What's the worst thing the workplace bully did to you? has done to you? - page 6

I worked with a so-called nurse that took every monthly note out of the eight pts charts that I had to chart on and did God knows what with them. I couldn't prove it, but she was the only nurse at... Read More

  1. by   mercyteapot
    A couple years ago, I supervised a woman who I caught in numerous white lies before catching her falsifying her timecard. I went to my supervisor with what I had discovered and asked for guidance. She contacted HR, who told us how to proceed, so we had our butts covered. Unfortunately, the woman blew a gasket at our meeting and stalked out. An hour later, I get a call from HR informing me that she had filed a racial discrimination complaint against me and that they were legally bound to investigate. I had to meet with an HR rep that afternoon, who asked me "if we were to interview your co-workers, would there be anything that you have said or done that perhaps could have been misinterpreted?" I said no and meant it. The next week, the beyotch in question told HR it wasn't "anything specific, she just knew" that I was racist. They told her that they couldn't investigate a nonspecific complaint. A few months later, they actually found a way to pay her to go away with a promise that she wouldn't sue the agency for anything (after the timecard incident, she was coming up with something to call HR and complain about every week). What was really maddening was that I had spent months defending this woman to my supervisors, and the minute I ask her to explain an inconsistency, I turn into the enemy.
  2. by   lifeisbeautiful
    Quote from burp
    im a agency rn work in icu and er, im a 275lb weightlifter type and was army for 8 years so i havent got much bullying from anyone but a few mds tried . i NEVER let anyone from a cna to the hospital director talk to me in a way that i wouldnt use myself. you must stand your ground immed!!let them know STRONGLY that you will not tolerate that kind of abusive behavior. bullies are like sharks, they smell weakness like blood in the water. if you dont let them get started in on you it only takes making one example and word will get arond that you are to be left alone. ive been very fortunate over my years as a rn to only have one real confrontation at work .be nice but DONT TAKE ANY ABUSE. it makes it worse for the next rn let alon yourself
    Burp, couldn't have said it better myself *wink* and I am 5' 7 and 125 pounds! When I first started nursing, I was quite intimidated by the floor bullies. I always felt that I was somehow responsible for their 'mood', but in reality, they bullied me because I let them. Well, I quickly changed my line of thinking. I don't have a problem standing up for myself anymore and I have found that keeping my cool and asking questions is the best way to diffuse a bullying situation. Plus, it irritates the bully that is trying to shovel out the snide remark or create the hostile situation. Yelling, crying, raising your voice, 'tattling' (meaning having to report everything that hurts your feeewings because you can't take another person's opinion without it being a 'personal attack' ), tantrums, trying to hard to 'please', etc. are what bully's feed off of. Like Burp said, bullies try to push buttons so they can obtain their power. Bully's are the real cowards. Yup, don't take the bull. You only go through this life once. If unhappy, you have the ultimate power to change. It is so strange. Nursing is suppose to be a profession of kindness, compassion, patience, understanding, and acceptance, but many Nurses have a hard time applying these when it involves their fellow coworkers. I can honestly, say I have met more mean coworkers in Nursing than any other job (not that all of my coworkers are mean to me, but I have see how they treat others).
  3. by   boulergirl
    Some of these stories here brought to mind an old boss of mind. She didn't antagonize me directly but I've heard horror stories from other NAs. She would see the nurse's aides struggling to dress a resident, and brush them aside. Then she'd tell them "I'LL show you how it's done!" and proceed to do it herself, while beating the resident. This same nurse would cut people's hours if she didn't like them or they tried to go over her head with a complaint. She left me alone with a building full of residents one night. One of my co-workers was told to come in to work even though she'd JUST HAD SURGERY. She spent the whole night on the couch while I ran the building.

    This boss ended up resigning under investigation. The NAs had had enough, and reported her.
  4. by   virmm1
    I worked w/ a nurse who would throw out either pts blood specimens or lab reqs then lead our boss to believe we weren't doing our jobs right. Had double computer documentation to prove it. she was so far up boss azz ,if boss had opened her mouth wide enough we could have see the knife wielder looking at us. Of course to boss she could do no wrong and we needed to stop picking on her. She was recently dxed w/ bi-polar. Last I heard they don't make meds to cure mean and nasty.
  5. by   VizslaMom
    I'm so glad I don't work with any other nurses that are like the ones described in this thread. Geesh.

