nasty coworker

  1. I just recently changed jobs within my home health agency. A year of bad health (2 surgeries in 6 months) and a bad episode of depression, coupled with incredible stress I felt working in the field (short staffed/increasing case loads).......I found myself falling apart daily, going home and crying, calling in, etc. I eventually handed in my resume. My boss told me I was too valuable an asset to lose, and worked with me to find another position within the agency that would be easier on me. I agreed to work in the office, in a position where I work with our team's nurses in scheduling (openings, etc), putting in referrals for rehab, labs, aides, and many other things. It can be very hectic and often stressful in the mornings with the scheduling, as everyone has a heavy case load and we continue to get more and more patients. I am understanding, having been there, but am in a position where I have to "be the bad guy". Without fail, the majority of my coworkers are great....they may express their dismay when I assign them too much, and I try my best to float people off. We have a good rapport, and it makes me more willing to help them out. But there is one nurse who is consistently nasty. When I give him something new, he will out and out refuse to take it, or I will say I can take back one of your other visits, and he will say no, take 2, I won't do such and such. And he is nasty about it. He's not just moaning and groaning, he's just plain rude. I've tried to be firm, but have been sort of a marshmellow in the end. Today was a really bad day staffing wise, for a variety of reasons, and he was rude to me, refused to give up only one person, said he had to give up 2, no way no how would he see them all...etc etc. I was very firm this time, and he just was meaner and nastier.Now, his attitude really upsets me. Not to mention that I just cannot imagine refusing to see my own patients! I needed him to do a resumption of care for a nurse who was out today. He consistently will give up a patient of his, who turns out, needs a recert. He went on vacation, leaving 2 patients who could have been recerted before he left, to be recerted by nurses while he was out (namely, me). He complained he got "dumped on" all last week, but no more so than the rest of the staff. Everyone else sees their fair share, but he acts as if he is special, and should be granted special compensation to see less patients than everyone else. Besides, week before last, the majority of days he took to catch up on paperwork, leaving us scrambling to cover his patients. The big deal was, his computer had been broken, and he had to go back and enter stuff in from when it was down. Gee, when my computer was broken, I did my work on paper! I never knew till now that you could take paid days to catch up on paperwork! Ironically, he only writes down his schedule a day ahead.....and doesn't identify who I can float off if needed. I have a perdiem IV nurse available some days, but she has to know her assignment a day head (before I leave at 4)...she is perdiem, and plans her other activities around her visits. well, he usually doesn't let me know who he can give off, even when I hound him, so I rarely am able to give off his patients, unless our perdiem has a pt drop off and can take an extra in place of it......then complains if his assignment is "too much"!
    OK, now, my boss is on vacation, has been since last week, won't return till a week from today. I took this to one of the other supervisors today who said she'd talk to him, I don't know if she ever did, I know she was busy rounding up extra help for me since I had only 3 RN's and 1 LPN for our whole area (less than half our team). Even so, a coworker who works under this supervisor said she tends to be pretty "easy". I am at wits end. So far, despite the hectic mornings, I've been having fun. Today, I felt close to tears several times. Part of it was my anger at my supervisor for her poor planning in scheduling class time for 3 of our RN's, plus giving another a day off......but more so, anger at this other RN.
    I just needed to vent. You know, I have really rotton luck. With my luck, someone at my agency will recognize themself in this post, and despite lack of identifiers, I'll get in trouble. *sigh*. Oh well, I need to vent, so I did. So there!
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    About sphinx

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 672; Likes: 29


  3. by   leeca
    By the sounds of things you are essencially his boss, so be firm with him and don't let him railroad you into getting his own way.

    If he usually gets his own way when he throws a tantrum, then he will continue to do so.

    When he is rude to you, walk away as there is no point in continuing with the conversation and try again later. (no point in throwing tantrum if no audience).

    It would be hard but try not to stew on his rudeness, try to forget as soon as discussion is over or you are really going to start hating your job.

    Sounds like he has low self esteem, so he tries to make himself feel better by trying to control the situation.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    there's always sjoe's saying:

    We will get exactly as much crap as we will take.

    seems to me it applies here. i wish you well. don't take it. life is way short.
  5. by   Merry1
    The man is a controll freak and being mean and nasty is his way of compensating???. Seriously, kill him with kindness but stop the marshmellow bit with him. Tell him to suck it up like the women on the team. Or play to the macho side and when he complains say something to the effect " your a big strong guy, I am sure you can take it" and say it with a smile! Back him into a corner till he shapes up or you can find a sutible replacement, then nail him multipul times on insubordination, no help from superior on this go over heads but follow chain of command and take controll of this person. Baby batter on the brain does not mean he is in charge!
  6. by   renerian
    Boy I hear you home health is sure stressful. I feel for you. I think your just going to have to be firm. Maybe he will resign. Hate to think that way but when one person is like that it ruins the team. Hang in there.

  7. by   MOMMY
    I love home health and know how hectic It can be, no one wants to be the bad guy. It is especially hard if your administrator/supervisor does not back you. this sounds like this is your problem. You are only as strong as your weakest link. If the link is at the top of the chain then there is no support for the agency. I too have worked with a person who would refuse patients, or pick who he wanted to see. His point, I can do it because they let me get away with it. When I had to direct him to do something, I told him straight, without any apologies what he had to do, if he said no, I repeated my self that he was to do these things, make the assignment. The ball was left in his court. If he refused, the he was not doing his job. If I had let him do what he wanted and dumped on other staff then I would not be doing my job. Ultimately, he always did what I told him to do. When in a supervisor job, make sure you make assignments that you yourself would be willing to do, and in a pinch, make sure you do them. Then when push comes to shove you will have staff that will be willing to work with and for you. Having an administrator that will back you if a staff member out and out refuses to work would help. The stress will always be there, but the joy of the job should be able to overshadow the stress. Good luck.
  8. by   sphinx
    OK, I have been doing deep breathing, as well as a nice vent to my husband when he got home (I needed to get it out, in words, out loud). First of all, while it may sound like it is so, I am really in no way this guy's (or anyone elses on the team) supervisor.....I am basically on the same "level" as them, ie it was a lateral move. If anything, I'd say maybe my role is similar to that of a floor charge nurse in terms of "chain of command". Our nurses carry a case load, and plan their schedules, but schedules have to be adjusted daily because of openings. Usually we have LPN help so when an RN does an opening, an LPN can take a float from that RN, in addition to anyother overflow pt's that need a visit. One of our lpn's is on the wound team, another does peds and ob in addition to general pt's. (rearranging schedules fairly is one aspect of my job)
    Anyway, everything you've all said makes perfect sense. I guess I just need to buckle down and do what I need to do to work with this guy, because no way, no how am I gonna put up with his crap and let it ruin what is a good opportunity for me. Except for this, things have been pretty good. My mood has been pretty up for the first time in months and months, and I can't let one rude person ruin that for me, right?