Bullying - page 2

I would like to hear from other nurses about effective ways to handle people who are nasty, have friends who back them up who are also mean, and use the system to make my life a misery at times. I... Read More

  1. by   littletwinstar
    Im not a nurse so I dont really have much advice for you, but I feel your pain as similar things have happened to me before. I'm a barber, and the "hairstylist" crowd is full of nasty immature women who like to ****-talk co-workers and customers to no end. I think they picked up on my docile behavior quickly and had taken advantage of it at every job I've had. They like to talk down to me and then turn around and try to boss me into doing their work, such as cleaning their stations and of corce the bathrooms at closing (when I didnt close, I'd notice the bathroom cleaning didnt get done, oh they'd leave it for me everytime).

    I basicly just took it and kept my mouth shut. I'd clean their stations even without them asking (I can't stand being in a dirty place and I'd feel embarassed for people to see me working in filth even if it's not mine), I was 7 months pregnant and doing all the end of night cleaning while they did "paper work" that only needed to be done by one person not 3-4 people. They would constantly belittle me infront of clients and basicly use me as their personal servant all without a peep out of me. We didnt talk much, I was always extremly polite and I just don't like gossip and I dont like to talk about personal issues at work, so I guess they didnt have much to say to me.

    I know you should stand up for yourself and not let people use you, but on the plus side, I did learn alot from them and I'm happy I did. If anything, I like to observe people and the way they interact with others, and being so quite and mindful of what I say, they didnt seem to have a problem with me watching them. It helps me better communicate and know what to say or not to say in certain situations, and possible outcome I wouldn't have thought of in my head. I can really be shocking to be around a group of women older than your mother who act like their still in high school. I don't know if they were trying to feel me out before they accepted me, were trying to push me into being more efficiant at my job (which did happen, another plus), or they just didn't relate to me and I dont fit in.

    It's ok for me though, I took up this skill as a means to pay for my higher education, not something I'm interested in doing the rest of my life. If it was, I'd be more likly to complain to management, which you should do. That kind of behavior is more expected in doing hair, but with nursing, that is just not right and should not be tolerated. I always saw people in the healthcare feild as being put on a higher level and not untill I started reading these forums did I realize this issues were around.

    I hope it works out for you, whatever you decide to do about it. Just remember not to stoop to their level.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Feb 19, '12 : Reason: Edited profanity.
  2. by   littletwinstar
    Quote from erhnurse
    i also love my job but have some seriously difficult co-workers. these people like to dump the most admissions on me, gossip about me, and try to get me in trouble with our supervisor. their only problem is that my work does not reflect their accusations. i hear from others the reports these few are making yet i never hear it from supervisor. if you really love your job then don't let these few ruin it for you. if you do your job like you are supposed to then they have nothing on you, and if they get rude with you then it only ruins their day, not yours. continuing to be happy and successful is the worst punishment and revenge on those that try to make you miserable.
    I like your post, I think this is what I wanted to say.
  3. by   FLmomof5
    No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

    Your opinion of me doesn't matter because I don't value your opinion.

    You can only hurt me if I care about you.

    We don't have bullies where I work now. However, in my last place, there was one nurse I felt was bullying me. The other nurses had the same negative opinion of this nurse that I did, they just never said anything. One night it came to a head. I told her that I didn't like her treatment of me....blah blah blah. She was shocked. She had NO idea she came across hostile. (She was also an LPN in a world of RNs so she might have felt she had something to prove....dunno). Anyway, we hashed out somethings and agreed to start fresh. I know this is not the average response, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to try. My thought was to have enough respect for another nurse's livelihood to talk to her first. If that didn't work, then I would go to HR.....

    Harsh things I have done that worked....

    Male bully:

    "Are you finished?" (said calmly) "yes" (him) "Do you feel like a real man now?" (me) Him....stunned face....walked away. Never happened again.


    "I don't let my husband talk to me like that, I sure as he// will not take it from YOU!" (never happened again)

    Female Bully:

    "Cattiness is SOOOO unbecoming?"

  4. by   tokmom
    I'm looking for some advice as well. There is a person at work who has tossed myself and the other charge nurse more times than I care to count, under the bus. All accusations are found to be false, but I'm tired of being hauled into the office to explain that I did nothing wrong. I told my boss, I will only talk to her with either his or HR's presence. I'm sooo done with this as is my co worker.

    I don't feel as though you should quit or job or move to another floor (I read that you can't do that anyway). I'm feeling the same with this person. No way in heck am I going to quit MY position, so she can 'win'. Bull pucky.

