I got a counseling letter because I refused to help another staff member with her personal problems?

Updated | Posted
by DK123 Member Nurse

Specializes in ACE.

nurse-doesnt-want-to-hear-coworkers-problem.jpg.68e95def9072102359dab2e3bc04323a.jpg

Basically my shift had ended at 5pm and I was ready to go home. Awkwardly a staff member who is also a Nurse was in the elevator with me she was going on her break. Greeted her and then she began sobbing, and I really was trying to avoid this situation. She began telling me how she is a single mother of 2, and that she had recently gone through a divorce 2 months ago and she didn't know what to do. I'm a very confidential person, I don't like gossip and such. I told her I was sorry she was going through this situation, but I told her to stop telling me more information, and divulging myself into her personal life. I said sorry I do not want to get involved, its not my business. She kept asking me for advice, I said look it has nothing to do with me please stop asking, and I referred her to our facilities Director of care and social worker. The next day I was called into the Directors office and that Nurse had reported me to what I said to her and they made a case that I was bullying her?

Nothing wrong with what I did, I don't put my problems at work. The boss said well you are a Nurse and you should figure out how to help someone. I told them...

1) my shift was over.
2) It had nothing to do with me in the first place.

None of this was in the job description when I applied. I of course did not sign the letter and will fight it, I did not feel like I was bullying her.

macawake, MSN

Has 14 years experience. 2,078 Posts

On 12/5/2021 at 5:44 AM, DK123 said:

Awkwardly a staff member who is also a Nurse was in the elevator with me she was going on her break. Greeted her and then she began sobbing, and I really was trying to avoid this situation. She began telling me how she is a single mother of 2, and that she had recently gone through a divorce 2 months ago and she didn't know what to do. I'm a very confidential person, I don't like gossip and such. I told her I was sorry she was going through this situation, but I told her to stop telling me more information, and divulging myself into her personal life. I said sorry I do not want to get involved, its not my business. She kept asking me for advice, I said look it has nothing to do with me please stop asking, and I referred her to our facilities Director of care and social worker.

Honestly DK123, judging by this and previous threads you’ve started you do seem to be the center of an inordinate amount of drama involving social interactions with your coworkers. 

You can be a confidential person and not like gossip and still be supportive of a coworker in need. I am quite private about my personal life, but I never felt that made it impossible to lend an ear when people need to talk and feel supported and listened to. 

Do you think that blurting out all your angst in an elevator to a coworker that you don’t even have a friendly relationship with (from your post I’m assuming you don’t), indicates a person being in a stable and rational frame of mind? From how you describe yourself, you don’t sound like the kind of person who really invites confidences so I’m thinking that your coworker picked you simply because you happened to be there, at the precise moment her feelings became too much for her to hold in. 

You didn’t have to invite her and her kids to live at your home for the next five years, but couldn’t you have spent ten minutes of your time with her to empathize and try to assess the depth of her emotional crisis?

I really do understand and empathize with feeling tired after a long shift and wanting nothing more than to go home, but not to the point of not taking the time to listen to a coworker who seems to be at the end of her rope. 

On 12/5/2021 at 5:44 AM, DK123 said:

The next day I was called into the Directors office and that Nurse had reported me to what I said to her and they made a case that I was bullying her?

Nothing wrong with what I did, I don't put my problems at work. The boss said well you are a Nurse and you should figure out how to help someone. I told them 1. my shift was over. 2. It had nothing to do with me in the first place. None of this was in the job description when I applied. I of course did not sign the letter and will fight it, I did not feel like I was bullying her.

I find it strange that your Director would label this bullying. You weren’t being a bully. From what you describe, it sounds like you were being dismissive and unsupportive. Honestly the whole story sounds a bit off. The conversation you described with your coworker sounds quite long for something taking place during an elevator ride. 

As I started off by saying, these type of conflicts appear to happen quite often with you. If we’re to believe that they’ve all actually occurred, why do you think they keep happening to you?  It’s almost as if you’re making an effort to be the squeaky wheel in the social arena. I wouldn’t write a response like this one if this was the only thread of this kind you’d posted, but your threads form a pattern. 

Do you want to keep experiencing this type of drama and potential disciplinary action, then you should probably continue to interact the way you do. However, if you want your sailing to be a bit less rough, there are some ”softer” skills you need to start working on. Being successful in the workplace doesn’t only require being proficient in doing the practical components that are in the job description. You also need to get along with people, or at the very least not alienate them.

It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to voluntarily complicate your life like you seem to be doing. The ten or fifteen minutes you saved by not hearing your coworker out, you now have to spend in the Director’s office and on here lamenting about the incidence in this thread. 

I already mentioned that I share some traits with you, like being a private person. I also loathe drama. I personally think that a good way to avoid drama is to not keep drawing attention to oneself by behaving in a generally contrarian manner and being labeled ”difficult”.  Just my 0.02 for whatever they’re worth. 

Good luck!

Mywords1

Specializes in nursing ethics. 1 Article; 159 Posts

There is more to this incident.   Obvious that this is not bullying  and the crier has  audacity reporting the op. Strange. OP has no obligation to help the nurse especially off work. It is nice yes. Some people cannot listen well and though well meaning say wrong unhelpful comments or cliches. I know people who do that all the time.  An odd conversation for elevators. Next time Op use a kind voice to back off after a few minutes. The tone of voice is important

DK123

Specializes in ACE. 148 Posts

On 12/5/2021 at 6:31 AM, macawake said:

Honestly DK123, judging by this and previous threads you’ve started you do seem to be the center of an inordinate amount of drama involving social interactions with your coworkers. 

