How To Deal With Nasty Coworkers: Do you have any experiences?

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workplace-bullying-nurse-hospital.jpg.69cfbc820ea643a7612286a58ff8d62f.jpg

The nurse working on the other side just doesn't like me. Yesterday and today she is like bossing me around telling me to feed my resident I told her I will when I finish my job, then she's like empty your cart and don't do that with it, or document this etc... but that is her attitude towards everyone.

Today she was real pissed. At the start of the pandemic I got temp full time with benefits. She got it too but she wanted the benefits but just part time and she will just pick up shifts as she does not want to work too much. The last few months we have had many outbreaks, so lots of overtime was available. The staffing clerks always asked me and I always said yes, I am under the impression that they will ask the staff who says yes all the time, and that no matter seniority as long as the shift is covered its fine. This nurse, today she came up to me and said "look, why are you hogging all the shifts? I've been here since you were in nursing school. You get offered all the overtime and what about me? I'm "on call" and should only pick up shifts"? I have more seniority than you. I'm going to report you to the union. This is unacceptable. They were always giving you the shifts and I never said anything, now I am speaking up". she'd also say "oh they booked me as an extra person. why am I extra? you should be the extra you have less seniority than me". I feel guilty, but I did nothing wrong here. I didn't like the way she approached it especially at the nursing station right after we got report. this person has a history of being confrontational with staff. She said she will fix it, we will still both get our 80 hours in 2 weeks, I just didn't like the way it was done. Very aggressive.

Is this somewhat bullying/harassment? whether she's in the right I don't think she approached it properly. I have no enemies at work or anything like that.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 4,674 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 21 years experience.

The interaction was not appropriate in the nurses station. When the threat of calling the unit came up I would have politely said we can call them right now if you like! or let's get the manager in here so we can discuss this in a more appropriate way. Since it appears from the previous posts that you manager may not have your back you need to get out in front of this and be proactive. It would be beneficial to all involved parties to have a union rep present as well. Do you have Shop Steward at your facility?

As for your observation that the people who say yes the most seem to get more shifts. This is very true where I work. They will call a number of people and the one's who say yes seem to get called again. May it's because they don't want to get a bunch of no answers. I will say yes as there is usually some incentive attached. 

Back to your dilemma - be proactive. don't let this fester in your mind. 

Hppy

JKL33

6,461 Posts

I think your response from the other scenario would be great here!

"Please leave me out of this, I don't want to hear about your personal problems. Go talk to someone who cares. BYE."

Specializes in ACE.
1 hour ago, hppygr8ful said:

The interaction was not appropriate in the nurses station. When the threat of calling the unit came up I would have politely said we can call them right now if you like! or let's get the manager in here so we can discuss this in a more appropriate way. Since it appears from the previous posts that you manager may not have your back you need to get out in front of this and be proactive. It would be beneficial to all involved parties to have a union rep present as well. Do you have Shop Steward at your facility?

As for your observation that the people who say yes the most seem to get more shifts. This is very true where I work. They will call a number of people and the one's who say yes seem to get called again. May it's because they don't want to get a bunch of no answers. I will say yes as there is usually some incentive attached. 

Back to your dilemma - be proactive. don't let this fester in your mind. 

Hppy

Absolutely. We do have a union leader. They will most certainly ask staff who say yes, they do not have time for seniority or stuff like that. I just feel anxious about this. Might want to get a prescription for Nortriptyline. 

Guest 1152923

301 Posts

     I learned long ago that some people are just plain crazy.  The more you argue, explain, or rationalize, the angrier and more inflammed they become.  I've found over the years that it's best not to challenge these types or feed into their delusions.  I would just nod or say something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way"... and walk away!

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 4,674 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 21 years experience.
5 hours ago, DK123 said:

Absolutely. We do have a union leader. They will most certainly ask staff who say yes, they do not have time for seniority or stuff like that. I just feel anxious about this. Might want to get a prescription for Nortriptyline. 