    Just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. Good luck and keep me posted. I'm curious how this will be handled.
  5. by   Rick68fl
    Find out where they live and make their life miserable until they see the err of their ways...
  6. by   Nurseinprocess
    I was in a situation where a nurse I work with was just totally ignoring me. I would greet her and she would act like I wasn't there. I would ask her a medical question and she would ignore me. It isn't easy to work with someone who treats you like you don't exist when you have to use each other to do narcotic wastes, etc. I did mention this to my mgr after a couple weeks of dealing with it and he told me "It takes two." Really? Well I wasn't the one being a butthead and I wasn't trying to keep the animosity going (she was mad at me over a scheduling issue). This went on for about 7 months. There were times that she would place her computer and chair directly in the entryway to the nurse's station and set her 300 lb bulk right in my way so I couldn't enter or exit. Thankfully she quit . I have realized that management does not care, they don't want to know if their employees aren't getting along or having issues. Nursing is stressful enough without having to deal with the bs of coworkers on top of everything else. I probably could have done something like bow down to this person and kiss her butt, but she wasn't worth it.
  7. by   Sensibility
    Quote from nurse2033
    Document their behavior and file a complaint with HR. Many facilities have some sort of written policy on behavior. Unless management knows about it they can't do anything.
    I went to a seminar given by the hospital where we are supposed to learn how to get along with each other. If I walked away with anything, it's that there is no answer to this. If I complain, I will be labeled a complainer. I am documenting and saving these things for myself in the event that they continue to grow. My hope is that by saying nothing, they will die.
  8. by   wish_me_luck
    I agree with nurse2033. I am a nursing student, but I used to be a patient care tech. I was bullied a lot. I decided to quit, but after that, I took a leadership class and they discussed this. The options were talk to the person (which you did), go to your unit manager (which you did), go to HR and file a complaint against the person for bullying/harrassment in the workplace (there should be a zero tolerance for this; it is assault and it also affects patient care); and I would discuss this with the person above the unit manager. Just explain the steps you took and tell them you hated to bring it further, but there were no other options. I have learned that this behavior won't stop until you do something about it. Plus, what are going to do job hunt and change units everytime this happens? It happens all the time.

    I am sorry about this and I hope it gets better.
  9. by   Sensibility
    Thank you for these. I agree with you that we have to identify people who are just not super friendly vs. someone who is out to get us. In my particular case, I know I'm being bullied but....I was hired at age 54 and my nurse manager had indicated that I was on trial because of my age. For some reason, they do not want to hire someone who is older, which is again discrimination but hard to prove. But I understand why. This work is taxing physically. My nurse manager is a wonderful person. I just don't want to sound like I'm the nut in the situation or that I'm making waves. I have seen that they are dealing with this in some ways and I don't know if it's going to continue. I am hoping that it will stop.

    I passed one of the certification exams that our hospital was requesting. It was a BIG deal to pass it. Some of the more seasoned nurses who have been there for years did not pass. All the nurses who passed received a complimentary congratulatory letter from the leadership on passing sent to all the other nurses. I didn't get one. Time has passed, more people have passed the exam and received this letter sent to all the nurses and I still have not received a letter. Here was an opportunity to show me respect to my peers and they chose not to.

    I believe I mentioned that I was written up. The write up contained so many accusations that it took me several weeks to sort through it all. My supervisors made a public spectacle of me by putting me back on orientation. It was humiliating. The new grads who did not go through this now have it fixed in their heads that I am not worthy of their respect. This spills over in the way they speak to me at times. They are not bold enough to be bullies just sort of a superior attitude, if you know what I mean. It is nothing I could ever report. I mean it sent out a clear message. Turns out that the person who wrote me up was one person, the head nurse of my shift, and the friend of the bully. Nobody else agreed with what she said and said so to the leadership but because of her position, they had to take her allegations seriously. In my mind, most of these accusations were ridiculous. None of them necessitated being written up such as asking a question. As it turns out, the question I had asked was misunderstood. But nevertheless, this is now officially on paper. My mentor told me that no question is a stupid question....yet, here I was being written up because my question was a stupid question. Why am I even being asked about that?

    I seriously do not know what to do about this stuff. It does weigh heavy on my mind all the time. I have worked very hard to get where I am. I dread going to work because I don't know what's coming next. Just when I think everything is great, I am called in again to hear yet another complaint over nothing.
  10. by   PinkNBlue
    I am so sorry. I know what it's like to have a bully at work.... Unfortunately my story is the bully was my former best friend. It's terrible. Have you tried mediation with your manager and the people that are bullying you? I wish you the best. I don't necessarily agree with quitting because then they win at running you off. But if I had an answer for you, I'd feel better about my situation too. Hang in there.
  11. by   NurseOnAMotorcycle
    You know how the rumor mill is, right? You don't have to sue anyone, just whispier to a not-so-subtle nurse that you are PREPARING to sue, let them see you taking notes by your locker every once in a while... I can guarantee it'll stop everything dead in their tracks.

    This may sound stupid, but it IMMEDIATELY stopped people from bullying my friend's middleschool daughter when she started carrying around a date/time notebook after I told her that the other kids could face jailtime for throwing rocks at her, etc...