What to do?? A whole BOX of crazy!!!

  1. Hey there! I'm reaching out to my fellow nurses for some much needed advise, and appreciate any and all responses. Sorry for the long post, there's a whole box of crazy about to open!!

    I've been with my current employer for a little over a year as a "direct support staff worker". My boss is very intimidating and since it's basically private duty, I feel like I have nobody I can report to over my boss's head. When I first found this job, I was very thankful. It paid better than the office jobs I held and my boss seemed happy to work around my nursing school schedule. Even though I was sexually harassed by my client at times, I took it in stride and justified it by reminding myself of their developmental issues. I work with a non-verbal teen male with severe Downs Syndrome. There were many times I thought about leaving and discussed it with loved ones, but stayed because I didn't want to put financial strain on my spouse (times have changed and my spouse has now found a different job that pays almost 3X more than when I began).

    I've made note of the following things below:

    -Before I started my last semester of my LPN year (this past summer), my boss told me if I couldn't be available for the hours I wasn't hired for (mon-thurs) then she would need to "rethink my position there". My boss was intimidating the hell out of me, and her eyes got beady and small and at that moment I knew what it was like to see crazy in someone's eyes. I stood up for myself and told her I was not hired for those days unless it was school break and she went as far as to pull up my buried application only to confirm what we already knew. She was trying to intimidate me and this one time it didn't work, but opened up a new perspective for me and showed me her crazy. Also this made me realize that she can't keep workers..hmm..wonder why.

    -She keeps all employees at the same rate; new and old employees..all three of us.

    -I was advised I'd be getting a raise to $16.25. However, when she had me sign my rate forms, she stated "I wanted to keep it an even number" while pointing her finger at $16. I received a whopping 8 cent raise after a year of being there. My year anniversary wasn't even acknowledged.

    -Last year about two weeks before Christmas, I was told that "the company" would no longer be giving out bonuses; even though my hiring paperwork said there was $600 allocated to bonuses for employees each year. I was the only employee working there at the time and relied on this for my family. Many people who know this story believe she has funneled the money to herself, as she is the client's "support broker" and also the client's mother.

    -I was told that when I pass the NCLEX-RN I would have a position offered to me of delegating nurse and be bumped to $50/hr plus mileage. I've seen the invoices for their delegating nurses, and they make less than that..a lot less..about $29/hr less.

    -My boss moves my hours from one pay period to the next if I go over 40 hours (usually during school breaks) so she doesn't have to pay overtime.

    and this is what really brought me to make this post...
    -My boss refuses to change my position to LPN, or nurse (and maybe even bump my pay), yet expects me to provide medications and possibly injections to the client. It is not within my job duties as a support worker to provide any medications, and I feel pushed into it. I feel like my boss manipulates me quite frequently, and have gotten the feeling lately from her that she feels a bit entitled in every aspect of her life.

    The way my mom explained it to me would be if a nurse went to school to be a teacher, and all of a sudden they wanted her to be the school nurse..even though she's now just the teacher.

    It's been over a year now working for her and her son, and I've been fortunate to sit for my boards and pass the NCLEX-LPN exam. While my classmates are all getting 'real' nursing jobs, I feel slighted because I'm terrified that this woman will cause troubles for me if she knows I want to leave.

    Even more, I'm afraid that if I take on a new job as an LPN at a new company that I may not be able to give it my full dedication because I have two more semesters until I get my ADN-RN. Many of my classmates told me that you have to orient on day shift (even though I'd be seeking fri-sat-sun only, or 11-7 weeknights) and I don't want to miss school. My earliest class is at 3p. I have been applying in hopes that I can find somewhere that will just work with me, but I'm so nervous. I feel robbed at this point, financially and from something worth even more than money- experience.

    I look forward to responses, and once again thank you for reading!
    Last edit by prettywishes on Sep 20
  2. Visit prettywishes profile page

    About prettywishes, LPN

    Joined: Jul '17; Posts: 20; Likes: 29

    27 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from prettywishes
    Hey there! I'm reaching out to my fellow nurses for some much needed advise, and appreciate any and all responses. Sorry for the long post, there's a whole box of crazy about to open!!

    I've been with my current employer for a little over a year as a "direct support staff worker". My boss is very intimidating and since it's basically private duty, I feel like I have nobody I can report to over my boss's head. When I first found this job, I was very thankful. It paid better than the office jobs I held and my boss seemed happy to work around my nursing school schedule. Even though I was sexually harassed by my client at times, I took it in stride and justified it by reminding myself of their developmental issues. I work with a non-verbal teen male with severe Downs Syndrome. There were many times I thought about leaving and discussed it with loved ones, but stayed because I didn't want to put financial strain on my spouse (times have changed and my spouse has now found a different job that pays almost 3X more than when I began).

    I've made note of the following things below:

    -Before I started my last semester of my LPN year (this past summer), my boss told me if I couldn't be available for the hours I wasn't hired for (mon-thurs) then she would need to "rethink my position there". My boss was intimidating the hell out of me, and her eyes got beady and small and at that moment I knew what it was like to see crazy in someone's eyes. I stood up for myself and told her I was not hired for those days unless it was school break and she went as far as to pull up my buried application only to confirm what we already knew. She was trying to intimidate me and this one time it didn't work, but opened up a new perspective for me and showed me her crazy. Also this made me realize that she can't keep workers..hmm..wonder why.

    -She keeps all employees at the same rate; new and old employees..all three of us.

    -I was advised I'd be getting a raise to $16.25. However, when she had me sign my rate forms, she stated "I wanted to keep it an even number" while pointing her finger at $16. I received a whopping 8 cent raise after a year of being there. My year anniversary wasn't even acknowledged.

