Maybe a stupid question..

  1. A male co worker was suspended possibly fired (we do not have all of the details) over sexual harassment. This was after complaints of many female co workers. Their complaints were he touched their arms or backs (above the waist) or offered massages. I don't think he meant any of this is a sexual nature I think he's just a touchy guy. No one ever said this makes me uncomfortable please stop. Instead they let it go on for months and finally decided to go to the manager. This guy wasn't a good nurse he was a new grad and still learning and making the effort to learn. I think more than anything he was trying to fit in with his female co workers and just didn't understand you can't just be going around giving back massages. We have a zero tolerance policy so we are speculating he has more than likely been fired. If no one told him this makes them uncomfortable and he wasn't making sexual advances along with these and not groping or saying offensive things along with this, is this fair? I just feel terrible for a guy who's career is potentially ruined who I don't think meant anything wrong just has a lack of professional boundaries and saw other people doing it and followed suite. Not that following suite when you are sexually harassing someone makes it ok, but since it wasn't out and out sexual harassment just touching backs and offering massages and not being told to stop and probably being terminated over which I think is just a reason to get rid of him. Thoughts on this? I'm probably not explaining good I've worked all night and am kinda tired and I'm not defending sexual harassment in any form, but I think this was just stupidity or naievity lack of experience in the professional world etc.
    •  
  2. Visit fjluce profile page

    About fjluce

    Joined: May '15; Posts: 21; Likes: 6

    71 Comments

  3. by   fjluce
    I should add he has also touched my back and given me a massage and I didn't feel at all threatened and they never asked the girls from the shift he actually works on if he made them feel uncomfortable.
  4. by   Guy in Babyland
    Some people take their personal space seriously. His problem was not getting to know the person well enough to determine if they would have a problem with him touching their arm or back. Offering a massage is crossing the line and is not appropriate for a work environment. He was moving way too fast to be accepted in a unit of females. I work with many females and have not touched their arms or back and definitely wouldn't offer a massage.
  5. by   caliotter3
    If he couldn't figure out on his own, especially with all the recent publicity, that he should keep his hands to himself, then he certainly knows now. Hard way to learn the lesson, but he didn't use his critical thinking beforehand. Makes one wonder just how well he otherwise interacts with patients.
  6. by   fjluce
    A few of the other guys on our unit do walk up and massage your back not a full massage but a quick shoulder rub and he did the same.
  7. by   chare
    Quote from fjluce
    A few of the other guys on our unit do walk up and massage your back not a full massage but a quick shoulder rub and he did the same.
    How long have they been there? And how well do they know the nurses that they do this to? I have worked on my current unit nearly 10 years. Even with those that I have known this entire time I am very cautious in touching them, for any reason. If I were a new member of the team, or interacting with a new member of the team, I would never touch them for other than reasons of safety, or responding to a request.

    As caliotter3 suggested; considering all of the recent events regarding sexual harassment, this is a lesson that he should have already learned.
  8. by   JKL33
    Quote from fjluce
    I think more than anything he was trying to fit in with his female co workers and just didn't understand you can't just be going around giving back massages.
    I wouldn't be at all surprised if you're right and would also suspect that nervousness about a novice skill level and lack of confidence contributed as well.

    I have seen people of all sexes do various awkward things to try to accelerate the process of being accepted, whether it be acting helpless/more ignorant than they are, sidling up to others and talking in a whiny voice +/- batting eyelashes, or using verbiage that is overly-familiar sounding for the situation at hand (calling people sweetie, hun, sister when they've only just met, etc.), inappropriate bravado... What he did was very awkward and even stupid - in my opinion so are all of these things ^ and many more.

    I am mostly only infuriated by people who would want a sexual experience at someone else's expense, or who are angling for control/power. On the surface of this it was neither of those two things. Personally, if I were either the recipient or the witness, I would've just said, "You can't touch people; that's not what you want to do here. Focus on learning how to provide excellent care to patients."

    He is done there whether he gets fired or not.
  9. by   Leader25
    They were looking for an excuse,I have seen nurses get their necks massaged by doctors and never complained and actually encouraged it. Someone should have given him a heads up on his behavior,I have seen females lean up against staff,put their heads on a persons shoulders with nay a word.A lot of stuff going on that no one talks about.
  10. by   Mavrick
    It's a little disturbing to hear that a person can be (possibly) fired for an offence that is common to see others doing but wasn't told it made people uncomfortable when he did it.

    It will probably have to go to court to see if an "implied" NO is the same as a real NO and still means NO.

    If society expects a person to hear NO then the other person must say NO.
  11. by   vintagemother
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    Some people take their personal space seriously. His problem was not getting to know the person well enough to determine if they would have a problem with him touching their arm or back. Offering a massage is crossing the line and is not appropriate for a work environment. He was moving way too fast to be accepted in a unit of females. I work with many females and have not touched their arms or back and definitely wouldn't offer a massage.
    Some of my female coworkers have given other females shoulder rubs at work.
  12. by   nursel56
    overly candid reply-- thought better of it
    Last edit by nursel56 on Mar 19
  13. by   Davey Do
    Quote from nursel56
    overly candid reply-- thought better of it
    You are so nursingly professional, nursel!
  14. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from vintagemother
    Some of my female coworkers have given other females shoulder rubs at work.
    I was implying that a new male coworker offering massages to his female coworkers would be creepy.

close