I feel I'm being sabotaged

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    My director gives no support. She undermines every decision I make, never takes any suggestion for improvement seriously. I could go on and on about what she has done to me. The staff is quickly loosing respect for me and I have very little self confidence left. I have set up meetings with her and then she cancels. I've been to HR for advice and they tell me I need to sit down with her and talk. I am ready to quit but the stubborn side of me says fight to the finish. Any advice on how to handle this. I can't sleep some nights just thinking about what the next day will bring.
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Three words- FIND ANOTHER JOB. Obviously there is something wrong here. There's no pride in staying in a position where someone is beating you down. Put applications out, and make sure you tell her with a smile "I quit!" once you have found the position you were meant for.
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    Ditto to what Lori just said. I resigned from my Clinical Manager position with a HHA on June 30th for the same reasons you have just stated and and have taken a PRN field nurse position until I can find another job. Instead of giving me the support I needed in order to discipline our insubordinate staff, both my Director and VP of Home Care seemed to be more interested in what color uniforms and company cars they should be wearing and driving instead....:angryfire
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    Be very careful about sharing too openly with HR. Ultimately, they are looking out for the facility's best interests and they may peg you as a troublemaker rather than a problem solver. They may also pass information to your manager that you thought was said in confidence.

    Either look for another job or sit down with this manager and come to some kind of an understanding. Since that takes two, you may find yourself looking for another job anyway.

    In the meantime, read up on assertiveness and focus on ways to express yourself that don't undermine your meaning or morph into frustrated aggression. Conduct yourself in a way that you can hold your head high whether you stay or go.

    I wish you the best.
    SilentfadesRPA likes this.
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    Find another job before you get fired -- and while you can still hope to get a reasonable recommendation (or least not a negative one) from your current employer.

    It sounds like an abusive relationship. Just as I would advise a friend to not stay in a romantic relationship in which she was being abused, I advise my nursing friends not to tolerate abuse in the workplace, either. Don't fall into the "abused victim trap" of thinking it is more noble to stay and tolerate it while you try to "fix" the abuser. I did that once for a little while and learned my lesson.

    Don't sacrifice your good reputation and/or your leadership career by playing the martyr. It sounds as if you have made plenty of reasonable steps to try to fix it. Now, you need to take care of yourself. Get out while you still can.

    llg
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    cleo,
    Having problems with the Director usually will never work. Although you may not be seeking a fight, it looks like she is looking at every discussion in a negative light. I had problems with a Director in a previous job. I even let it be known around the office that I was looking for another job. (it prolonged the exitement I felt knowing I was getting out of there) She called me into her office and asked me to be quiet about the fact that I was looking. I smiled at her very sweetly, and said Ok! Went back to work. Had 2 job interviews on a Tuesday, was called 4 hours after my first interview with a job offer. The next day I got the other job offer. I hadn't even decided which job I would take, and I typed up a letter of resignation. Gave 2 weeks notice, and smiled like an idiot the whole 2 weeks! It was great!. Everyone commented on how happy I was. I never saw her more miserable! She was losing good nurses right and left. The day I left, I had an appointment with HER boss! I told her clearly and concisely why I was leaving, and enumarated the problems that I had with the Director. Her boss thanked me for being so candid about it. I don't know what happened to her but I am happy that I left the way I did.
    pussycat66 likes this.
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    Quote from cleo
    My director gives no support. She undermines every decision I make, never takes any suggestion for improvement seriously. I could go on and on about what she has done to me. The staff is quickly loosing respect for me and I have very little self confidence left. I have set up meetings with her and then she cancels. I've been to HR for advice and they tell me I need to sit down with her and talk. I am ready to quit but the stubborn side of me says fight to the finish. Any advice on how to handle this. I can't sleep some nights just thinking about what the next day will bring.

    I have been in a similiar situation. Managing nursing staff is a difficult and stressful job to begin with and to not have the clear support of your director makes it impossible. I don't beleive that your Director should agree with every decision but she should support you in front of your staff. No marriage will survive if one spouse undermines the authority of the other in front of the children and soon the children will learn to manipulate the each parent. I know that sounds simplistic but that is exactly what will occour. Do I think the situation will improve with open, honest communication -- actually no. I think any director worth their salt knows the dangers of that situation and would never allow it to occur. For example, I had a staff nurse accuse me of being "rude" early when I first begin managing. My director recognized the difference between opinion and behaivior. She (1) let me know what the complaint was and who brought it (2) she listened as I gave my explanation and (3) stated that she thought the staff nurse's accusation lacked merit and suggested that I meet one-on-one with the nurse and she told the staff nurse that she discussed the issue with me and that I would follow up with her. Several vital issues were here 1-no anonymous complaints, if it is worth reporting and does not involve ethical issues then it is discussed with me -- I was able to build trust with director 2- I am the one who conducts follow-ups with my direct reports --the staff recognizes that in any situation they report will involve me as part of the solution 3-no opinion or comments were given to this nurse other than listening and stating that she would discuss the matter --the staff recognizes that my director cannot be manipulated and that she will be objective. If your director is not exhibiting that level of professionalism, than your ability to be effective and successful in your position will be difficult and near impossible. I strongly suggest you look for another position before your reputation is sullied or worse yet you are asked to resign. If you feel that this position is important enough to be salvaged than you need to openly discuss these matters with her and a neutral third party to act as a facilitator. This person is important. It absolutely should not be someone from HR but perhaps a director or manager that you both have a good working relationship with or even an educator. This person does not make decisions but will help move the conversation along and will be a witness to your responses and emotional state as well as your directors.

    Also, don't make the mistake of remaining in a bad situation because "you won't let them push you out" or "you feel like you should fight". I tried that once and my nursing reputation was sullied and I eventually quit anyway. If I had gone with my gut from the start, I could have avoided 6 months of stress and nonsense. No position is worth fighting for if you are the only one fighting. Look around - do you have direct reports who will go to your director and stand up for you, Do you have other colleagues who recognize your hard work and will support you. You can't fight these battles without help -- just consider that before you stay in a position that is obviously stressful and difficult. Sometimes you fight and lose.
    Last edit by mydesygn on Jul 20, '06
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    Take it from someone who was sabotaged. If you feel you are being sabotaged, you are. LEAVE, ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!! I had the feeling for months, but did nothing and ended up fired. Shortened version of the story, The nurse I replaces on the unit, came back and obviously there were not enough hours to go around. I had a pt. go bad, and was already on the phone w/transport to transfer him. The next day I came down with the flu, lasted a week. While I was gone, It was told that I had neglected the pt and did not notify MD. Of course I had. Everday I notified MD of status and received no new orders!!
    Leaving is the best option because you will be miserable if you don't.
  11. 0
    In my experience, it aint gonna get better....and you deserve better. The right job is out there for you, it doesn't sound like this is it. Nurses in general have a hard time leaving bad situations, we stubbornly think that we can find a solution even when common sense says otherwise. It is a good attitude for our patients, it's a bad attitude for our careers, it allows us to be abused. If your director keeps canceling apointments with you that shows that she does not value you....and that is a darn shame because I'm sure you have a lot to offer. LOL
  12. 0
    This is a late post, but hopefully you have moved on to something better.

    The others are right. Her treatment of you shows blatant disrespect and disregard to you, your schedule and your competency. I know you'd like to prove to her that you're worthy of her time, but why waste more time trying to prove that to someone who doesn't care? You are worthy of a better position somewhere else. Good luck and keep me posted.


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