I need some advice from you managerial types. I am currently in a job at which I am almost constantly getting in trouble. I get written up for things that others have been told "you owe me a beer for that one". The running joke among my peers is " we can do what we want 'cause you're going to get in trouble for it" (they're kidding of course...incidentally they have also decided that along with everything else I am responsible for the war in Iraq). Everyone believes I am being targeted by our clinical coordinator but I have up until now vehemently disagreed with that theory. I have also refrained from saying anything bad about this particular manager to anybody. Being the braniac that I am I can see the handwriting on the wall and am actively seeking new employment. 2 weeks ago I e-mailed my unit director (brand new and not turning out to be great) to let her know where I stood because in my unit one nurse leaving will cause a huge staffing issue. Under most circumstances this would have been stupid but it really was the right thing to do. At any rate I have been hearing from people that my CC has been telling other staff people that I am leaving (wasn't meant to be common knowledge and really nobody else's business) and how she "can't wait" until I'm gone. This has been done in our office in front of numerous people and her cronies which of course spawns discussions about what a bad nurse I am and how she can't stand me, etc. She has gone so far as to get into my locker to show people that I cleaned it out (coincidental-I just hated the mess). BTW-I did not send her the e-mail I'm sure my unit director told her. I addition she has been telling people that she's "not sure" if I will show up for my shifts which I find somewhat slanderous as it undermines my professionalism. Because of these actions I am beginning to believe that I have, indeed, been targeted. That being said, I need to stop this behavior (the talking about me part) and protect myself at the same time. My question is would it be an overreaction on my part to file a grievance against her. I am not opposed to confronting her but I'm pretty sure she will twist what I say when she runs to the unit director and I will once more be in trouble. We are such a small unit that I can't have a coworker witness our conversation because then they will become a target. I don't think a mediation with HR is necessary...I just want her to quit talking about me and stay out of my locker. I haven't even left yet and she is dancing on my grave. I find her behavior despicable, unprofessional and downright mean. I will not miss working under her. Of course this had caused me no end of stress. I throw up before coming into work and am terrified of actually doing my job because I am under such scrutiny. It has made me doubt myself personally and professionally and I am in an emotional tailspin. I want out of nursing entirely but since that is not possible I am hoping to switch to an ambulatory care type setting. Unfortunately it is taking some time to get through the hiring process and I am really anxious to move on. Thanks for your help guys!
Jun 22, '08
I think you are wise to seek other employment.
I am curious- are you a new nurse to this unit?
Are your proficiencies yearly? Or are you on probation (like first yr of employment?) Have you been receiving regular performance reviews? Written counsellings? Has assistance been offered?
Jun 26, '08
God, that sounds like a horrific situation....I'm surprised you've lasted this long!! Absolutely file a grievance...just make sure you have dates and facts to back your claims. Look at it as a trial with her as the defendant.
When I was still a unit manager, a staff member yelled at me for something. When I told my supervisor about it, I said "She should respect me as her nurse manager" and my supe said, "She should respect you as a human being". You deserve more respect than this woman is giving you.
Good luck...let us know how it goes!
Jul 1, '08
I would have a talk with HR - maybe even put it in writing, and copy to the CNO
Jul 2, '08
Go straight to your HR department. Every organization has designated 'employee relations' folks - they are called by various titles. Their job is to serve as an advocate for employees -- and ultimately avoid lawsuits and grievances.
Sounds to me as though you've got an "oil and water" situation here. There are some people who just don't like one another. It is really exacerbated if you have a new and inexperienced manager.
Bottom line - you have a hostile workplace. Do something about it because you inaction weakens your position in case you ever need to take action.... "well, he/she never said anything before"
Jul 3, '08
Sorry I haven't replied sooner. Thanks for all of your responses. Unfortunately I don't really have a case for a "hostile work environment" because although bad things have been done that fit the definition they have not been based on what is considered a "protected class" ie. I'm not being picked on because of my gender, race, sexual orientation, disability or physical appearance. That is the only time this will hold up in court. The good news is I haven't gotten "in trouble" for almost 2 weeks now!!!! The better news is that I have an interview scheduled for next week at the hospital where I want to work. I am actually feeling better because I have basically closed this chapter even though I'm still in the midst of it. I simply don't care what she thinks anymore and that has done a lot toward relieving my stress. I plan to go to HR with my complaint but not until I have another job in place because I know what will happen if I do it too early. This has been a really difficult 15 months but I have learned from it. I thought I wanted to do this kind of nursing forever but now I know that I'm no longer an adrenaline junkie. It just makes me tired. And I certainly don't want to work in an environment that does not foster my growth as a professional. I'll keep you updated on what happens.
Jul 5, '08
This is still workplace harassment.
File a rebuttal/grievance documenting names, dates, times, conversations, etc. with your immediate supervisor. When you don't get anything from her in a couple of days, or if things get worse, continue up the chain of command all the way to the CEO and corporate hq if necessary.
You MUST have a paper trail that this stuff is going on or they could hurt you with getting new jobs down the road.
Jul 5, '08
Quote from FlyingScot
I am actually feeling better because I have basically closed this chapter even though I'm still in the midst of it. I simply don't care what she thinks anymore and that has done a lot toward relieving my stress.
Funny how that works.
Good luck! And keep up the good work of letting go of caring about such an obvious twit.
Jul 15, '08
Just got a call from the nurse recruiter where I interviewed. I GOT THE JOB!!!!!! I start 8/18. M-F, 10 hour shifts so an extra day off during the week, no weekends, no holidays and get this...the salary they offered me is 20% higher than what I am making now!!!! So my nightmare is over. My letter of resignation goes in tomorrow. I am absolutely over the moon!