    They sound like psych patients! - or - They sound like they SHOULD BE psych patients.
  6. by   peaceful
    We have a boss at work who is rude, belittles you, go out of her way to start a fight. I have only worked at this site for a few months. I kept hearing stories about her & thought oh I would just always remain professional, this person won't get to me. Five key people have quit because of this woman. Well my last week has been hell with this particular boss. I have twiced been in tears over a project that must be completed, and she gives me confusing directions, keeps changing her mind on how she wants done, did not tell me about an important deadline. The whole situation is crazy. I can not continue to work in an atmosphere with such off the wall personnel. Needless to say, i am looking for new job! Thanks for listening!
  7. by   GingerSue
    You'll find something better.
  8. by   HarryPotter
    [QUOTE=night owl]I worked with a so-called nurse that took every monthly note out of the eight pts charts that I had to chart on and did God knows what with them. I couldn't prove it, but she was the only nurse at the nurses station when I finished up the very last one and said, "Pheeeew, thank God I'm done with those dreaded notes!" The next day I went back to one of them to check on something I wrote and it wasn't in there. Huh??? I checked another chart for the same thing and IT wasn't there either. "What the ----?" I checked the rest of them and not one was to be found! I went right to the head nurse and told her the story and then told her I wanted a transfer off the unit today because I could no longer work with that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH!!!.... I was outta there in 2 hours.

    She did other things like taking my work keys and hiding them for a few days until she saw me ripping my hair out trying to find them. When I finally asked for the last time, "Has anyone seen my keys before I spend $25 dollars to get new ones?" ($5 a key) She would say, "Oh, these?" And open the narcotic box and reach up top and way in the back and pull them out. "Yeah, thanks, those are mine!" and yank them out of her hand and give her the dirtiest look. She could have given them to me the first day I lost them, but nooooooooo, she watched me squirm for three days. I wanted to choke the "B!"

    Another time I was decorating the unit for Valentine's Day. (actually had time to do this years ago) I must have cut out 500 hearts of all different sizes, plus bought some really nice decorations from the hallmark store. She asked me to run some blood to the lab. I asked her to watch my decorations, tape etc that were on one of those little stainless steel carts we used for meds (way back when) so the pt's wouldn't mess with it. (Alzheimer's unit) "No problem." I come back from the lab and I couldn't find the cart or the decorations. Asked her where did she put it. She said "I didn't touch it." Yet I found the cart put away, but no decorations. I just knew she put them some place so I searched high and low for them and never found them. I wasn't going to let her spoil my plans for decorating our unit, so that night I went home and I cut out another 500 hearts and went back to the store and bought some more prettier decorations. The next day I did the same thing and she says I found your decorations. "Where?" I said. "Right here in this drawer." "The h*ll you did!" I said "I looked in all of these drawers and they weren't there! But thanks, because now I have double the amount and will decorate to the hilt!" She says to me, ''Who's azz are you kissing?'' I said "No ones! Especially NOT yours!" Oh she burnt me up! But I got her back with all the decorating. Those were just a few things she would do to torment me besides humiliating me in report, spreading rumors about me, undoing dressings I did. She died 8 months after I transfered off the unit. Guess what from? Ca of the brain! And everyone that knew her had NOT one kind word about her.

    So tell us if you care to share, your horror stories with the workplace bully. Inquiring minds would like to know.[/QUOTe



    Good God:
    I can't believe all the horror stories.
    What is going on that this toxic culture exists?

    What can we do?

    I am so saddened and angry that people went into our Profession because they want to help people and yet are treated this way. How many have quit? How many develop hard hearts? How many cry at night?

    Please go to my poll about workplace bullying. I am gathering statistics in order to alter toxic environments in the Healthcare Industry.

    thanks.

    and so sorry for all the abuse u have had to deal with.
    I encourage u all to go to your DON and ask for advise.
    Lynne.

    "people who are bullied think there is something wrong with them."
  9. by   boulergirl
    "people who are bullied think there is something wrong with them."
    Ain't that the truth. And it's even worse when family and friends suggest that you're doing something to provoke the bullying. :imbar
  10. by   virmm1
    This same bully was best buddies with our head nurse until the head nurse wouldn't write one of the bully's targets up for a run in they had over frivilous
    BS. This target just happened to have worked at the same facility as the bully previously and had gotten a job tht the bully wanted.
    Also, bully ws fired from tht facility for stealing time. She taped the termination meeting and forgot to take the tape out of a tape recorder she later gave me at a yardsell. She ws telling the office manager that the supervisor had no right looking at her timesheets because they were her property. HELLO,! Bully then accused her supervisor of being out to get her. Bully ws told by OM tht it wasn't just her word agains her supervisor's tht others had in fact testified to the same.

    I don't know if the bully did these things or not but I wouldn't have put it past her. Given her record for low down dirty deeds.

