A BIG pitfall of working office hours. warning long!

  1. I never thought I'd find one, I love my hours I work as a clinical review nurse, and I love my main boss he's great, it's the other people in the office. It's small 3 nurses (1 part time) and 4 schedulers. Problem sets in, when I got the job I didn't realize it was bc the previous nurse up and left in a flurry of expletatives with no notice! I now see clearly why.

    When I was hired I already had a vacation set and they were very gracious about honoring that, even though managers changed hands and actually the new one is even better. The problem lies with one of the workoholic nurses (besides our normal days she also does private duty and volunteers with crisis things on weekends) bc she lost her spouse a few years ago, well she makes the office barely tolerable. She's run a total of 3 nurses out. I thought I was stronger than that. I "get" her, I understand bc of her personal life she wants to run herself into the ground hardly sleeping etc...so she doesn't have to think about her loss...I get it, I do but I shouldn't be punished for it.

    Anyway she was never crazy about the nurses having time off (schedulers are a different story) she thinks you should be a slave to the profession or you shouldn't be a nurse. However when confronted with this, she puts on a completely different show. She runs extremely hot and cold with me. Actually that's an understatement. She can be unbelievably nice and helpful and then she can be downright degrading and this is in a short time span. I've always had a mantra, I work to live, I don't live to work. Family comes first.

    I really thought I would stick it out a year to have stability, but she broke the camels back a few weeks ago, so I sent out applications mostly out of frustration, but I didn't think anything would come of it. Well one did and as ambivilent as I was at first, I think I'd really be happy there. It's for a CRC position. It offers 12 weeks of training as opposed to the lie that I was fed for this current job that I would have much training and I got zero. In fact I'm self taught for pretty much most of it, asking questions here and there.

    I think I did a pretty good interview, they want me to shadow and that's where the problem is. They want about a 3 hour block morning or afternoon, I figured I could just say I needed personal time. Any job I've ever had it's perfectly normal that there are things that can only be taken care of during bankers hours. Even certain doctors do not have weekend/evening hours. Well she is in total disbelief of this needing time off during working hours.

    The thing that sucks is my main manager (as mentioned she believes she runs the office, it's a mistake they've made as she feels too self important, I kid you not when I say you have to tell her you are going to go pee! Even on the floor I didn't have to tell anyone. She refers to the office as the "floor" and maybe that's a problem. Anyway I was told to go to my manager with days off etc and I do. Most others go through this nurse for whatever reason, my manager said he was supposed to put out an email stating he was the contact person for time off but never did. Now I'm in the hot seat bc my last time for going to this interview resulting in 3 hours of my personal time, he never told the nurse (even though I asked if he wanted me to let her know he said he'd handle it) she blew a gasket.

    We supposedly are entitled to taking our PTO with 2 weeks notice. Not a problem from my manager's standpoint as he beleives in work, life balance. She does not. I am trying to be fair so I apologized for not keeping her in the loop and what would be better...when I work early to leave early or to schedule time off when I work the later shift and come in later in the morning. I ask so I don't inconvenience anyone, I already work around the part time nurse and she's off 1 to 2 days a week, but still manages to complain how she can never get any time off!!!! I see how ridiculous that is just typing it, but I think I'm in the twilight zone much of the time.

    So she blew up and said I need to schedule things off hours or risk being let go!!! However she has no power to do so. I could just go back to my manager for the time off, but I was hoping confronting her and trying to work with her would make her less frosty with me.

    I have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm more convinced now I need to get out of there. We are short staffed supposedly there were always 4 nurses plus this other head nurse if you will. now we have 1.5. The work is steady but really I never feel overwhelmed, I see that they strive on drama for whatever reason.

    I'm tempted to tell the other place I can't shadow as it's causing too much chaos, but I'd likely kiss the job goodbye then. Whether I do or don't shadow, if that job doesn't come through then I still have to figure out how to do other interviews. I never thought I'd say I miss my 3 twelves, but if trying to get out of a job, 9 to 5 is not a good time as most interviewers won't schedule after hours. Guess this is another one of those let go and let God moments for me. Just a vent that off the floor isn't always a picnic either.
  2. Visit Kitty Hawk profile page

    About Kitty Hawk

    Joined: Jun '05; Posts: 551; Likes: 217
    Hospice Case Manager; from US
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in hospice, ortho,clinical review


  3. by   BlueDevil,DNP
    Go to the other interview even if you have to call in sick. you tried to work with them upfront, they aren't being resonable. When you do leave, be very specific that she is the reason why.

