New Grad Dealing With Catty Phlebotomists in Training

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I just finished my first week of training at the blood center I am working at. It is 6 months of training and I am enjoying learning everything. I am now being trained for 6 weeks with non-nurses so we can all get a phlebotomy certification.They stop there as certified phlebotomists and I as the RN will go on to be trained in therapeutic apheresis; allogenic, autologous, etc.

    I am training with these soon to be phlebotomists and they are all nice but I get the feeling they are scrutinizing me. Maybe it is because I am a new grad, younger than most of them, and I am the only RN amongst them. They just rub me the wrong way for some reason.

    It maybe all in my head and I may be over analyzing things. But sometimes I think some of the questions they ask me are inappropriate.

    For instance 'how old are you?' one woman asked me that the second I told her I am a nurse. Is she surprised that I actually became a nurse considering my age and the fact that I am single? Most of these women are married or not with children and older. It does not bother me that they are but sometimes I get a vibe that they are gauging whether I deserve to be paid more than them because I am a novice in this feild and some of them have been phlebotomists before and I am very new to this. As the nurse I will be over seeing their work and taking a supervisory/leadership role. We are all training together so I could care less if I am not an expert because that is why I am in training. But at times from these women in particular I feel they judge me as an expert though I am new to all of this.

    Also I notice one girl everyday keeps on commenting on how I bring my lunch to work. They always go and buy lunch together and I stay at the office and eat my lunch and relax. I kinda like the quiet and not having to talk to anyone for half an hour. This girl is nice, but it's not that big of a deal if I don't go out with them for lunch. I brought my own and I want to eat it and not waste my lunch break looking to buy something to eat. It's like they are in a click and I am outside of it. She kept on commenting on it so much so I felt I had to give her an explaination for why I brought my lunch.

    Also they give us a lot of paper work to read about company policy and I was making sure to read all of it and I did notice others just skimmed over theirs and started working on the assigned work sheets. By the time I finished reading they were almost done. I was working on my and one woman ask me 'do you need any help?' I told her no thanks that I am ok.(in my head, i'm like I can read, focus on yourself not me) For me it's not a race. I want to make sure I understand everything they want us to. But it irked me she would ask me that, though she tried to come off as nice. And she kept on looking at me after I declined. I just gave her a smile and kept on my work.

    Sorry to rant but little things like this just make me not like these women at all and truth be told if not for us training together I would never have a real converation with them in real life. To me they are rude.

    It bugged me a lot after I left work but I decided they they are not even a factor and we are not even working at the same centers and even if that is the case I would be the one in charge not them.

    At times I also feel the fact that I dress nice and professional to work (and a lot of them really don't), causes them to scrutinize me more. I have not dealth with this kind of behavior in the work place usually I get a long with everyone, rather when I go to social events with competitive and katty women. So it's kinda weird to get this vibe in the work place.

    Has anyone also had similair experiences with co-workers?

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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 3
    I can sympathize with having rude coworkers but I think in this case you "might" be the rude one. It seems like they want to get to know you a little bit, in a round a bout way they are asking you to come eat lunch with them and you are rebuffing you, offering help when they feel you might be in need. All I can suggest is going with them to lunch just once. Accepting some help when you dont need it just to show that you appreciate it.

    People are always going to ask you if you go to church, have kids and how old you are. I've never been able to get away from that.

    I think you feel awkward because you know you are going to be supervising them so you are mentally distancing yourself. Don't let them form a clique against you.
    Lyn914, Aurora77, and nursel56 like this.
  4. 0
    I agree with the above post. You are adding fuel to the fire by being a little stand-offish. Meet them halfway once in awhile and you will see that boundaries start to soften. Keep on distancing yourself and you will create a bigger problem for yourself when you have to start supervising these people.
  5. 3
    sounds like your co-workers are just trying to get to know you and you're the rude one. work goes every so much more smoothly and pleasantly when colleagues work as a team, and part of being a team is getting to know one another a bit. yes, these women are scrutinizing you -- just as you're scrutinizing them. they're trying to be nice . . . you aren't. they've probably concluded by now that you aren't a very nice person. that's going to hold you back not just in your career, but in your day to day work life. perhaps it's not too late to turn it around, but you'd better focus a lot of attention on repairing these working relationships.
    OCNRN63, uRNmyway, and cjcsoon2brn like this.
  6. 1
    I don't really see anything in your account that justifies you calling the entire group of people catty, especially after knowing them for only a week. In a week, you've made judgments about their age, looks, marital status, number of children, fashion sense, level of education, salary, relative position on the supervisory totem pole, reading proficiency, and assumed dark motivations are at work behind questions like "do you need any help?" and wondering why you don't go to lunch with the group.

