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Fired. Will I ever work again?

Nurses   (9,124 Views 34 Comments)
by Jack43 Jack43 (New Member) New Member

Jack43 has 29 years experience and specializes in ICU,psych,med/surg,quality management, h.

626 Profile Views; 8 Posts

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hi, i am new here. i am reaching out to my fellow nurses for help and to share a devastating experience i have been through since in november 2009. i need to talk and there doesn't seem to be anyone there. i am bending you guy’s ears here asking for help. actually, it helps just to write to you all about it. please forgive the length. i read the "comment policy" and have tired to obey it. i think when you hear my story, you will see, this is something i need to….get said.

i have been an rn for 29 years. i started working in hospitals in 1973 as an orderly. in 1982 at the age of 29 i became an rn. i was so proud. in all my nursing years i have loved my patients and never had a single mark on my record. my resume is full of awards and good ,sincere references through the years. i have been very committed to my patients and excellent service. i advanced in my career and planned to work at my last job for the next eight years then retire.

one day in november 2009, a co-worker, who had been my friend for 7 years began to just shut down towards me for no reason. i asked if there was anything wrong. "no" he said. i let it go a week and asked again. he said, “you can be a little needy”. i knew what he meant. i had heard that before. i should have said, “you are right. i do worry people with my insecurity in relationships sometimes, so i will just give you some space”. that would have stopped the tension. i know because i have done that very thing and it is the best way to handle that situation. but i did not do that. instead i felt he was being a jerk. i let it go for another week, a week of him not answering my questions, of grunts and mumbles and no eye contact etc. i was getting really frustrated. so i asked him if we could do direct talk. he agreed. now knew that if you want to do direct talk and repair bad feelings, you must have a game plan going in. but i forgot that this time.(mistake). i was really feeling angry with my friend. so we went in an office for privacy (mistake). from the start he was not receptive, but he sat there. i said, “we really need to reduce the tension” .he agreed and the he said, “so whose fault do you think it is?” now here was my second chance. i could have defused it but i didn’t. instead i said, “yours”. boy, he got mad then and got up and he said, "what do you wanna do, meet after work and settle it like men”? i am pretty sure he was being facetious but i called his bluff. i said, "when? where?, today? in the park? after work?” i did not raise my voice, i was calm, i did not make threatening remarks. so then, he walked over to me and said, with restrained anger and venom, like a warning, "i will kick……” then he walked out. and to everyone in the office cubes he yelled, “he is threatening me. he wants to beat me up!”

next he was on his computer. i learned later he was emailing hr, and reporting me for threatening him and abusive behavior. also he was emailing my boss with the same story. she called me in just a minute and asked me if i asked my friend to:”meet me after work”. i said, “no, he asked me and all i did was agree.” well she suspended me right then. it felt to me like: so he complains first so they believe him i did not threaten him. i did not raise my voice. i admit, i did provoke him, but all i did was agree to his invitation. that is my side, i think is side was something really different (but i am not sure and i can say he lied. i hope he didn’t) . long story short, i was terminated. i wrote my side of the story, but it did not help. they just believed him and i was out in the cold.

i concede that i was wrong. i may have deserved to have been let go. but i wonder if this could have been handled differently by my friend. i think he just got real mad and went after me. i don’t hold a grudge, i take full responsibility for what i did.

hr told me after my last appeal, “you can work somewhere a year and get a letter from them and re-apply”. so i did that…and today i found out they would not honor that pledge. it is their right of course and i can see where they did what they thought was best for the hospital.

during this entire nightmare my boss of nine years believed me. but she could not stop hr. there were no witnesses.

my boss has written me a recommendation. she is giving me a good reference on phone evals. see nothing even remotely like this had ever happened. i was just not one to misbehave.

this has been a nightmare. i have like 20 applications out i had one call so far but it has not been long. i don’t know what hr is saying to prospective employers. the director said in an email to my boss that all they is: “the dates of employment” that may or may not be true i will not falsify an app so i have to “yes” i was let go if i am asked.. but isn’t it sad that someone can just complain and say you did something and your job, retirement, reputation in gone.

during this year that i worked a home care job for very little pay to get that letter, i herniated a disk and had surgery. so my doctor says i cant drive like that any more and that job is gone. but i did excellent for them and have a great letter.

then to top it off, all this stress was too much for my wife and she left me.i don’t want to be a cry baby. i will be ok. i will find a nursing job in this city, where i have to stay for my son. but you know it is so sad. i miss hospitals. it was my life. i gave my all in all to my patients. i loved them. i know how good a nurse i have been all these years. but right now i feel like a failure. i hope nothing like this happens to any of you. be careful.

i sum it up this way: 29 years of excellence and then a 3 minute conversation, and your life's work is over. no job, no wife, no pension, and all my saving are almost gone. look out wal-mart, got any openings?

i am sorry for writing such a long post but i needed to tell this story. i have to make the writing fun to read. kinda like a little short story. thank you if you read it. if you want, i would love to hear any feedback. good or bad. i want to be incouraged, but call me an idiot if you want. i sure feel like one. best regards.