    Good luck.
  4. by   caliotter3
    Same advice as the previous post. Go do your shadowing, call out sick to do it. Be specific about why you left this job. Make certain you spell her name correctly on your letter of resignation. You don't want to be criticized for that.
  5. by   tokmom
    Are you in a place where you could quit this job and actively look for other employment? It would be nice if you could quit, shadow and land this other opportunity.

    Like you said, they aren't going to be nice about you taking time off. This woman sounds horrible to work with. ((hugs))
  6. by   Kitty Hawk
    Wow...thanks! I actually teared up reading this! My husband sees the toll it's taking but well...I just figured it's not that bad.

    I can't call out sick though, she would treat me like garbage for the foreseeable future. I have to communicate with her during the workday. It's set up really weird, both I and the part time nurse go to her for all the "questionable" cases and that can be many. It's odd bc the part time nurse trained her!!! But now she worships this "head" nurse and sees nothing wrong but she's old school hard core too, beleives everyone should have sweat blood to be a nurse. If it's a simple case with all the clinical info and ICD9 is right no problem, but if I have an odd diagnosis, wrong code, no code or missing clinnical then it's a "case by case" basis. Seriously she can say different things are needed or not needed and she'll do this based on her moods. One day I'll be told I must have more clinical from office for such and such. Another time she's feeling good so there's no need to "harrass" the office! Sometimes it depends on the office if we need more clinical, some demand it, some don't. It's hard to keep it all straight so therein lies her absolute power. Really when she did have a couple days off over the holidays I thought the part time nurse would have a coronary bc she was all "what do we do?, what do we do?" about it!!! And she TRAINED HER for heaven's sake...I seriously don't get it. But I go in and do my job and make the best of it.

    I seriously see why nurses leave in droves in this profession. My previous career I did not ever have issues like this with co workers,but the problem was the client's treating you like garbage bc it was all over the phone. Here you have the respect from the patient's for the most part, but the co workers are unbeleivable. If you haven't walked a similar nursing path as them then you have no right to be nurse.

    I don't know, maybe I'll try to talk to her Monday and give her option that I 'm trying to work with them in still being there for most of the day. If she won't work with me then I'll use vacation days. If she refuses then I'll go to my manager. In fact I may give him a head's up that this has come up. He's awesome, I've already had to go to him 2x over her treatment of me. We had a good talk (3 of us) a couple weeks ago so I thought. But in no time she's back to being difficult and I'm walking on eggshells. I've heard from one of the scheduler's that there's always someone that she will pick to be rough on and I'm it. My manager seems a bit intimidated by her. He and the "big boss" of whom I have no real interaction with except hi and goodbye, understand that she can be impossible to work with, but they value her knowledge too much.

    I'm just really exhausted with all of this now.
  7. by   Kitty Hawk
    Oh and to answer the q if I could quit. I "could" but it certainly wouldn't be ideal. My husband backs me 100pct and is ready to go up there and tear into them. He told me if I get grief on Monday to just leave and we'll deal with it.

    For a lot of reasons I can't do that. I don't want to have to explain that on interviews. I'm picky about what I will and won't do...which is bad I know, but at the same time I won't be overly miserable at a job. The floor was worse to me bc of staffing and resource issues. I loved the work but not all the other b.s. I can't go back to that craziness, I just can't. The work here is fine, it's the treatment that is wearing me down, and I get now I got to get out, but I'd like it to be on my terms.

    This CRC position is not a usual happening that I know of. So there's not many things I want to leap to. Reserach has always been a huge interest of mine though, I actually thought I'd need more education 1st. I didn't realize there were these positions.

    My husband thought I should have called out for the rest of the day after my interview instead of going back and dealing with the snarling attitudes but I just couldn't do that. That's not my work ethic and I stand by that much to my detriment I see.

