Should i go over my manager's head - page 3

I have been having issues with my manager for a while now, and i am reaching the point of no return. I think she wants to get rid of me and i dont know what to do. I started on this floor as a new RN... Read More

  1. Visit  Patti_RN profile page
    7
    I didn't read all the responses, so pardon me if I seem to repeat what others may have said. And, I'm usually really diplomatic... so again, pardon my blunt response.

    Relationships either spiral upward or they spiral downward. They can change direction but it takes a lot of effort to stop the inertia of a deteriorating relationship, and changing its path to an improving one. It's obvious you and your manager are not becoming best buddies (and I suspect she's not out to be your friend, she wants to run a efficient unit). So, to improve your professional relationship you need to make some drastic changes. The first thing is to create a pivotal point: make an appointment to speak with her. Tell her you value your job, you enjoy working there, and that you're having a difficult time because the rules have changed. (Honesty is paramount.) Then ask her what goals she has for you. (This is humbling, but important.) Now you know the rules, you know what she expects, and you need to decide whether you want to play or not. If you play, she's going to expect your effort to reach your goals. If you don't like the rules you can probably find a job elsewhere... but no matter where you go, the probability is you will have to wash your hands and be nice to nursing students. These are some of the most basic of expectations. (Seems the old manager let people get away with lots...) Creating a pivotal point is imperative if you want to change your ways and stay: although she has a memory of your 'old ways', you'll basically be proving yourself from this moment forward; your old sins are more easily put in the past. Now, you have a 'before' and you're working on the 'after'. Screw this up and you probably won't get another shot at proving yourself.

    To answer the question you actually asked (should you go over her head and should you talk to the CNO?)... I can't help but wonder what you'd say. "My manager wants me to wash my hands before and after patient contact!!!"... or, "I don't WANT to smile at the nursing students!"... or, "My manager doesn't like me." ...... or???? I can't imagine what else you have to gripe about. But, let's just assume you do talk to the manager. Her impression of you will be based on three things: your demeanor, your employment history, and what your manager says about you (which has most likely happened already; if not, it will happen within 15 minutes of you leaving the CNO's office). We already know that you've been written up (justifiably so). And, while it's impossible to judge people accurately from information they post in an online forum, but reading your original post and reviewing some of your previous ones, it seems likely you have what managers, instructors, colleagues, and others call 'an attitude problem'. (And, the 'creative charting' that Wendy pointed out is part of the syndrome.) Unless you really want to be unemployed, I'd caution you against going to the CNO. Good supervisors back up their subordinates; it will look like you're forcing the CNO to choose between the manager and you. Unless there is something really missing from your side of the story, the CNO isn't going to take your side. (In fact, considering that there are two sides to every story, and we've heard yours but we haven't heard your manager's side, so the outcome might even be worse than I'm predicting.)

    Take a look at the posts from other nurses looking for jobs. It's a really tough job market. There may be 5 or 10 applicants for every position--maybe even more. Ask one of the new grads on this site if they'd like to take your job (even though they'd be forced to wash their hands and make nice with the students), chances are they'd accept these hellacious working conditions in a heart beat. You might not have such an easy time finding a new position (and employees often believe that the only information an employer will give another employer is the dates of employment; this may be technically correct, but there are usually follow-up phone calls with one simple question, "I just got your reference for Amy Smith; would you hire her again?" Nothing is ever put in writing, but based on this question, the new hiring manager learns everything she needs to know.

    So, you have a choice to make, which isn't an easy one. But, between these three choices: 1) talk to the manager and establish goals to be met, 2) talk to the CNO about the manager, and 3) find a new job (which you'll probably be doing anyway if you pick #2)... I'd probably go with Choice #1.
    Nurse Leigh, GrnTea, kids, and 4 others like this.
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  3. Visit  Kooky Korky profile page
    2
    Quote from ladybluebell
    i have been having issues with my manager for a while now, and i am reaching the point of no return. i think she wants to get rid of me and i dont know what to do. i started on this floor as a new rn seven years ago and loved it up until six months ago. our old manager was a sweetheart. she trusted us to do a good job, and didn't ride us at all. she retired a year ago, and the manager from the unit across the hall took us over while administration looked for the "right" person. this manager started six months ago and it has been horrible here since. she is always out on the floor sticking her nose in everything, she's the manager. she needs to know what's going on on her floor.