Edited by Jack43
wrong number

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Tina, RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Acute Care, CM, School Nursing.

512 Posts; 14,063 Profile Views

I'm so sorry for what you've been going through. I hope things start improving soon.

Best wishes!

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SlightlyMental_RN specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

471 Posts; 6,173 Profile Views

Just curious...have you ever thought that perhaps they used this incident as a way to get rid of you, an experienced and most-likely an expensive nurse to pay. I've seen way too many tales of ageism being told on this board, lately.

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diamondmeadows has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN.

95 Posts; 3,736 Profile Views

It sounds like things are really rough for you right now. You seem very sad. I hope things get better soon.

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carolmaccas66 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

2,212 Posts; 14,154 Profile Views

Sorry, but you were targeted to be sacked. Your boss WANTED to get rid of you and this was a good reason, in their eyes. Someone definitely had it in for you.

I would appeal this again. How on earth can a boss fire you for a personal altercation, that did not even affect patient care? I don't understand that personally.

Come on, all those years as a nurse and you cannot get a job? Have more faith in yourself. Keep applying for jobs and say you wanted a change, or be honest and tell them you feel you were targeted and that is why you were let go. Do HR have to give out a reference for you? Can't you find a more senior nurse/s you worked with to give you a reference/s?

Keep going for other jobs and don't give up. Keep away from your so-called 'friend' and anyone from your last job - they are not to be trusted.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

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Shell5 has 13 years experience and specializes in Med Surg/Tele/Ortho/Psych.

200 Posts; 5,429 Profile Views

I am sorry this happened to you. There are some hateful people out there. Some don't think about damage they can cause you by being vengeful and snobbish at that moment. They just want their moment in the sun. I bet some of the places aren't hiring just because the economy. I believe in Texas that all HR can say is your dates of employment and if you are rehireable. Good luck. You seem like a likeable person.

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Jack43 has 29 years experience and specializes in ICU,psych,med/surg,quality management, h.

8 Posts; 626 Profile Views

Thank you Diamond and Tena for that. Mental: that did not cross my mind. I was well paid....but.....God that would be nasty

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Jack43 has 29 years experience and specializes in ICU,psych,med/surg,quality management, h.

8 Posts; 626 Profile Views

Carol: you might be right, there was a very top the food chain dude that did not like me one bit cause I would not let him yell at me. Other stuff: you are right I will be working. In tomorrow I am dressing up and hand delivering my resume and references to a place. Got my clothes laid out.

Shell: thank you, that means a lot, what you said

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walk6miles specializes in ICU of all kinds, CVICU, Cath Lab, ER..

2 Articles; 308 Posts; 6,627 Profile Views

The replies about being targetted for termination due to age and payroll are unfortunately exactly right. I will tell you my story when my situation is fixed (and it won't be much longer)..............

Keep your head on straight, get a lawyer, try to get yourself a job that you enjoy (I know, I know) and remember this much: it is the absolute truth that God watches over you and God will take care of all the rest..........

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6 Posts; 575 Profile Views

I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Best of luck in finding a new job!

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decembergrad2011 has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

2 Articles; 462 Posts; 10,683 Profile Views

This story made me cry. I am so sorry for what you've gone through.

Although there are three sides to every story, and this is just one, I can completely relate to your need to resolve things with the man you thought was a friend. I also feel a strong desire to reel my friends back in if we are becoming distant, and I've seen how my worries about losing their friendship can lead to behaviors that seem needy and insecure.

I don't think you deserved to be fired, and I think it's even more ridiculous that they won't take you back and honor their promise when you followed their directions. It's a shame you didn't get it in writing/email. And when you consider the fact that many facilities reinstate staff members who have been caught stealing and using narcotics after a certain amount of time/program, it seems shortsighted to not do the same for an otherwise good employee...unless it wasn't about the incident to begin with :(

Good luck with everything. I really think you'll be able to find a job again, and I hope you wow them tomorrow!

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Skips is a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing, L&D.

474 Posts; 11,993 Profile Views

Keep on truckin', Jack. You sound like a great nurse, and you have a good deal of experience to back it up. You will get another job. I wish you all the best.

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