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Another Rant About Rudeness/Bullying/Eating

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 172,201 Profile Views; 13,948 Posts

it's interesting how many posters are quick to jump on the "bullying bandwagon". they want to ban bullying, demand that all bullies be fired immediately, insist that no one ever bring their personal issues to work. the definition of "bully" seems to be rather fluid, though. usually, it seems to mean "anyone who is doing something that i don't like or that makes me uncomfortable." they're often the first to insist upon their right, however, to do things that make other people uncomfortable. but that's not bullying. not to them anyway.

 

good manners are the grease that makes society run smoothly, including the society of the work place. so perhaps good manners is the anti-bullying. perhaps, then, bullying could be defined as ill manners. unfortunately, some of those who are quickest to take offense and fastest to scream about bullying are those with the worst manners i've ever seen. in fact, based purely on my own personal observations, i'd say that those who are the fastest and loudest to complain about bullying in the workplace are the biggest bullies i've ever seen in my workplace.

 

there are those who insist it is their absolute right to speak their first language in the common break room, to the exclusion of anyone who might be there who doesn't speak that language. that's rude to those who are excluded . . . and sometimes those people are the very people they're accusing of being rude to them because they failed to acknowledge their "good morning", pointed out their error in drug calculation in front of another person or wouldn't "let" them take charge of a patient. (if you ask me to double-check your insulin and it's wrong, i'll tell you -- before you give it to the patient. and if i fail to acknowledge your "good morning," it could be because i was preoccupied with my own drug calculation, didn't see you because i was cleaning the rain off my glasses, or assumed that you were talking into the cellphone you were holding up to your face.) if half the nurses in the unit are filipino and they refuse to speak english while on break, that's a form of bullying . . . unless they're all taking their breaks downstairs in the cafeteria and not at our seats-six table in our tiny little break room. (before i'm accused of being racist, let me just say that the filipinos i work with are some of the nicest people i know. i recently entered the break room to find four of my filipino colleagues sitting there eating lunch and conversing in english. when i jokingly asked them why they weren't speaking tagalog, they assured me that they speak tagalog together when they're out somewhere, but it would be rude to speak it in the break room because "if you walked in, you wouldn't be able to be included in the conversation.")

 

those students, pre-nursing students and orientees who are horrified to see that "their nurse" doesn't do things the exact way they learned in school and are anxious to report them to someone -- well, they're budding bullies. why not wait and see why the nurse is doing it that way -- could be it's a better way than what you were taught in school. at the very least, why rush to "report" someone? i'm sure you'd be indignant if someone "reported" you because you didn't do things the exact way they did. you'd have all kinds of arguments marshaled about why your way was just as correct, if not better. and probably you'd be complaining about being "eaten."

 

the newbie who was horrified that the nurse she was shadowing didn't use gloves for some aspect of patient care and was determined to see that nurse punished -- again, bullying behavior.

 

the night i was working in our eight-bed ward with five newbies and one other "old dog", the newbies were tittering together in a corner, and would immediately quiet down the minute the other nurse or i approached. i don't know if they were talking about us or not -- but that was rude. one of them then wanted me to drop what i was doing to help her troubleshoot her balloon pump . . . the same balloon pump i'd been troubleshooting off and on all shift while she was off tittering with her peers . . . and when i said i couldn't because i was starting a levophed drip for a patient whose blood pressure was rapidly headed south, told me i wasn't being sufficiently supportive of her growth as a nurse. the other "old dog" told her she obviously hadn't been sufficiently supported in her growth as a polite human being . . . and all three of us were in the manager's office the next morning to explain why us two "old dogs" had been "rude" to poor princess.

 

increasingly, "bullying" seems to mean "not giving me what i want when i want it". "eating your young" seems to be not giving the new person what they want when they want it.

 

as a rule, i don't see my older colleagues being rude to the younger ones. the rudeness seems to flow exclusively in the other direction. amazingly, those who are rudest to their older colleagues are the ones who are screaming loudest about not being respected, supported or encouraged at work. i rarely hear complaints from the older nurses about being eaten by the young. they just suck it up and do their best to socialize and orient the newbies into the unit.

 

about bullying, let me just say that if you look for it, you'll find it, whether or not it actually exists. but these days i'm thinking most of the bullying goes up hill rather than down.

 

 

 

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That Guy has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN, EMT-B and specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab.

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What she said^^^

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11,191 Posts; 54,010 Profile Views

while i mostly agree contextually with what you're saying, i'm not convinced "bullying" is the applicable descriptor here.

to me, bullying means to intentionally intimidate...but again, i could be totally off base.

i personally believe there are some who just need a quick and firm dopeslap to the upside.

time to grow up....lots of incredibly immature behavior out there.:twocents:

leslie

eta: ruby, did your boss seriously believe you old dogs were the instigators, or was s/he just appeasing the babes?

