Feedback requested before I give 2 weeks notice!

  1. 2
    After receiving an e-mail from my nurse manager that I MUST take a lunch (which I would LOVE TO by the way) I am so fed up, I'm ready to quit. I've been at this facility as an RN for 2 years but only 9 months on this med-surg floor (my very first med-surg job). Can you fellow nurses give me some feedback on my reply to her note? We don't cross paths at work, so I'm ready to send this but wanted to run it by you all. I don't have another job lined up but I'm starting to think my well-being is more important. I feel used & abused by this facility. I bend over backwards for them. I love the work itself, but this thing about "you must take a lunch" is only lip service. They could care less if I eat or not.

    Here's my note:
    Dear <Nursing Manager>,

    I implore you to ask two questions of your remaining nursing staff.

    1.) Do you feel you have enough time during your shift to take a proper 30 min lunch?

    2.) Do you punch out for 30 minutes but continue to work during that time?


    These questions may be difficult for you to ask for two reasons: One, you wonít want to hear their answers, and two, you donít have the power to do anything about it even if they tell you the truth.

    I leave my house at 2:30 in the afternoon. I hit the floor running & donít stop until 11:30 pm Ė I chart that last hour. I remove my lunch from the break room refrigerator & eat it in the car on the way home Ė TEN hours later. I usually have a headache by then. When we have only one Care Assistant, it is impossible to take a lunch break.

    I have told other staff (even on the day & night shifts) that every time they swipe out & Ďpretendí to take a lunch, it makes ME look BAD but they refuse to write it in the book.

    I have been nothing but a loyal, conscientious & dedicated worker at XXXXXX Hospital. I was under the illusion that if I worked hard, had a positive attitude, surrounded myself with like-minded people . . . all would be good. Thanks for your concern. However, you can consider this my two weeks notice.

    - Sincerely,
    - <my name>
    Blindsided and canoehead like this.
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  3. 26 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    You said you don't cross paths with your manager often. Could this be part of the reason you feel underappreciated and now criticized over something you would love to do but don't have the resources to accomplish? If it were me I would find out a time which is good for both of you and come in and sit down and just chat. Perhaps she was told by management that she needed to check everyone's lunch punch outs and address anyone who wasn't taking one. While this doesn't excuse her, it may have just been a task she had to check off her list amongst a million other tasks assigned to managers.

    I would sit tight on this letter, hold on to resigning without any options anywhere else, and take a moment to breathe. Then see if you can find some time to discuss concerns with her.

    If after that, if it still isn't floating the boat, I would consider starting a job search.

    Just my opinion though.

    Tait
    poppycat, canoehead, and HouTx like this.
  5. 6
    Quote from Nurse-E Girl
    After receiving an e-mail from my nurse manager that I MUST take a lunch (which I would LOVE TO by the way) I am so fed up, I'm ready to quit. I've been at this facility as an RN for 2 years but only 9 months on this med-surg floor (my very first med-surg job). Can you fellow nurses give me some feedback on my reply to her note? We don't cross paths at work, so I'm ready to send this but wanted to run it by you all. I don't have another job lined up but I'm starting to think my well-being is more important. I feel used & abused by this facility. I bend over backwards for them. I love the work itself, but this thing about "you must take a lunch" is only lip service. They could care less if I eat or not.

    Here's my note:
    Dear <Nursing Manager>,

    I implore you to ask two questions of your remaining nursing staff.

    1.) Do you feel you have enough time during your shift to take a proper 30 min lunch?

    2.) Do you punch out for 30 minutes but continue to work during that time?

    These questions may be difficult for you to ask for two reasons: One, you won’t want to hear their answers, and two, you don’t have the power to do anything about it even if they tell you the truth.

    I leave my house at 2:30 in the afternoon. I hit the floor running & don’t stop until 11:30 pm – I chart that last hour. I remove my lunch from the break room refrigerator & eat it in the car on the way home – TEN hours later. I usually have a headache by then. When we have only one Care Assistant, it is impossible to take a lunch break.

    I have told other staff (even on the day & night shifts) that every time they swipe out & ‘pretend’ to take a lunch, it makes ME look BAD but they refuse to write it in the book.

    I have been nothing but a loyal, conscientious & dedicated worker at XXXXXX Hospital. I was under the illusion that if I worked hard, had a positive attitude, surrounded myself with like-minded people . . . all would be good. Thanks for your concern. However, you can consider this my two weeks notice.