I don’t like Northrip for anxiety

Specializes in ACE.
9 hours ago, morelostthanfound said:

     I learned long ago that some people are just plain crazy.  The more you argue, explain, or rationalize, the angrier and more inflammed they become.  I've found over the years that it's best not to challenge these types or feed into their delusions.  I would just nod or say something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way"... and walk away!

Agree. I just felt attacked I did nothing wrong here.

On 12/12/2021 at 11:52 PM, DK123 said:

workplace-bullying-nurse-hospital.jpg.69cfbc820ea643a7612286a58ff8d62f.jpg

The nurse working on the other side just doesn't like me. Yesterday and today she is like bossing me around telling me to feed my resident I told her I will when I finish my job, then she's like empty your cart and don't do that with it, or document this etc... but that is her attitude towards everyone.

Today she was real pissed. At the start of the pandemic I got temp full time with benefits. She got it too but she wanted the benefits but just part time and she will just pick up shifts as she does not want to work too much. The last few months we have had many outbreaks, so lots of overtime was available. The staffing clerks always asked me and I always said yes, I am under the impression that they will ask the staff who says yes all the time, and that no matter seniority as long as the shift is covered its fine. This nurse, today she came up to me and said "look, why are you hogging all the shifts? I've been here since you were in nursing school. You get offered all the overtime and what about me? I'm "on call" and should only pick up shifts"? I have more seniority than you. I'm going to report you to the union. This is unacceptable. They were always giving you the shifts and I never said anything, now I am speaking up". she'd also say "oh they booked me as an extra person. why am I extra? you should be the extra you have less seniority than me". I feel guilty, but I did nothing wrong here. I didn't like the way she approached it especially at the nursing station right after we got report. this person has a history of being confrontational with staff. She said she will fix it, we will still both get our 80 hours in 2 weeks, I just didn't like the way it was done. Very aggressive.

Is this somewhat bullying/harassment? whether she's in the right I don't think she approached it properly. I have no enemies at work or anything like that.

She sounds nuts.

Not bullying, just she is nuts.

Avoid her as much as possible.  Say as little as possible.

DKL 123, what's with the "prescribing"?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specializes in OMFS, Dentistry. Has 5 years experience.
On 12/13/2021 at 3:04 PM, morelostthanfound said:

     I learned long ago that some people are just plain crazy.  The more you argue, explain, or rationalize, the angrier and more inflammed they become.  I've found over the years that it's best not to challenge these types or feed into their delusions.  I would just nod or say something like, "I'm sorry you feel that way"... and walk away!

Just have to say… love the name

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,837 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

You getting called is not something YOU did. 

She needs to talk to the union, let them try to straighten her out.

Has 8 years experience.
5 hours ago, canoehead said:

You getting called is not something YOU did. 

She needs to talk to the union, let them try to straighten her out.

Totally agree here.  There should be language in the contract which describes the process and / or order for offering extra shifts... sometimes it's simply top-down, sometimes it's rotational - but there should be a process to avoid situations such as these.  If shifts are not being offered in accordance with the described process, that is not the fault of the person who is being offered those shifts but, rather, more of a failure to enforce the negotiated shift offering process.

On 12/13/2021 at 10:17 AM, DK123 said:

Absolutely. We do have a union leader. They will most certainly ask staff who say yes, they do not have time for seniority or stuff like that. I just feel anxious about this. Might want to get a prescription for Nortriptyline. 

 Not having time for seniority or stuff like that sounds more like an issue of poor representation than anything else.  If a process is described in the contract and it is not being followed (regardless of reason), then she needs to be filing a grievance instead of yelling at you, the person who merely accepted offered shifts.  If there is no description for the process, then it appears there needs to be one.  Either way, her interaction with you was entirely inappropriate, unprofessional, and completely uncalled for.  From the sound of it, though, she is just looking for conflict, as not wanting to work too much kind of suggests that she wants to be offered shifts but is not really likely to accept them when offered:

On 12/13/2021 at 12:52 AM, DK123 said:

workplace-bullying-nurse-hospital.jpg.69cfbc820ea643a7612286a58ff8d62f.jpg

The nurse working on the other side just doesn't like me. Yesterday and today she is like bossing me around telling me to feed my resident I told her I will when I finish my job, then she's like empty your cart and don't do that with it, or document this etc... but that is her attitude towards everyone.