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systoly has 23 years experience and specializes in LTC, Memory loss, PDN.

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while i mostly agree contextually with what you're saying, i'm not convinced "bullying" is the applicable descriptor here.

to me, bullying means to intentionally intimidate...but again, i could be totally off base.

i personally believe there are some who just need a quick and firm dopeslap to the upside.

time to grow up....lots of incredibly immature behavior out there.:twocents:

leslie

eta: ruby, did your boss seriously believe you old dogs were the instigators, or was s/he just appeasing the babes?

:lol2: I wish we could do that or say, "are you stupid?"

And I'll be the first to subscribe to my weekly dose. :D

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3,408 Posts; 29,401 Profile Views

You know, sometimes, allnurses serves to remind me how lucky I am to work with such a wonderful group of nurses. I certainly don't *like* everyone I work with (although most of them are folks I'd be happy to grab a post-shift beer or 4 with ;) ), but can work professionally with just about everyone of them. I learn so much from my more experienced coworkers and try to at least partially pay it back by offering help when things are slow for me.

With the vent threads I see here, I often wonder how much of the trouble is caused by the poster of the vent. I have a (non-nursing) acquaintance who is always having trouble with the people around her- they're rude, or unhelpful, or whatever. Once, in a fairly blatant attempt to fish for compliments on how wonderful she is, she asked if maybe the problem is HER personality, that people are just reacting to what she puts out in to the world. The sound of crickets chirping was, shall we say, deafening.

I really don't get the thought process behind the entitled, rude behavior you describe in your younger coworkers. Manners and politeness were big in my household growing up, and I was raised with platitudes like "kill them with kindness" and "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." I guess I take it for granted, but I just don't get how adults don't understand that basic, polite behavior gets you further than stomping and screaming and throwing big tantrums.

I remember that thread you reference about the nursing student who made a fuss about the nurse she was with wearing gloves. If I ever had a question about what a nurse was doing when i was in clinical, I waited to ask him/her later or would ask my instructor about it and always tried to remember that I was a guest on the unit and act accordingly.

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DixieRedHead has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ED/ICU/TELEMETRY/LTC.

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You know, life has a way of coming full circle. The very best that you can do, you will be old longer than you are young, and that's if you are lucky. And when you are old, the babies will come for you. Let me assure you that when they start chewing this "crusty old bat" they are going to get more than they bargained for.

The reason? I have been around a while. I know what I am doing, I work hard, I come to work, leave my personal life at home, concentrate on my job, and do what I have to do to the best of my ability.

If and when I ever get hauled to the office and asked what I mean by what I said, my reply will be "What particular word were you having trouble with?"

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689 Posts; 9,926 Profile Views

The problem is many "cannot handle the truth" and instead of taking constructive criticism they raise the "Bully/Harrassment" flag.

Why fix your deficiencies, when you can scream Bully--and have people actually take you seriously?!

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NurseLoveJoy88 has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

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People only do what you allow them to do. I used to be bullied by this one nurse until one day I stood up for myself. I refuse to be bullied by anyone...

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Pepper The Cat has 33 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Gerontology.

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Excellent post Ruby! Once again I applaud you!!

If I knew you in real life, I'd be sending a bottle of wine your way!

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PostOpPrincess has 19 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.

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Sounds like you work with a bunch of thin-skinned babies. Maybe you should stock your unit with lollipops and bottles.

*shaking my head*

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~Mi Vida Loca~RN has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

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In my years of school and my 6 months of working I have only seen "bullying" firsthand once. It wasn't even outright bullying, the person was extremely manipulative and passive-agressive and when stood up to (in a very mature manner I might say) it got 100 times worse and the person turned extremely malicious. I tend to think though this is more of an isolated incident because in the 3 years I have been behind the scenes it's the first I witnessed it first hand out of 3 different hospitals.

I heard about it happening a lot from others but nothing I ever saw or what I would consider bullying. A lot of what I saw I didn't feel was bullying at all.

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~Mi Vida Loca~RN has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

5,259 Posts; 31,218 Profile Views

People only do what you allow them to do. I used to be bullied by this one nurse until one day I stood up for myself. I refuse to be bullied by anyone...

One day I knew someone that stood up for themselves and it didn't end well for them at all. Never thought I would see it happen that way but it did. You just never know the pull some people have, especially long term "bullies" that have been there for many many years and know a lot of the higher up people. No matter what though I will always be an advocate for standing up for yourself in an appropriate manner.

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