I've been doing PDN for about 8 years. I recently changed offices within the same company that I've been with for just over 2 years. I changed offices to be much closer to home.
The director calls me way too much. Then when we have conversations she complains that I'm hard to get in touch with. That part is really a matter of bad timing. She has called while I'm in the shower, out to lunch/dinner with my boyfriend, at the movie theater (phone turned off), and while I'm sleeping. I have always been good about answering my phone when it rings. I tried to explain to her that it may have been bad timing and that I do call right back as soon as it is a better time. But there is more...
She calls constantly. Like no other director/boss has ever done! I finally wrote a very nice e-mail (papertrail) explaining to her that during my time off I'm busy preparing for the next day of work. And that while I try to answer my phone at work, if I'm in the middle of something with a patient (again her timing is awful) I will call right back and always do. I work 6-7 days a week so the 1 or 2 days I get off are very important to me and I have a lot to do including preparing for the next week at work. She replied and told me she would call me as much as she needed to and that its part of my job to answer the phone (its not in the job description and I'm not paid or on call). I explained to her that e-mail would work better and it is what the other office did and found out that it worked very well. After she wrote that e-mail back to me she ended it with "PS, is there another number we can reach you at?" I just shook my head. I have a home phone and a cell. They only have my home number and I forward calls to my cell when I'm at work so I get her calls. I don't want her to have my cell because she would call that constantly too. I also don't get a cell signal at home without turning on my wifi calling. So she would be more aggravated calling my cell while I'm at home. I never answered her question on having another number and she hasn't asked since.
Of course there is more (sorry). I'm home sick. I picked up a virus from work. I have had a fever, laryngitis, cough, asthma attacks, and just plain feel bad. Every single day I have been sick she has called and has made it a point to call between 8a-9a. I explained to her the first 2 times that I'm sleeping more because I'm sick and I'm on meds that make me drowsy. She continues to call almost all day about something. I emailed her back and told her that I'm on medication that makes me drowsy and impairs me from working over the phone. So she writes back to call her the next day. I will still be on meds the next day if they are still needed. She just doesn't get it!!! My plan is to go back to work this weekend and I should be doing well enough to work and won't be contagious at that point. I have made that clear to her from the beginning. But with my cough, I'll probably have a few families say something about me working.
Any advice? I'm tired of it!! I have an interview set up in March. But it isn't clear if its F/T or not. I will need F/T work to make a move to another job. My opinion is that its my personal time and I'm not getting paid to work or take that many calls during my time off. I can't even recover from being sick because the phone rings so much and because I'm on edge knowing the phone will ring any second. I've turned the ringer off a few times. But then I see that I've had 10 missed calls from work after a 2 hour nap.
Feb 22, '13
Ten calls in two hours....that's harassment...legit.
Feb 23, '13
That is absolutely ridiculous! I completely agree that your days off are YOUR time & unless something has happened with your patient that you must be informed of, she should not be bothering you (especially when she knows you're sick!). I've been doing PDN for 6 years & the only time I talk to my supervisor is if I have a concern about my patient. I can only think of 2 times she's ever called me for anything. I speak to the schedulers more than anyone else in the office. I think you're on the right track looking for another job because she's made it abundantly clear she's not going to stop harassing you. The only down side to leaving will be leaving the patient(s) you know. P.S. I hope you're feeling better. As far as the cough goes, it may stick around a while. I've had bronchitis every year for the past 4 years & the cough hangs on for 4-6 weeks after the other symptoms are gone. You just aren't contagious at that point.
Feb 23, '13
What is she calling you about? Clients? Schedule? I agree that would get very annoying!
Feb 23, '13
Email her including the number of calls she has made to you within certain periods of time, and the reasons for those calls. Explain that it is waay too many calls. Schedule a meeting (with a third person witness) to clear everything up, when and why she should call you. Keep trying to make her understand you, eventually she should stop. hopefully..
