Warning: Long...Need to bounce something off you guys re: administrative occurance.

  1. I allowed myself to get into a pickle at work, and ended up getting a Level 2 administrative occurance- 1 step away from being fired. I have never even been written up before, and I am trying to sort all of this out in my mind.

    Here is what happened:

    I got a very close friend a job on one of the units that I am in charge of (I am in charge of 6 units at one time). She has a history of a mood disorder, which she has kept very much under control for quite a while. I did not disclose this info to my employers, and I never would have vouched for her if I could have foreseen any future problems.

    I was approached by my mgr who told me that another employee came to her and said that the friend was going to HR about her (the mgr) with some lies. The mgr wanted me to let her know that she didn't care if she went to HR, just not to lie to them. When my friend had previously mentioned to me about going to HR, I just told her I didn't want any part of it. I should have told the mgr the same. What I did was to offhandedly mention to the friend not to be telling the other employee her personal business.

    Little did I know the consequences of that at the time. My friend called me later during work and blurted out that something horrible and out of her control had happened to her earlier that week. I was on my way to a rapid response, so I told her she should go to the mgr and tell her what happened. From there, she tailspinned into a full-blown manic psychosis, which involved 3 days of her calling me and her mother (very, very scary phone calls), and which culminated in me and her mother putting a mental inquest warrant out on her. I repeatedly asked her to go see her doctor, or to get voluntary inpatient help, and she wouldn't.

    During one of these phone calls (I was at home), she threatened the other employee to me. Since she was being very unpredictable, paranoid, full of rage, and blacking out, I felt it necessary to call my mgr at home and tell her what happened. I was completely honest and told her that I mentioned not to tell the other employee personal stuff earlier that week (prior to the psychosis). I felt (and still feel) mortified that in doing this, I had potentially placed someone else in danger. I am very upset with myself for this.

    My friend found out that I reported her, and that I took part in her MIW report. I am now the focus of her rage and irrationality. I had to turn my cell off, and asked her not to call me anymore while she was in this frame of mind. She continued to call me from different numbers to continue cursing at me, threatening me, and blaming me. Her last call to me was actually from the emergency psych facility after she had been picked up. I had to hang up on her, and call the facility to request that they not allow her to make phone calls to me.

    So, because of all this I got sent to HR, and got counseled on the occurrence. The friend will be allowed to keep her job (with no points against her), and nothing at all for the mgr either. I am the only one who gets in trouble here. they kept telling me that it wasn't my fault, and that they aren't kicking me while I'm down, but I can't help but feel that way to a certain degree. I have been extremely depressed over this whole thing, and apparently that's noticeable, because they also mandated me to go to a counselor for depression (I have an appt in a couple hours, actually).

    Believe me- I have learned a valuable lesson here. Never again will I mention something like this to someone. I have made myself sick to death over the whole situation, and feel awful. I have lost a sense of professional integrity, my best friend, and almost my job over this. I have already transferred to another unit, back at the bedside, and will start there in a couple weeks. Now this new mgr will see this very serious mark on my record.

    What I can't understand is why does she get her job back after threatening someone (now I have to work with someone who has threatened me as well), and why does the mgr not get points as well for bringing me into this situation in the first place? I definitely think I should be punished for what I did- I just think the punishment is too harsh. The bad thing is that if I had kept my mouth shut and not done the ethical thing, I wouldn't have an occurrence on my record. And if I had lied to the friend when confronted, I wouldn't be the focus of her rage right now. Honesty is very important to me as a core value. Now I am questioning myself on this...not good.

    Please give your opinions freely (but kindly, please)- maybe I'm wrong? I'm questioning all my own opinions right now, so some honest advice might offer me some much needed clarity.

    Last edit by BBFRN on Jan 20, '07
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    About BBFRN

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 8,317; Likes: 6,285
    Nursing Faculty; from US
    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research


  3. by   erroridiot
    You may need to consult with an attorney.

    Have you considered a personal protection order to protect yourself from this person?

    Are you aware of the stalking laws in your state? Some laws provide workplace protection for you.

    Be careful.

    Life is not fair.
  4. by   caliotter3
    I think after reading your entire post, that this is a case of darned if you do, darned if you don't. You had no premonition that any of this would occur. It has only served to make your existence very uncomfortable. I would be very cautious. It stands to reason that you can no longer trust this mgr, and you should distance yourself from the friend, even though she is ill. You did a commendable thing to help her get a job. Not many people do that for anyone in these days. In the future, think twice before acting as a reference for anyone. And as it goes for the manager, remember what a supervisor told me when she was trying to tell me point blank that I was in the line of fire: trust no one. If this maxim holds truth anywhere, it is true in the workplace. And if I were you, I would seriously consider another job, if only part time or on call for hrs you are not scheduled. This will stay with you and now you never can feel secure. Good luck.
  5. by   gitterbug
    No good deed goes unpunished and you are certainly getting your spoonful. I agree that this is an unequal amount of punishment for you and the mgr and so called friend need a dose too.
    1. Change your home phone number, use cell phone for work only.
    2. Get a protective order against so called friend.
    3. Start looking for a new job, who needs to be working at a facility that
    has a person with a known grudge against you working there.
    4. Get some stress counselling.
    5. Pray for a positive outcome for everyone involved.
  6. by   tencat
    I would distance myself from this 'friend' ASAP. I know she's ill, but you don't need her to take you down with her, either with respect to your job or your safety.
  7. by   RNOTODAY
    I dont understand what you did wrong... I am tired, but re-read it twice, and cant understand what you are being disciplined for?
  8. by   grandee3
    If this person is a nurse, how did she get into nursing school?
  9. by   mom2michael
    I'm confused, what exactly did you do that got HR involved and got you in trouble? I've read it several times and I'm still confused as to what exactly you did.
  10. by   Simplepleasures
    HR is probably not terminating her at this time because she has a mental illness that is covered as a disability under the ADA, BUT they are also putting themselves at legal risk and their patients and staff at personal risk by keeping her on as an employee. I bet they are going to have her bring in documentation by her treating MDs, Phsyciatrists, etc. before allowing her to come back to work.Why they are disciplinining you, I dont know either, unless you violated some privacy type rule at work.Good luck, sounds like you are caught between a rock and a hard place, wouldnt hurt to get a consultation with an employment attorney.
  11. by   Batman24
    I hope your friend gets the help that she needs. I also don't understand why you are in trouble. I honestly don't see what you did wrong. You told your manager she could potentially be in danger which sounded like the right thing to do.

    I wouldn't sign anything that I didn't understand or agree with. Ever.
  12. by   Batman24
    I agree that looking for a new job ASAP is a good idea. It doesn't sound like you should stay at this place a minute longer than necessary.
  13. by   wildmountainchild
    I don't think we're getting the whole story here. As far as I can tell you didn't do anything wrong. Are they punishing you for hiring her in the first place?

    If there isn't anything esle to add I would get an attorney and fight the reprimand. Don't go down w/o a fight. However if you really feel you deserve some punishment but are upset b/c others didn't recieve any...you just have to let that go. As someone else posted...life isn't fair.
    Save yourself time and emotional wear and tear by forgiving if not forgetting. Don't hold onto anger, it just makes life harder in the end.

    Good luck.
  14. by   blueheaven
    You need to do some things to protect yourself! Get a protection order. Talk to an employment attorney. Scout about and look for something part time at another facility (get your foot in the door elsewhere). Just by reading your post, I cannot see why you got in trouble but do what you need to do to protect yourself both personally and professionally. If I was the manager and someone called to warn me about a potentially dangerous employee...I would be thankful...not writing them up!