all the good things are overlooked and me not being a fake person is going to get my fired.

    I was planning on resigning in a couple of months to pursue a graduate degree in NY but I feel like this is not an acceptable reason for me to be let go. So now before this 30 day mark I think I should resign and just relax for a month before I move. Any input would be appreciated. I am just furious with this situation. Oh and get this, the director is like "I don't know how you are with your patients so I will be around more to see your interactions". This is ridiculous and I am not the first nurse at the hospital to complain about the "culture" of the workplace. So resign in two weeks then just do the school thing? I don't think it will be a dealbreaker later when I look for a job considering I am moving for graduate school in the fall. HELP :uhoh21:
    Last edit by dianah on Jun 1, '12
    Blanca R and Joe V like this.
  2. 29 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    It is sometimes difficult to understand how we are being perceived by others. There is something behind this evaluation that is not being identified, and expressing the faults of others will not help.
    So, smiling a bit more may be the right thing to do! It may feel 'fake' at times, but it cannot hurt. Sometimes a face without expression is seen as negative, not neutral.

    Years ago I was faulted for not saying 'please' when I told the techs what needed to be done. I shouldn't have to beg people to do their own work, and I noted that the male nurses almost never said 'please'. Oh, but it is not 'expected' that the guys will say please!

    So don't quit yet, try smiling more around the staff - a cheery hello can make the difference here.
  4. 12
    ok, you're furious and it's unfair. now smile more. you really don't know how others are perceiving you, and you've just gotten some fabulous clues that will serve you well your entire career . . . if you pay attention.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, canoehead, Altra, and 9 others like this.
  5. 2
    Unfortunately, you punch a time clock that does not belong to you, so you must do what these people say if you wish to maintain employment at this facility.

    Put on the performance of your life. Smile. Appear relaxed. Make the charge nurse and manager feel good about themselves, because these two people are obviously the ones who are giving the negative feedback.

    Floor nursing is very political, so you must be adept at playing the game. I wouldn't quit this job without having another position lined up. Good kuck to you!
    MBARNBSN and CompleteUnknown like this.
  6. 6
    Name calling, calling the charge nurse a "cow" sounds like you have an attitude problem and are immature and unprofessional. Maybe the problem is you. Yes tele is stressful and not for everyone, but since you plan to go back to school anyway you can always quit now and let those student loans rack up. Good luck getting a job without experience!
    Altra, WeepingAngel, Patti_RN, and 3 others like this.
  7. 4
    Many years ago, I was told by my boss that I always looked like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and that I needed to lighten up a bit. Honestly, I was pretty hurt. I mean, I was new and there was so much to worry about and what if this happened and what if I didn't know enough and what if I forgot something and what if this and what if that and I DID feel like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders!

    Anyway, after I thought about it for a bit I realised she was right. Nurses don't have to swashbuckle around the ward with a devil-may-care attitude but not everything is an emergency, not everyone is going to die right this minute, and it won't be the end of the world if I don't know every single thing there is to know. I made a conscious effort to try to relax and smile a bit more and it really did help. It was an act at first but soon I was feeling more relaxed as well as looking more relaxed and I found I actually started to enjoy work and even sometimes have a bit of fun. There's plenty of terrifying moments to go around, it's good if you can smile and joke with your patients and colleagues when it's appropriate.

    You may not be thinking that you're too proud to ask for help but is it at least possible that you are giving that impression? If what you've said are the only things they found to criticise, I'd let it sink in for a day or so, think about it again without feeling that you're being judged, and then take it on board. It doesn't sound like bad advice to me, and it doesn't sound like a reason for resigning either.
    Last edit by CompleteUnknown on Jun 1, '12 : Reason: typo
    Altra, greenbeanio, MBARNBSN, and 1 other like this.
  8. 3
    I have been a nurse for 30 years. The one and only time I was fired was because I did not" smile enough."
    I am a spectacular nurse. During this 2 week "job" ..I realize that I was going a personal time of grief.

    The manager was aware of that issue, however it does NOT matter why we are not smiling enough.

    I treated all of my patients with extra care.. as I was feeling fragile myself.

    Instead of understanding that I was experiencing a personal grief issue and in a new environment to boot.. I was canned at the end of my initial 2 weeks of orientation.

    We were both perceived incorrectly and did not get the respect we deserve as professionals.


    Did you let your goal of " planning on resigning in a couple of months to pursue a graduate degree" inadvertently made known?

    Either way.. get out, with the best outcome for you.

    Good luck, keep us posted.
    anotherone, Zookeeper3, and RNHURT like this.
  9. 0
    This is a very delicate situation. Option one may be to do what they tell you and keep smiling all the way in corridors, rooms and break room and keep doing job as you need paycheck to pay your bills.
    Also to think that would they really pass your probation even if you keep the smile meter on or this is just a paper trail to let you go eventually
    2nd option is become a politician and float in floor politics
    3rd option is to be stress free and have month of peace before starting school if you have financial support system.
  10. 1
    An evaluation is meant to give you constructive criticism so that you know where you need to improve and where you are doing well. It is possible that your facial expression is not neutral when you are not smiling. You commented that they said you seem uncomfortable and tense. That could be what they (and anyone else who sees you such as patients, family members etc) are seeing on your face most of the time.
    Keep in mind that patient ratings are soon going to be effecting Medicare payouts. So facilities all over the country are scrambling to do anything and everything they can to ensure that they receive good ratings. If your "neutral" facial expression is coming across as tense and uncomfortable, it can have a negative effect on how patients or their family members perceive you as a nurse as well as your unit and your facility.
    Based on your post it seems to me that you are very frustrated, but I think it is in you best interests to at least try to work on the areas of you evaluation that were not satisfactory. If it is just the facial expression..... it will not kill you to try and smile more often!!! They are not expecting you to have a big grin on at all times, but try just pulling the corners of your mouth up just a small fraction and it may make a big difference!
    I think you should try to stick it out.
    Good luck.
    greenbeanio likes this.
  11. 2
    Quote from ruby vee
    ok, you're furious and it's unfair. now smile more. you really don't know how others are perceiving you, and you've just gotten some fabulous clues that will serve you well your entire career . . . if you pay attention.
    all fine and well, but when it's lumped in with a threat to your job, well, it's hard to learn a lesson from that. the managers attitude strikes me as "smile, or else...".
    SoldierNurse22 and RN 1020 like this.


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