Feb 23, '13
You need another job. SHE has really, really poor time management skills. What kind of stuff is she asking you when she calls? I'm also wondering if she calls all the other nurses as often, and if so - when does she get any work done?
Feb 23, '13
I'm sorry she is putting you through that. It's not the norm at all! Our time off is our time off, and if you can't recharge your batteries due to the anxiety of worrying if it will be "her" again when the phone rings, you'll just get further worn down and start to show signs of stress showing in your ability to really rest, sleep, eat well, and enjoy your own life. That won't be good for anybody!
I know it because I worked for a company that had near-constant turnover in staffers/schedulers. Some of them in their zeal started to do what you describe. I finally told them to stop, that my time off was mine unless it was a genuine emergency. I said that having time away, both mentally and physically was essential in my ability to be there for my patient/client.
This is especially true for us PDNs because we are literally immersed in the life of our patients, and in their home where there are no co-workers to relieve us or break-rooms to act as a buffer-zone. When the employer isn't mindful of the potential for blurring the lines between our lives and theirs, the seeds are sown for many of the pitfalls that put both the nurse and the client at risk.
I have to wonder how long she has been a director? Most of them find out pretty quickly that badgering your staff will ultimately backfire -- or perhaps you could talk to other nurses who work for her to find out what her motivation is?
If it were my choice, and the director maintained the inflexible stance she now has I'd have no choice but to leave that office, even if it was more convenient to get to. In the meantime, telling them the best way to reach you is by e-mail is a good idea. This helped me manage things once they realized I would respond in a timely manner. Wishing you the best! Let us know what happens! :-)
Feb 23, '13
I can so relate. When I was in management my director called me constantly on my off days. She had my cell and would text also. I ended up quitting. And even after I quit she still called me asking me if I would come back and work part time. Um no. Then she would call or text with various questions about how to do certain things. I stopped answering her calls.
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Feb 25, '13
Thanks for the replies! I'm replying from my phone, so I can't see each posters name to reply specifically.
Yes, I have noticed for the past few years that the cough lingers for about 6 weeks. I've heard a few others say they have had the same thing happen.
And I emailed my boss again. I was on meds that impaired me during the worst of it. So I explained that it was unsafe to discuss work while impaired. That slowed the calls down. Once I was off the med, I returned the call. But it gave me an excuse to get a break!
To the others that asked about why she was calling...it was everything from scheduling to nursing related. All of which could have been handled over email. She is very high strung. Other nurses I work with have complained about the same thing. I've even had a parent complain about the director and then tell me another nurse said something about having problems with the director calling too much too. The parent asked me if I get too many calls from the office and to avoid it getting back to the office I worded my answer carefully!
Feb 27, '13
Can't fix stupid!
Don't catch the ball for a week or two she will get the msg
Mar 4, '13
Ugh, I hate talking on the phone. I seldom have the quiet moment I need to listen and concentrate, and phone calls have a way of carrying on, and on... I'll take an email or text any day! Perhaps this person is from an era where there was no email, and is reluctant enter the 21st century?
Mar 5, '13
The company I work for is very sympathetic to phone calls. They try to work everything out through email (paper-trail) and avoid calling unless it's important. If I don't answer, they leave one message (which usually doesn't require a call back) and if I need to I'll call them back, if they don't answer it goes to voicemail and they get the message when they get it. We have a 24 hour emergency phone system also, however I work the night shift as the name implies and they sure as heck wouldn't want any "late-night" calls
or dumb stuff that can wait. It's about mutual respect I think.
Mar 5, '13
I never, never answer calls from work. Before cell phone
days I used an answering machine to screen my calls. Now with my cell I have the work number on a silent ring cause I never want to answer their calls. They can leave a message. If for example I WANT to work OT I will return their call, otherwise I ignore the calls. You quickly train them not to expect to be able to reach you immediatly. For the life of me I can't imagine why you ever answer her calls or return them.