    and talking to patients about how they like there care. how do you know what she's talking about?
    its like she doesn't trust us and is checking up on us. we are not allowed to sit at the desk to chart. instead, we have to take our work stations and stay outdise our rooms. that wouldn't be too bad, but we are not even allowed to have a cup of coffee or a coke while we chart. i had never been written up in the past, but she has written me up twice. for forgetting to wash my hands and because she said i was rude to some students. did you receive any verbal counseling or coaching before the write-up's? not that she has to do progressive discipline, but if she was really wanting to help you learn, she'd probably have started more gently. but not necessarily. maybe she wanted to shock you into learning. were you actually rude? did she ask for your side of things or just get some complaint and wrote you up?

    she criticizes my charting and my care plans. she hired a lot of new people, and plays favorites with them. how is she playing favorites? i used to do a lot of committee work, but now i am only on one committee, and she gave some of my committees to her favorites. the last straw was this morning when i asked her to sign the renewal for my clinical step. i have been a step two for six years, and never had a problem before. if she doesn't sign it, i will take a 5 percent pay cut. she won't sign because of my attitude and the write ups. the write ups are not fair, and the only reason i have a bad attitude is because of her. i am not the only one who feels this way about her. two other rns who have been here a long time feel the same way. i am really upset about my step two, though. i want to make an appointment with the cno to see if she will talk to the anager about this situation. if anyone else has been through something like this, how did it turn out? am i wasting my time?
    i'm really not sure what to advise. have you asked the manager what she needs for you to do, what she needs to see from you to believe that you have learned the lesson she wants you to learn?
    i think you have to realize that administration will likely back her up and you could very well end up jobless at a time when it's pretty tough to find work. and if a lot of the employers in your area are owned by only 1 or 2 companies, you might find yourself blackballed. you'll have to move away to get any work at all, you'll have to start over somewhere where things could be as bad or worse.

    i think you might want to consider being very humble and figure out how to eat crow so you can keep your income and benefits - unless it's just too, too hard and you don't mind being jobless. maybe you're young, healthy, and single and have a pile of money saved up.

    i don't agree with the majority that the manager is necessarily right. she could be, but i don't know that for sure. that isn't really the problem, though. the problem is can you live with her or can't you?

    do not discuss this with coworkers. they will misquote you in a heartbeat. they are not on your side. they are just trying to survive, just like you.

    good luck.
    interceptinglight and wooh like this.
  4. Visit  Teacher Sue profile page
    9
    The OP states she started on this unit as a new nurse and has been there seven years. Essentially it seems that she "grew up" professionally in an environment where leadership was absent, and expectations were low. If this is the environment she came into, then this behavior is what she was taught. For those seven years, she thought she was doing a good job, and probably had good performance evaluations. And she probably was doing a good job of fitting in to that environment and meeting those expectations. Now she is told that she is not doing a good job, and that can be painful. If she wants to keep her job, then she needs to go to her manager with a sincere desire to improve and a plan in place to do so. If not, she will soon be looking for another job, either by her choice or her manager's. And she will need to look outside her current institution. With two write ups in her file, she will most likely not be able to transfer to another unit within her present organization.
    Nurse Leigh, Not_A_Hat_Person, kids, and 6 others like this.
  5. Visit  Kooky Korky profile page
    0
    Quote from destova
    OP, many families have had to say goodbye to loved ones because of nurses who decided that certain medical orders and the accompanying charting just weren't worth their time. If you're interested, pull up the posts by me, find my intro. There's a nifty story in there about the results of nurses deciding which orders were valid and which were just an annoyance.

    I'd suggest you get a bit of CE out of the way and find a course on ethics and/or positive work attitude. It seems that without a quick turn around, you won't have a manager to go over, just a resume and a negative employer reference.
    At the very least, stop confessing to "creative charting" on this public bulletin board. Do you realize that you can be disciplined for this sort of thing? Do you realize that anyone could be reading this? Like your boss or your state Board of Nursing? Maybe you could say "q 1 to 2 hour rounds were made" instead of saying "hourly" when that wasn't so. See?