    Someone went to the office on a Sunday ,used an ex employees security code to get in and broke into the office manager's office and desk, riffled through the employee records. The one file that ws out of place happened to be the head nurse's.

    When we had a meeting about this ,who was the most apalled tht someone would do this ? You got it ,THE BULLY. She had recently broken up w/ her boyfriend and later in the same meeting mentioned tht she had came in after hours and did some coding but tht she didn't clock in. This was out of her own mouth.

    The head nurse went on vacation and someone ordered $300 worth of stickers( the kind for kids) and signed her name to the request. Unfortunately, the company that sent the stickers no longer had the request w/ the signature so we couldn't see who forged her sig.

    We've had keys disappear tht the late nurse needed to put blood outside in the lab pickup box. No where to be found, keys just happened to be in the drawer the next morning after the bully got to work, same thing happend w/ inhouse strep test. Three people looked in the lab ,one ws the doc, none to be found by any of them but they were right there in the cabinet the next day when bully ws at work.

    one of the bully's targets had a SUV where the side mirrors give way when hit to prevent them from being damaged, the passenger side mirror mysteriously got moved to a position so tht cars in the right hand lane couldn't be seen in it.
    The day this happened, the SUV ws parked in a place where there ws no room for anyone to be on that side of the vehicle to accidently bump it. They would have been walking in bushes. Could have caused and accident and it would have been the SUV owner's fault.

    Head nurse's DH was killed on the job, not his fault, she had a lawyer in another city, only one she could find to take on the big company he worked for. Lawyer's office would send her faxes to work, This ws something very important, HN found a fax to her from the lawyer in a trash can in the back hall. several feet away from the fax machine. At that time all of HN's co-workers knew what was going on .No way was this an accident.

    People got flat tires from sheetmetal screws .Several of the targets and then the bully too.

    What to do about people like this? They don't quit being that nasty they just learn to hide it better.

    Sometimes it was just petty things, But some of these things indicate a very sick mind. Its scary.

    I'm not saying tht the bully did all of these things but you have to wonder.
    Last edit by virmm1 on Nov 16, '04
  11. by   virmm1
    Quote from boulergirl
    Ain't that the truth. And it's even worse when family and friends suggest that you're doing something to provoke the bullying. :imbar
    In the article I read from bully.org, one only has to be competent in their job, well liked and respected in the workplace to become the target of an insecure inadequate feeling bully. The problem isn't tht you are provoking the bully but
    merely being yourself. Of course in the bully's mind I guess anyone who's competent in their work is asking for it.

    funny how some bullies have their bosses believing they're perfect ' s,and tht the nit picking and constant pointing out of co workers mistakes, (real or manufactured by the bully)are just a result of the bully is just being a very conchenious ( grossly mispelled) person.
  12. by   HarryPotter
    Quote from virmm1
    This same bully was best buddies with our head nurse until the head nurse wouldn't write one of the bully's targets up for a run in they had over frivilous
    BS. This target just happened to have worked at the same facility as the bully previously and had gotten a job tht the bully wanted.
    Also, bully ws fired from tht facility for stealing time. She taped the termination meeting and forgot to take the tape out of a tape recorder she later gave me at a yardsell. She ws telling the office manager that the supervisor had no right looking at her timesheets because they were her property. HELLO,! Bully then accused her supervisor of being out to get her. Bully ws told by OM tht it wasn't just her word agains her supervisor's tht others had in fact testified to the same.

    I don't know if the bully did these things or not but I wouldn't have put it past her. Given her record for low down dirty deeds.

    Someone went to the office on a Sunday ,used an ex employees security code to get in and broke into the office manager's office and desk, riffled through the employee records. The one file that ws out of place happened to be the head nurse's.

    When we had a meeting about this ,who was the most apalled tht someone would do this ? You got it ,THE BULLY. She had recently broken up w/ her boyfriend and later in the same meeting mentioned tht she had came in after hours and did some coding but tht she didn't clock in. This was out of her own mouth.

    The head nurse went on vacation and someone ordered $300 worth of stickers( the kind for kids) and signed her name to the request. Unfortunately, the company that sent the stickers no longer had the request w/ the signature so we couldn't see who forged her sig.

    We've had keys disappear tht the late nurse needed to put blood outside in the lab pickup box. No where to be found, keys just happened to be in the drawer the next morning after the bully got to work, same thing happend w/ inhouse strep test. Three people looked in the lab ,one ws the doc, none to be found by any of them but they were right there in the cabinet the next day when bully ws at work.

    one of the bully's targets had a SUV where the side mirrors give way when hit to prevent them from being damaged, the passenger side mirror mysteriously got moved to a position so tht cars in the right hand lane couldn't be seen in it.
    The day this happened, the SUV ws parked in a place where there ws no room for anyone to be on that side of the vehicle to accidently bump it. They would have been walking in bushes. Could have caused and accident and it would have been the SUV owner's fault.