Today she was real pissed. At the start of the pandemic I got temp full time with benefits. She got it too but she wanted the benefits but just part time and she will just pick up shifts as she does not want to work too much. The last few months we have had many outbreaks, so lots of overtime was available. The staffing clerks always asked me and I always said yes, I am under the impression that they will ask the staff who says yes all the time, and that no matter seniority as long as the shift is covered its fine. This nurse, today she came up to me and said "look, why are you hogging all the shifts? I've been here since you were in nursing school. You get offered all the overtime and what about me? I'm "on call" and should only pick up shifts"? I have more seniority than you. I'm going to report you to the union. This is unacceptable. They were always giving you the shifts and I never said anything, now I am speaking up". she'd also say "oh they booked me as an extra person. why am I extra? you should be the extra you have less seniority than me". I feel guilty, but I did nothing wrong here. I didn't like the way she approached it especially at the nursing station right after we got report. this person has a history of being confrontational with staff. She said she will fix it, we will still both get our 80 hours in 2 weeks, I just didn't like the way it was done. Very aggressive.

Is this somewhat bullying/harassment? whether she's in the right I don't think she approached it properly. I have no enemies at work or anything like that.

It also sounds like she doesn't have the best idea of how a union actually works either; she doesn't actually report you as a member to the union, she would technically have to file a grievance against the workplace for failure to follow processes which were negotiated in the contract.

And, yes, her repeated attempts to critique your work and dictate your responsibilities (despite her lack of authority over you) does sound an awful lot like bullying / harassment.  I wouldn't give her the time of day if I were you.  And I certainly wouldn't give her any of the reactions that she's looking for.  I work with some people like this but have never had much of a problem with them, as I can typically spot that type coming from a mile away.  In such cases, I will just radiate a great deal of confidence, put out a non-confrontational vibe that implies that I don't take much b******t, and offer a compliment or kind word every now and then... that usually seems to do the trick.  Bullies are kind of like sharks - they automatically sense any weakness or fear (in nursing, probably best described as lack of confidence)... but they also tend to avoid attacking prey that they believe might be too much work.

Either way, I wish you lots of luck.  Keep your head up and don't let her get to you :)

toomuchbaloney

9,748 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice. Has 44 years experience.
On 12/13/2021 at 8:21 PM, DK123 said:

Agree. I just felt attacked I did nothing wrong here.

You described a scenario that supports your feelings. You also described a nurse who speaks rudely to others in her work place as a habit, and at least for you, that behavior is creating a toxic work environment during an already stressful time.  

Start keeping a little daily log of the inappropriate interactions you experience with her.  It's like a "cover your butt" journal for work related issues and observations that could impact your employment status.  If you notice someone else have an unpleasant interaction make note of their name and a brief description of the events.  It can also be cathartic and help you to keep things in perspective. 

I managed a good sized PICU for a spell and later used my management experience and skill set in other health care settings.  My guess is that management may not have a good understanding of the nature of the behavior that's troubling you.  At some point, they ARE going to become aware.  One of two things will happen then; management will support the inappropriate nurse or they will investigate and remediate.  If they support her you know that you may want to consider a different facility for your work.  If they begin to investigate and remediate you will be able to supply some detail and context.  If she escalates the hostility you will have a history of team work, willingness to work overtime  and a journal of contemporaneous notes which describe a toxic work environment. 

In the meantime, I agree with the advice to essentially ignore her inappropriate conduct with polite acknowledgement...her rude demands met with silence, a "sure thing" or similar kinds of response.  Don't engage her.  You don't have to defend staffing policy, or any policy to her...she can ask management.  How much overtime you work isn't her business to discuss with you.  Shrug and walk away.  Work related nonsense gets deflected to the responsible department or manager.  It won't be fun.  

Good luck