    I guess anyone could "forget" to wash their hands if there was an emergency. But if there wasn't, please remember. Or do you have alcohol you can use quickly or what?
  6. Visit  Kooky Korky profile page
    4
    Quote from Teacher Sue
    The OP states she started on this unit as a new nurse and has been there seven years. Essentially it seems that she "grew up" professionally in an environment where leadership was absent, and expectations were low. If this is the environment she came into, then this behavior is what she was taught. For those seven years, she thought she was doing a good job, and probably had good performance evaluations. And she probably was doing a good job of fitting in to that environment and meeting those expectations. Now she is told that she is not doing a good job, and that can be painful. If she wants to keep her job, then she needs to go to her manager with a sincere desire to improve and a plan in place to do so. If not, she will soon be looking for another job, either by her choice or her manager's. And she will need to look outside her current institution. With two write ups in her file, she will most likely not be able to transfer to another unit within her present organization.
    I do not agree that the previous manager was necessarily lax or lacking in leadership. Maybe, but I can't say that for sure. There's a lot we are not told, as usual in situations like this.

    Whether the old boss was good or bad isn't relevant any more, though. OP needs to deal with reality today. I wish her well.
    GrnTea, nursel56, kids, and 1 other like this.
  7. Visit  Ladybluebell profile page
    1
    The manager is not interem, she was hired from outside. I think she might be from another state. i know she never worked at my hospital before. I think we are stuck with her. Most everyone here seems to think i need to go to her and 'humble' myself. I dont want to but if i need to so i can keep my job, i guess i dont have a choice. Any advise on what to say.
    Kooky Korky likes this.
  8. Visit  Teacher Sue profile page
    5
    Make an appointment to talk to her on your day off. Do not try to talk with her when you are working, as this will undoubtedly be emotional for you. Go to her with a sincere desire to improve and meet her expectations. Try to identify specific areas for improvement, and have a plan on mind of how you are going to improve. Ask her to be very specific about her expectations as well. And let her know that you want her to help you grow as a professional. If you want more help, you can PM me.
    Kooky Korky, GrnTea, wooh, and 2 others like this.
  9. Visit  CrunchRN profile page
    5
    I would say I felt like we had gotten off on the wrong foot and that I wanted to do whatever it took to have a positive working relationship.......
    GrnTea, kids, Anna Flaxis, and 2 others like this.
  10. Visit  Horseshoe profile page
    4
    Quote from Ladybluebell
    The manager is not interem, she was hired from outside. I think she might be from another state. i know she never worked at my hospital before. I think we are stuck with her. Most everyone here seems to think i need to go to her and 'humble' myself. I dont want to but if i need to so i can keep my job, i guess i dont have a choice. Any advise on what to say.
    If you cannot be sincere, nothing you say will do you any good. You have to be willing to concede that there are things upon which you can improve (handwashing is very important, you are not supposed to have beverages at your work station-this is not just her rule, it's reasonable for her to expect you to be gracious to students, and to document honestly). You cannot simply talk the talk-insincerity is pretty easy to spot, particularly when it is wrapped in a poorly concealed bad attitude. You must believe that you really do need to improve in certain areas, and if she makes suggestions on how to do that, you must deliver.
    kids, Anna Flaxis, Purple_Scrubs, and 1 other like this.
  11. Visit  RNperdiem profile page
    0
    An alternative idea if the OP does not wish to change would be to work lots of nights and weekends to "hide out" from the new manager.
    It probably wouldn't work since the manager has you targeted for close observation.
  12. Visit  Patti_RN profile page
    3
    RNperdeim.... I suspect you're right that hiding out on back shift wouldn't work. When an employee has that seemingly paranoid feeling that a manager is gunning for him/ her, they're virtually always right, and it's not just paranoia.

    What usually happens is this: in the beginning the manager has a neutral opinion about every employee, then impressions form that are either positive or negative. If the impressions are positive, the manager develops trust and grants more autonomy to the employee as the employee continues to prove herself as being competent, trustworthy, and loyal. (Using the pronoun 'she' as most nurses are female.) If the employee fails to live up to reasonable expectations the manager starts watching for signs that she's falling short in other ways. Usually, at this early stage, the manager is coaching the employee and giving the benefit of doubt, and gentle reminders. If the manager's polite suggestions are not met with eagerness and a willingness to correct mistakes, this is the point that the pressure gets ratcheted up a few notches. All it takes are a few responses of, "That isn't what my old manager did" or, "That's ridiculous!" or... sometimes the most offensive of all... the dreaded 'eye rolling routine' or that horrible 'head wiggle pose with hands-on-hips accompanied by the smirk'. If Ladybluebell was guilty of one of these, she might be on her way out... Now the manager is in 'evidence collecting mode' so she can document all the infractions. (The last thing a manager wants to do is fire an employee and have that person either win their job back, or get unemployment by saying it was an unjustified termination.) When an employee reaches this point, the boss is so fed up there isn't much to be done to save the relationship (unless you swallow your pride, express remorse over previous mistakes and promise you'll do better). Otherwise, that feeling that the manager is 'riding' you is going to continue until she has enough evidence to actually dismiss you.