    Yes, you are overanalyzing. If you believe they formed a clique that quickly and deemed you the odd one out, the problem will continue as you move forward and may affect your ability to be an effective supervisor.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Jun 10, '12 : Reason: spelling
    OCNRN63 likes this.
  7. 2
    I don't think you are the rude one, Kima84. It sounds to me like you are not there to socialize, but to learn your job, for which you get paid to do. Asking how old you are is extremely rude, as is asking why you bring your lunch. (Some people bring their lunch because they can't afford to eat out everyday.) When I started the job I am in now, I was orienting with a group of people who barely skimmed over the paperwork, talked thru-out the films, and acted much the same way you described. Guess what~ I am the only person in that little group still employed here. As for lunch, I don't eat "fast food" and have no desire to run out and buy something quick when I can bring my own healthy food. In a 30 min. lunch break, about the only thing you could get would be "fast food." You aren't there to form "cliques" anyway, you are there to learn your job. I wonder why on earth they are so concerned about what YOU do.
  8. 0
    It would seem that you are a bit anxious, and I would be, as a New Graduate in a Supervisory position. You might be projecting some of your own concerns out on to the people training with you. The company is putting you in a difficult position to train with the people you are going to supervise. But, none of what you describe sounds out and out terrible behavior, it seems rather normal.
  9. 0
    I don't think that asking how old you are is really that weird. I mean I wasn't there to see it, so I don't know the unspoken implications involved. Some people just have different ways of approaching things. If you want to bring your lunch, I don't see it as a big blow off, but since these ladies are going to be co-workers, I myself would take some time to get to know them- especially if you're going to be supervising them in any way.

    It might be that you're getting a weird vibe from them, and they're getting a weird vibe from you, so your weird vibes are...vibing off each other, you know? Like a round robin, you're feeling awkward, they sense it, so they are walking on eggshells, and you sense that they're on eggshells, and it weirds you out, etc.

    I'm not there physically, so they might be non verbally wearing other faces for all I know.
  10. 1
    Yeah you also have to take it from your coworkers POV. Your going to be their "boss" but you don't seem to want to get to know them as people. Nursing is a collaborative profession.
    OCNRN63 likes this.
  11. 0
    Hi All,

    thanks for the advice. I think this situation was a little mix of both their rudeness, curiosity, and my paranoia. After the first week I had my mind set on them being offensive and some things I still think were a bit rude, considering I would not ask others those type of questions in a professional setting as well as the other factors I mentioned to make me come to that conclusion.

    I decided that weekend I was going to clean the slate in my mind and work as if we just met and start over. This worked for me and I got to know these women better and most of them are pretty nice. I guess I loosened up and so did they and now we work together to learn. I like that.

    But there is one girl I don't trust. Funny enough in the first week I thought she was the coolest and most chill but I have caught her on several occasions giving me the side eye. No kidding. But I just ignore her and try and be as nice as possible and we are getting along just fine.

    I know this sounds crazy but I am pretty sure if I was friends with this inparticular woman (which will be very unlikely) we would be frienemies, lol. So I take it ffor what it is. No matter how offensive I think they may be (unless they cross the line) I will just be peachy unless I need to address it in a professional setting.

    But all in all it had turned into a great experience. I thank you all for your advice. I believe I am rigth to an extent and I think you are all as well. I took into account all you have said and adjusted my attitude towards them and it has worked out for the better.

    I think a bit of my paranoia stems from being betrayed by people I did nothing to or ones I trusted. I always figured if I was nice to people they would have no reason to be cruel or betray me, but as I have grown older I realize some people can just look at you and dislike you from the get go or find some reason not to like you and even try to sabatoge your life, without provocation. So I only trust a few people (family and close friends).

    Plus 'the devil you know is better than the angle you don't know.' so even though they try to come off as nice in the back of my mind I have to consider if somethings I tell them about myself will be used against me in the future (like being a new grad and my competency, age, marital status, etc).

    I have seen this happen. A person will think they are in good company at work and tell their co-workers about their private lives and then before they know it, they become the gossip topic of their work place. It is not only embarassing but you may come off as unprofessional or if it gets to your boss you can be passed up for promotions or not taken seriously. My mom and aunt are RNs too and they tell me the stories of stuff like this happening in the work place. So I want to be professional and keep my private life separate and private from work. People don't need to know about my family or my boyfriend or my finances.

    This is where I am coming from.

    Thank you all so much for your advice, it helped in dealing with my co-workers and we are getting along.


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