    Head nurse's DH was killed on the job, not his fault, she had a lawyer in another city, only one she could find to take on the big company he worked for. Lawyer's office would send her faxes to work, This ws something very important, HN found a fax to her from the lawyer in a trash can in the back hall. several feet away from the fax machine. At that time all of HN's co-workers knew what was going on .No way was this an accident.

    People got flat tires from sheetmetal screws .

    What to do about people like this? They don't quit being that nasty they just learn to hide it better.

    Sometimes it was just petty things, But some of these things indicate a very sick mind. Its scary.

    I'm not saying tht the bully did all of these things but you have to wonder.
    as I said, Holy S...! I thoought I had heard it all...these things sound beyond bullying, they sound criminal. :angryfire
  13. by   HarryPotter
    Quote from gwenith
    Vicky - here in Australia some of the bullying came from the turn of the century - it dates back to when nurses were little more than kitchen hands. I remember wne I started my training (many years ago) we were greeted by our immediate superiors ( nurses who had started thier training 2 moths previously) with the words "Oh good now you are here we are no longer the dirt on the floor merely the grime on the walls."

    Some of is was a learnt and inappropriate managment strategy where a person does not "fit" because of altered - not neccessarily poor but altered work performance and because there were few other options to "sack" the person they were bullied into leaving. Thus the covert justification began.

    Bad management practices that were learnt behaviour. One teaching the next - the "hidden curriculum" Saw it glaringingly at a recent workplace where people I knew would not be bullies elsewhere had fallen into the behaviour because that was the norm.

    I am stiing here trying to formulate a simple answer to a difficult question. To really understand it you have to realise that there are three levels of bullying. Single bullying - where it is mostly just one person usually in a postion of power. Cohort bullying where there are two or three close friends who "back them up" and finally mobbing - where the culture supports "us" and "them".

    Needless to say the fewer people involved the easier it is to adress the situation. Sometimes it does go back to the bullyig finding a better home life. Even in single person bullying there will be main tarets and those who are close and those who are neutral. The target often looks to the others for support as I did and it was a long slow learnig process that showed me that many of my "supporters would not and could not speak up for me as they were afraid of being targeted.

    Cohort bullying will often dissipate if you can divide and conquer but dividing them is difficult - true "cliques" Possibly the worst form of bullying to deal with as your actions can and will be misreported. The cohort bullying I encountered was classical - my boss was actually rather a weak and ineffectual person who was not capable of doing her jog efefctively. She relied on two others to "shore" he up and it was these two who spent hours pourign venom in her ears. Without these two she was alright with them she bacme the worst bully I have ever encountered.

    The last - mobbing is the most difficult it is endemic and cultural much like what I first described. Although it can have a "vindication" to "Get rid of " underachievers it soon becomes a tool to get rid of anyone who does not "fit". I think my last place of employment was classical for this. They would employ new graduates to ICU in large numbers - OK if you have enough older more expereinced staff as "leavening" but when you have ahigh turnover there is not enough expereince to pass from one group to another and so the "practice wisdom" becomes less. There is so much not written down in nursing or written in only a few places that we do rely on practice wisdom in the workplace. This lack of cummulative expereince led to a large number of nurses operating only at the "novice" end of Benner model and thier thinking as a group became very balck and white. Example every patient in the ICU whether they were vented and sedated or awake and aware whether the blink reflex was intact or not, had to have 2nd hourly eye drops!!! To not do this was to be classified as a "lazy nurse" regardless of what else you did. This mindset had an underlying insecurity and anyone who had expereince elsewhere did not last long in that unit because they were able to challenge the "by the numbers" nursign routines that had become sacrosanct.

    I have rabbitted on a bit here but I think that we are near to findign a solution. On the board here I lookout for threads that rant about "lazy" or "stupid" coworkers and unless they are in jest I read them and see if there is a bully looking for justification in thier actions lurking behind the post - if there is I will gently try to show them a better way of resolving the problem than "telling that stupid witch what I thought and making her pay!!!" (note this is an exam

    ple sentence and has not been copied from any post.)

    I sure would like u in my corner! I love your post. You are indeed a hero. And a very smart one at that. I understand that iin Australia they have more expanded harassment policies that include bully behavior. Is that true. I am on a camaign her in California that would expand our harassment policies to include bully harassment. (Which will mean legislation). I am putting u on my buddy list (unless you would rather me not). Keep on truckin! Lynne

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