    -Last year about two weeks before Christmas, I was told that "the company" would no longer be giving out bonuses; even though my hiring paperwork said there was $600 allocated to bonuses for employees each year. I was the only employee working there at the time and relied on this for my family. Many people who know this story believe she has funneled the money to herself, as she is the client's "support broker" and also the client's mother.

    -I was told that when I pass the NCLEX-RN I would have a position offered to me of delegating nurse and be bumped to $50/hr plus mileage. I've seen the invoices for their delegating nurses, and they make less than that..a lot less..about $29/hr less.

    -My boss moves my hours from one pay period to the next if I go over 40 hours (usually during school breaks) so she doesn't have to pay overtime.

    and this is what really brought me to make this post...
    -My boss refuses to change my position to LPN, or nurse (and maybe even bump my pay), yet expects me to provide medications and possibly injections to the client. It is not within my job duties as a support worker to provide any medications, and I feel pushed into it. I feel like my boss manipulates me quite frequently, and have gotten the feeling lately from her that she feels a bit entitled in every aspect of her life.

    The way my mom explained it to me would be if a nurse went to school to be a teacher, and all of a sudden they wanted her to be the school nurse..even though she's now just the teacher.

    It's been over a year now working for her and her son, and I've been fortunate to sit for my boards and pass the NCLEX-LPN exam. While my classmates are all getting 'real' nursing jobs, I feel slighted because I'm terrified that this woman will cause troubles for me if she knows I want to leave.

    Even more, I'm afraid that if I take on a new job as an LPN at a new company that I may not be able to give it my full dedication because I have two more semesters until I get my ADN-RN. Many of my classmates told me that you have to orient on day shift (even though I'd be seeking fri-sat-sun only, or 11-7 weeknights) and I don't want to miss school. My earliest class is at 3p. I have been applying in hopes that I can find somewhere that will just work with me, but I'm so nervous. I feel robbed at this point, financially and from something worth even more than money- experience.

    I look forward to responses, and once again thank you for reading!
    Well, you stay or you go. They're your circumstances and it's your choice.
    I have seen someone keep track of all the overtime hours they weren't paid for, then complain to the labor board when they quit. That resulted in a good amount of back pay and a fine for the employer.
  4. by   Rebekulous
    I would say report her, and get out of there. Some of the stuff she is doing is against the law.

    Where are your friends applying? Could you use those connections to get an LPN job that will work with your schedule?
  5. by   prettywishes
    Quote from Rebekulous
    I would say report her, and get out of there. Some of the stuff she is doing is against the law.

    Where are your friends applying? Could you use those connections to get an LPN job that will work with your schedule?
    I did call the labor board today and spoke with this very nice lady who is looking into what I can do. She said she has to research it more since I don't want to file a formal complaint yet and requested I call her back within the next few days.

    I'm talking to a few classmates to find out the best places to go. I've applied at a few places and I'm hoping I can find a place that will work with me and my hours for school/clinical.

    She's pretty sneaky and seems to cover all her bases. She's a support broker and has her hand in every pot it seems. I have been paid for the hours I've worked over 40, just at regular rates and not the correct pay periods which doesn't really matter, it's still against the law.

    I do feel like I need to leave before it gets uglier than it already is, and would like to get a reference although I'm sure she wont give me one. I even told her when I decide to move on to an actual nursing job I'd give her a month notice and help train another worker but now I feel like that's too much and I should just do the average 2 weeks and call it a day..I know she's going to make things very hard on me.
    Last edit by prettywishes on Sep 20 : Reason: added a sentence
  6. by   Sour Lemon
    I think you're assuming she has a lot more power than she actually does.
  7. by   beekee
    You are going to need to learn to stand up for yourself. You might as well start now.
  8. by   psu_213
    Quote from prettywishes
    She's a support broker
    Is this an actual position/title or a euphemism for something else? Not asking to be an SA, just never heard it before.
  9. by   CharleeFoxtrot
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    I think you're assuming she has a lot more power than she actually does.
    Perhaps the OP is referring to her Iex) employer causing issues with her job references. Regardless, OP you can't let people live in your head rent free so if your finances allow I would very politely and citing school pressures put in my notice and quit.
  10. by   cleback
    Yeah, I wouldn't trust her. Just put your notice in. Tell her whatever you need to but you don't owe her an explanation. Weekend positions are actually pretty easy to find in nursing homes, at least in my area.
  11. by   JKL33
    I don't waste any time with people like this; I consider them unstable and dangerous. I would cut my losses and sever this relationship ASAP. Tender a professionally-worded resignation and go on about your life.
  12. by   cleback
    Oh I would add that while looking for another job, you can ask that they not contact your current employer right away and then bring your most recent evaluation to the interview. That may help.
  13. by   prettywishes
    Quote from psu_213
    Is this an actual position/title or a euphemism for something else? Not asking to be an SA, just never heard it before.
    Hi! Yes, this is an actual position. She handles the budgets/hiring/firing/training/ect for families on a self-directed waiver for disabled individuals through state funding.
  14. by   prettywishes
    Quote from cleback
    Oh I would add that while looking for another job, you can ask that they not contact your current employer right away and then bring your most recent evaluation to the interview. That may help.
    Thanks for the advice! I spoke to the DON of a company I'm interested in today and she sounded very enthusiastic about taking me in as a new grad to mold me as a new nurse. I'm going to go in tomorrow to fill out an application and see if she's available to speak with. I'm very excited! If I do get interviewed I'll request they contact her after they've made their decision.

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