    It sucks bc it could be a really decent job if it wasn't for all the stupid drama. The work itself is far from bad, a little boring at times but in general fine.
  8. by   Kitty Hawk
    You know when I first started and would make a small mistake, i.e. box not being checked, not double checking date of service for unit (we schedule for 30 facilites, we're a mobile unit company) Instead of the schedulers coming to me, they'd go to her on instruction I guess. There would be all this whispering and then this nurse would slam a stack of papers down and slam other things around. I'd ask if I made a mistake, sometimes I'd get an answer, sometimes not. I coudn't exactly learn if I didn't know what I was doing wroing. I had to go to my manager over this. She doesn't like that I'm comfortable going to him. Everyone else goes through her but as I said, it's a "fake power". Things are a little better with the schedulers but the nurse can blow like that unexpectedly for any reason, so that in itself causes me to be on guard.

    What also sucks is like I said I get her. I had a talk with her privately and she teared up and really opened up to me, bc she was shocked "I got her" ...I told her I do get it, I don't know what I would do without my husband so I totally get her loss and I would be devastated to say the least, so I get why she chooses to immerse herself in all this. I did this talk right before she knew I was leaving on a long weekend for our anniversary. She told me to take more time off! To not regret things as she does. Her husband was a surgeon and she worked with him but they didn't take near the time they should have, but they still def had an outside life. I thought we turned a corner, in fact I reminded her yesterday of our "come to Jesus" talk, and she agreed somewhat and was "okay" with me (but not about time off she still expects me to find another way to not miss time) by the time I left, but Monday could be another story. I've told her I do respect her choices immensly and what she does above and beyond, but that's not me....I will not martyr myself for this profession, I just won't.

    I don't know what more I can do.
  9. by   caliotter3
    You are giving this woman too much power over you. You are leaving the job anyway so why do you care that she will get upset? Do what you have to do to get out of there and stop obsessing.
  10. by   tokmom
    Too bad her boss(es) won't do an intervention on this woman if she is 'that' valuable. It must be costing them an arm and leg to train the nurses that come and go.
    I wonder what she was like before her husband died. It would be interesting to know.
  11. by   netglow
    Do what you need to do for your life and your career. You know you are a good employee and a good person already, so that is of no doubt. Go shadow.
  12. by   outrunningzombies
    If you were me, I'd leave. You sound miserable. If you're ever asked about the job by future employers, tell them it wasn't a good fit. Say you left for whatever you end up in next. If you don't get the job you're shadowing for, work some agency and say that you left because you needed flexibility in your schedule at that point in time.

    You said that you live to work, not work to live. I'd say something is wrong with the job if you're tearing up over it on the weekend. Run away, and don't let it destroy you.

    Edit: Make your job this weekend to find out how you'll get to work in research. What kind of research do you want to do--nursing research or a research nurse on medical studies? Look at where the type of research nurse you want to be works. What kind of degree do they require? What schools are in your area? Is online a good option for you? If you need to RN-BSN, many state schools have online courses for less than for profits like University of Phoenix.
    Last edit by outrunningzombies on Feb 4, '12
  13. by   Kitty Hawk
    Caliotter you made me laugh! That's the same my husband says! He could care less what people think of him. I unfortunately care too much I guess.

    I guess you're right though, I'm going to have to deal with her being upset with me some more. So if you were me, would you just go to my manager over the time off? Even though I explicitly told her I would start going through her like everyone else from now on? That makes me feel like crap to be honest. I was just trying to build a nicer bridge and it blew up. But you're right even if she acts nice in a face to face again it's just a waste of time. I'm better off going to my manager and then informing her (before I never told her) I can just tell her she's not exactly being reasonable when I tried to work this out if she's ticked about that. But I'm telling you she will start slamming things and storm around then get everyone against me for that day which will stress me to the max. Maybe it shouldn't but I can't handle people slamming things around me.

    I just know that for a week it's been pretty tolerable and it's going to go back to fairly horrible. Esp if I come in late again in the next few weeks. I wish I could just get away with saying I need to take care of personal things. But even if I lie and say it's a doctor's appt (which I hate lying but some places lv no choice) then when I get there, the part time nurse that sits right next to me is going to get all nosy. If I nicely tell her it's personal, she'll take offense. I was already told the other week that she thought I was one of the most selfish people, just bc I don't discuss a lot of my life! And bc I'm pretty quiet and just do my job, not gossip etc...It's really becoming suffocating, I just didn't realize it before.
  14. by   SHGR
    I'm not really clear from your post- OP, is this woman a manager, or your one-up, or what? Do you really answer to her, or is that just what she has trained everyone to do?
    It sounds like a great job except for her.