You can be a confidential person and not like gossip and still be supportive of a coworker in need. I am quite private about my personal life, but I never felt that made it impossible to lend an ear when people need to talk and feel supported and listened to. 

Do you think that blurting out all your angst in an elevator to a coworker that you don’t even have a friendly relationship with (from your post I’m assuming you don’t), indicates a person being in a stable and rational frame of mind? From how you describe yourself, you don’t sound like the kind of person who really invites confidences so I’m thinking that your coworker picked you simply because you happened to be there, at the precise moment her feelings became too much for her to hold in. 

You didn’t have to invite her and her kids to live at your home for the next five years, but couldn’t you have spent ten minutes of your time with her to empathize and try to assess the depth of her emotional crisis?

I really do understand and empathize with feeling tired after a long shift and wanting nothing more than to go home, but not to the point of not taking the time to listen to a coworker who seems to be at the end of her rope. 

I find it strange that your Director would label this bullying. You weren’t being a bully. From what you describe, it sounds like you were being dismissive and unsupportive. Honestly the whole story sounds a bit off. The conversation you described with your coworker sounds quite long for something taking place during an elavator ride. 

As I started off by saying, these type of conflicts appear to happen quite often with you. If we’re to believe that they’ve all actually occurred, why do you think they keep happening to you?  It’s almost as if you’re making an effort to be the squeaky wheel in the social arena. I wouldn’t write a response like this one if this was the only thread of this kind you’d posted, but your threads form a pattern. 

Do you want to keep experiencing this type of drama and potential disciplinary action, then you should probably continue to interact the way you do. However, if you want your sailing to be a bit less rough, there are some ”softer” skills you need to start working on. Being successful in the workplace doesn’t only require being proficient in doing the practical components that are in the job description. You also need to get along with people, or at the very least not alienate them.

It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to voluntarily complicate your life like you seem to be doing. The ten or fifteen minutes you saved by not hearing your coworker out, you now have to spend in the Director’s office and on here lamenting about the incidence in this thread. 

I already mentioned that I share some traits with you, like being a private person. I also loathe drama. I personally think that a good way to avoid drama is to not keep drawing attention to oneself by behaving in a generally contrarian manner and being labeled ”difficult”.  Just my 0.02 for whatever they’re worth. 

Good luck!

Spend 10 minutes of my life? Absolutely not. There are things I should know, but there are definitely things that I don't need to know and don't need to put my nose in. I didn't want her bad mouthing her ex, or saying something about her kids. Again why spend 15 minutes, if it has nothing to do with me? Its none of my business, and it has nothing to do with patient care.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,610 Posts

14 minutes ago, DK123 said:

Spend 10 minutes of my life? Absolutely not. There are things I should know, but there are definitely things that I don't need to know and don't need to put my nose in. I didn't want her bad mouthing her ex, or saying something about her kids. Again why spend 15 minutes, if it has nothing to do with me? Its none of my business, and it has nothing to do with patient care.

All true. That's one of the reasons that it would be interesting to see a playback of the interaction and see the whole story. There are probably a thousand ways of ending an interaction like that without ending up being accused of bullying.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,860 Posts

I have noticed that you are socially awkward by threads you posted. Maybe you can read some books to help you avoid offending people. Yes it's ridiculous at this emotionally unstable sounding woman reported you. But, this isn't the first time for you, there's definitely a pattern here.

macawake, MSN

Has 14 years experience. 2,078 Posts

1 hour ago, DK123 said:

Spend 10 minutes of my life? Absolutely not.

Well, you do you. I reckon we’ll just keep seeing a new thread every couple of weeks about some friction you have in your place of work. 

It doesn’t affect my life whether you get on with your coworkers or not or whether you face disciplinary action on a regular basis. It only affects yours. Only you can decide if anything needs to change or if you’re happy with the status quo. Only you can analyze why interactions with coworkers and also managers if I recall some of your previous threads correctly, often turn into drama. 
 

Again, good luck!

chare

3,225 Posts

40 minutes ago, macawake said:
2 hours ago, DK123 said:

Spend 10 minutes of my life? Absolutely not.

Well, you do you. I reckon we’ll just keep seeing a new thread every couple of weeks about some friction you have in your place of work. 

Until they decide that he's not a fully invested member of the team, and is no longer worth keeping round.

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC. 7,495 Posts

^^^ This and can be terminated any reason (assuming you're in one of those many states).

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,457 Posts

There are things called verbal listening and rote responses that work rather well with most and require very little energy. It's a form of positive manipulation.

"I am so sorry for your pain and truly empathize with your situation."

"As far as advice, when we seriously seek, we realize we are our own best counsel and therein lie the answers."

Most people just want to know they've been heard, their feelings acknowledged, and that someone somewhere knows how to TBC.

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC. 7,495 Posts

DD - what 'TBC'?

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,457 Posts

9 minutes ago, amoLucia said:

DD - what 'TBC'?

"Typo By Clandestine"