    Some of the warning signs that you may be about to be terminated:
    • Your duties are being reduced
    • You have the impression that you're 'being watched'
    • Your pay is either frozen or cut
    • People seem to be whispering but stop talking when you approach
    • Your boss seems to be micro-managing you
    • Your boss is asking others about your work performance
    • You're not 'in the loop' of communications
    • Your boss is less than friendly towards you
    • Some colleagues seem to be distancing themselves from you
    This isn't a guarantee that you're going to get fired, but the more of these things you experience the greater the probability that it may happen.
    Teacher Sue, GrnTea, and Nascar nurse like this.
  13. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    1
    Quote from RNperdiem
    An alternative idea if the OP does not wish to change would be to work lots of nights and weekends to "hide out" from the new manager.
    It probably wouldn't work since the manager has you targeted for close observation.
    I did this before I quit my last job. It worked a little but it was a LOT of effort to be in a hiding spot every morning by 6:40 (sadly taking care of a neurologically devastated child in DCF custody with no parents was something to look forward to, because the patient didn't notice or care if you hid in his room) and make sure I'd given report on all my patients before she would come out of charge report so I'd have enough time to sneak into the conference room through the back door, grab my things (which the night shifts knows to hide their things when it gets close to morning... this manager would throw people's jackets/bags if she saw them in the nurses' back room) and get the hell out.

    And, really, if you need to put that much effort into hiding from your boss, you've got to wonder if it's worth it. My former colleagues could always tell when people were getting close to leaving when they'd start hiding on nights. A true sign that they end was near.

    I agree with Wooh. Nothing good came out of it when I went above my manager's head for anything- just made me realize I was fighting a losing battle and that nothing would ever change, because as far anything in the hospital was concerned "1 + 1 is 2, it's always been 2 and it's always going to be 2" so the way they were doing things was already right because it was the way they'd always done it.
    Anna Flaxis likes this.
  14. Visit  wooh profile page
    1
    This combo right here:

    Quote from CrunchRN
    I would say I felt like we had gotten off on the wrong foot and that I wanted to do whatever it took to have a positive working relationship.......
    Quote from Teacher Sue
    Make an appointment to talk to her on your day off. Do not try to talk with her when you are working, as this will undoubtedly be emotional for you. Go to her with a sincere desire to improve and meet her expectations. Try to identify specific areas for improvement, and have a plan on mind of how you are going to improve. Ask her to be very specific about her expectations as well. And let her know that you want her to help you grow as a professional. If you want more help, you can PM me.
    I'm not the easiest person to have as an employee. But my manager actually seems to like me. I think she sees me as a project.
    What's worked for us is I know the things that she thinks I should do better. And she knows that they are DIFFICULT for me. But she also knows that I'm willing to work on them. And when I start slipping, she calls me into the principal's office and lets me know that she's seen me slipping. And I take it in, and say, "yeah, you're right." And I try to do better.d
    I think most managers (at least ones that are worth working for) want to have the people working for them succeed. There really isn't any joy in firing people or writing them up. (Well, I think for my old manager there was, but she's truly a psychopath.) Take some time, look into yourself, and think about things that you actually can improve on. I'm a good nurse. I base that assessment on the fact that coworkers have requested me to take care of their family members. But there are things that I'm not good at. And sometimes it takes a fresh look at ourselves to get ourselves out of a complacent place. It doesn't feel good to suddenly realize there are things we can do better. But there's always something. I think you've been raked through the coals by some of the responses in this thread. I don't know if what your manager is seeing in you right now is legitimate. But I think that even if what she's seeing isn't legitimate, there's obviously something in your manner that's making her see things like this, and maybe THAT is what you need to find a way to change. I think you've definitely gotten off on the wrong foot. And there's only two or three nurses that I've know who don't have things they can improve on. We pretty much all do. Even my psychopath ex-boss had a few observations about me that were totally on the nose. I think if you can see past the changes you obviously don't like, and I'm pretty sure I'd be resentful too, and find it in yourself to humble yourself and approach your manager about what she'd specifically like to see you improve, I think you'll grow as a person, as a nurse, and likely gain more respect from your manager than if she'd liked you right off the bat.
    Good luck!
    Teacher Sue likes this.


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