Coworker talking smack about my political party & every thing I stand for/believe in

  1. 1 I've worked at this facility for a couple weeks now & am still on orientation. I was paired up with a nurse I've never worked with before the past couple of days. Just like the title states, He spent probably 75% of the 2 shifts I worked with him talking down about my political party and everything I stand for/believe in. (I never mentioned to him which party I am with). I just kept quiet & nodded and tried to get the point across that I prefer not to talk about politics & religion at work because it does nothing other than get people angry, but he kept on. By the end of the 2nd day, it was really hard for me to keep my mouth shut & not go off on him.

    I'm a big believer in "to each their own" and I totally respect people's decisions to believe in what they want. But spending 2 days listening to how "stupid people are to believe this ****" and how dumb certain presidents are or how wrong certain policies are when they're what I stand for is hard to just stand there & listen and not fire my opinions back.

    (Also, half the days were spent with him talking about how much he can't stand our charge nurse and nurse manager and how he gets the union involved every time he gets in trouble so he's got the "upper hand"...)

    I thought about just asking not to be assigned to him any more but the more I think about it, I feel I need to tell my charge nurse and/or nurse manager. I just don't want to make waves since I am new to the unit... Any advice?
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  3. Visit  Peppermint_RN profile page

    About Peppermint_RN

    Peppermint_RN has '<1' year(s) of experience. Joined Jun '13; Posts: 180; Likes: 172.

    19 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  xoemmylouox profile page
    9
    Telling them won't change anything. Some people are very vocal about their beliefs and don't care what anyone else thinks. They feel the need for everyone to know most likely to bait you into a debate that will turn ugly. Just let his words go in one ear and out the other.
  5. Visit  Meriwhen profile page
    10
    Continue to not discuss politics at work because once you start, you will never get him to stop. Stand firm and eventually, he'll find someone else who is willing to spar/sympathize with him.
    SE_BSN_RN, poppycat, Dazglue, and 7 others like this.
  6. Visit  LadyFree28 profile page
    1
    Quote from Meriwhen
    Continue to not discuss politics at work because once you start, you will never get him to stop. Stand firm and eventually, he'll find someone else who is willing to spar/sympathize with him.
    This.

    Be DIRECT and let him know you're focused on WORK and need to know the ropes-it's not about him, professionally.
    bebbercorn likes this.
  7. Visit  lovenotwar14 profile page
    1
    I agree.. dont feed the fire, eventually it will die.out.
    imintrouble likes this.
  8. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    8
    Stay out of this conversation. Tell him you would rather not talk politics at work right now (white lie) as you have so much else to learn. Smile and say that your grandma told you to never talk religion and politics in public if you want to keep friends and you love your grandma.
  9. Visit  Emergent profile page
    1
    That is just so darned inappropriate. Ugh. I sympathize. I hate it when people do that.

    The trouble is, maybe it's the culture of the unit? Maybe a lot of people feel the same? Do you hear him going off around others, with them agreeing?

    It's so hard when you're new. You can always request a different preceptor. What is your feel regarding the manager?
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  10. Visit  Peppermint_RN profile page
    1
    Thanks y'all!

    I absolutely love everyone else I work with, including my charge nurse & nurse manager. But I know they've already had problems with this guy and there isn't much they can do about it because of the Union (from what I've heard), so I'll probably stick with the "keeping my head down" tactic & just let it go in one ear & out the other. Hate rocking the boat! Plus I won't really be working with him much once I'm on my own, or even that much after the next few days when I get with another preceptor (I'm being floated around the unit & different groups of patients on the LTC floor).
    HappyWife77 likes this.
  11. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    4
    I'd talk back to him, but that's just me. I once had a co-worker tell me that "Obama is a Muslim anyway" in response to something during the 2008 election. I don't tolerate that kind of stuff so I wasn't going to just let it go. I told her, no actually he's not, he attends the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago (remember, his damn pastor was all over the news creating controversy then) and, if he were, so what? She seemed to have some anti-Muslim agenda and believed that all Muslims are terrorists. I said something about having close friends who were raised in the Middle East and North Africa, many of whom were practicing Muslims, and she then proceeded to tell me that I was lucky to be alive being friends with "people like that" (that's a direct quote). I did walk away at that point- it was the end of my shift and my head was going to explode if this conversation continued on but I never looked at her the same again. We worked at a large academic medical center in a major city with a large international population- primarily from the Middle East. She only worked per diem so I hardly ever worked with her, but I hated to think how she must have been judging these patients based on name/ethnicity/religion. I never forgot this conversation and, if I ran into her on the street today- 5 years later when neither of us work at this place- I wouldn't even acknowledge her because of it.

    Evidently this same nurse had made some pretty insulting comments to the gay members of our staff when our state was in the process of legalizing gay marriage several years earlier.

    Fortunately, I had a pretty good alliance with like minded people at work and we far outnumbered the other side. I stopped working there almost 2 years ago but I did miss them during the 2012 election season.
  12. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    5
    Personally, I think you should stand firm about him talking about politics, religion and bashing of other employees. Just tell him to stop.
  13. Visit  iPink profile page
    1
    I personally wouldn't just keep my head down, nod, and take it because he may look at you as his dumping ground and feel free to continue on his soap box. You may have to be a bit more forceful in getting the point across to him that you will NOT engage in conversation about politics and religion while at work. If he continues, give him a blank stare and ask him if he heard you.
    Spidey's mom likes this.
  14. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    2
    Quote from Peppermint_RN
    Thanks y'all!

    I absolutely love everyone else I work with, including my charge nurse & nurse manager. But I know they've already had problems with this guy and there isn't much they can do about it because of the Union (from what I've heard), so I'll probably stick with the "keeping my head down" tactic & just let it go in one ear & out the other. Hate rocking the boat! Plus I won't really be working with him much once I'm on my own, or even that much after the next few days when I get with another preceptor (I'm being floated around the unit & different groups of patients on the LTC floor).
    It is rarely "because of the Union" that people like this are allowed to continue behaving inappropriately. Most union contracts have progressive discipline. Should the manager start the process of progressive discipline, and the employee doesn't improve per the steps, then they can be let go.

    I am curious as to why this person is precepting, if they have had problems with him in the past. That seems very odd to me. By giving this person such an assignment, they are confirming that his behavior is not only ok and tolerated on the unit, but that he can continue said behavior with a new orientee.

    With all that being said, is he a good nurse? Are you learning what you need to from him? Is he a good reference for your questions?

    We are not going to like everyone. If nothing else, a reminder why one should keep personal and professional seperate. If he is not asking leading questions related to your personal beliefs--(ie: Are you a fan of President such and so?) I would think that it is not like in your personal life where not saying something somehow seems as if you are in agreement--learn whatever you need to from him, do not get into lively political debate with him, and go about your day.
    KelRN215 and heron like this.
  15. Visit  NurseDirtyBird profile page
    4
    If this were me, I'd first ask him to please stop discussing politics/religion/whatever with me, as I'm not interested in discussing it or hearing his opinion of things that make no difference to the job at hand. If that didn't work, I'd go to the manager. Continuing to harrangue you about your beliefs or anyone else's is incredibly inappropriate. And since he's clearly been in trouble before, this is probably not the first time he's created a hostile work environment for other nurses. If that doesn't work, go to HR. That's ridiculous unprofessional behavior.


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