    - Sincerely,
    - <my name>
    Your letter sounds a bit inflammatory towards the manager. I get that you're frustrated but try to word your email in another way. And don't complain about what other people do; mind your own business. Your coworkers pretend to take a lunch whereas you don't...but to whoever does payroll/ your manager, they don't know that. They just see that you've been skipping out on your scheduled break, which in some places, can become a liability to the facility.

    I would take out the two questions at the beginning, as well as the paragraph following it. It sounds like you're telling your manager how she ought to be running the unit in a snarky way. Telling her she have no power to do anything about the situation is very rude.

    Your last paragraph adds nothing to the concern that your manager wrote to you about; it just sounds like one big "it's not fair" whine. That doesn't help anything.

    I'd suggest you rewrite your email and write out your concerns objectively. Why you can not go on break and maybe offer some suggestions to remedy the situation.
  6. 7
    I wouldn't send it. Your email is one of those "burning bridges" types of activities that everyone warns you (with good reason) not to do. Sending it might make you feel good momentarily but could bite you in the butt big-time in the end.

    Since your NM apparently is never on your unit during your shift, it may be that she feels that your organizational skills might be to blame for your lack of lunch. Others apparently *do* take lunch - why can't you?

    At any rate, I think I'd invite the NM to spend some time on your unit (YIKES, shouldn't have to ask for this) and perhaps "help" you find the time to clock out for lunch.
  7. 8
    Do not send that!!

    Instead sit down with your manager and talk it out. That is the mature thing to do.
    poppycat, loriangel14, hiddencatRN, and 5 others like this.
  8. 8
    Don't send it. If you are unhappy quietly find another position and then resign in writing without emotion. If they ask for an exit interview you can then tell them why you left. This letter was no doubt therapeutic to write but won't do anything beneficial.
    poppycat, VivaLasViejas, Hoozdo, and 5 others like this.
  9. 2
    The response, as the pp noted, does seem inflammatory. I get that you are understandibly upset, however, I would state things in a slightly different way.
    "Thank you for your email. I appreciate your inquiry, and I welcome the opportunity to assist in finding a solution for this unit wide issue. For me, I find that I am busy with my patient load, and unable to get coverage to take a half hour lunch." If you are a union hospital, speak to your rep.
    People who sign out for a lunch and continue working are in a couple of violations in some states (This is not legal advice, per TOS, however, just as I understand it)--HIPAA as when one is clocked out they do not have a "need to know" (the same with nurses who clock out for the day but then continue to chart off the clock past their shift) and if a situation occurs with a patient, or nurse is hurt that type of thing and a nurse is clocked out, it is probably not in ones best interest to say that "well I clocked out, but I really was not on a break". Wrecks havoc on one's malpractice insurance as well.
    I would end the email with suggestions--maybe that the charge nurse covers for all nurses who need a lunch, and each break is scheduled at the begining of the shift. Or at the begining of the shift 2 RN's are partnered and cover for each other on meal breaks.
    Look at this for an opportunity to change the current practice, and your NM wants your input. I would also add that you are willing to meet with her to dicuss it further. Again, if you are union your rep is going to want to know about this, and can help you to make changes to the current practice.
    canoehead and GrnTea like this.
  10. 1
    I see no good in talking at all. It's no accident or innocent action these "ghost breaks". Administration isn't going to listen to you and say, "Oh, we are so sorry, we didn't have any idea how hard you all work!! We'll reduce your workload so you can take your break comfortably" Ummm no.

    If you feel you are just done with it all, just right a form letter saying you are giving notice and your two weeks or what ever you plan on giving them, thank them for the opportunity, work your notice out and exit. Done. No conversation or meeting with anybody in management. That would only make you the fool, and would put a target on your back.
    Szasz_is_Right likes this.
  11. 0
    You know what, while I appreciate the more mature outlook a lot of my colleagues above have, I have to disagree to a point.

    I'd completely omit the paragraph about she doesn't want to hear it and can't do anything anyway-- that will make it impossible for her to hear the rest. And in my opinion, she needs to hear it. I wouldn't change another word. I wouldn't add any, either. It is remotely possible that your letter could be the tipping point towards better management. Or not. But if you care about your coworkers and patients, why not try?

    This assumes you will never, never, never get a job at this place again, and that you have no other black marks, disciplinary actions, improvement plans, etc. in your file, and that you have always had excellent annual reviews, so there can't be a hint of "sour grapes" bandied about.

    Good luck.
  12. 0
    DO NOT send that letter if you want to keep your job.

    Set up a face-to-face meeting and explain your concerns...but be careful.


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