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

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by Convoy2022_TrumpSupporter Convoy2022_TrumpSupporter Member Nurse

Specializes in ACE.

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Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

OK - but I still don't get it.

Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 9,844 Posts

4 minutes ago, amoLucia said:

OK - but I still don't get it.

Take my hand, amoLucia, and I will guide you through the mazes of my mind where monumental mistakes are made:

I meant to type TBC, a hit record by BTO, or the name of Elvis' band, Taking Care of Business. 


6,189 Posts

5 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

There are probably a thousand ways of ending an interaction like that without ending up being accused of bullying.

Yes. Although...that still doesn't mean (what I would consider) bullying occurred.

I don't mean to gender stereotype but I think this is an awkward situation, assuming best case scenario, right at the outset, before the OP did a single thing. What actually is a random guy in an elevator supposed to do with a sobbing woman? Know the perfect words? Maybe, but many people (especially men, maybe?...sorry...) are not great at this. Touching the person (a light hug, a hand on arm or shoulder or any other sort of physical soothing) doesn't seem appropriate, although it is something women would get away with, generally speaking, without people giving it a second thought--it's another tool in our bag that doesn't instantly become inappropriate as it may for a man.

I'm okay if my opinion isn't a popular one, but this person basically reported the OP because she didn't like his response to her significantly awkward personal outburst. To that I say, "the nerve...." It is manipulative and it begs the possibility that the original situation itself was manipulative. She had options, too, like at any point saying, "It's okay, I just needed to get it off my chest while I'm on break...."

But back to what Jednurse said above--this is true.  "I'm sorry you are going through a rough time...I hope things get better for you soon." [Ding! - door opens--get off elevator.]

Edited by JKL33

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 4 Articles; 4,407 Posts

I may be way off base here but the OP's description of what happened and review of past post about awkward interactions is leading my mind in a different direction.

To get an idea of where I am headed I have to let you know that my own husband suffers from much the same awkwardness. The reason for this is that he in on the autistic spectrum. I hear many similar stories from him about uncomfortable interactions socially and at work. He has worked very hard to overcome much of this and for a while suffered feelings of shame as he thought it was a mental illness. It is not though, it is a pervasive development disorder for which there is no treatment or cure. Still he functions well enough by faking many of the expected humane interactions. In a sense he is kind of like Dexter but not a serial killer. 

ASD is more common in some population groups and in men in particular and while there is no cure much can be achieved with cognative behavioral therapy.

As I said I may be way off base here and if I am I apologize.


Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 29 years experience. 2 Articles; 3,962 Posts

I think Hppy might be on to something ?

Lynker, LPN

Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 3 years experience. 229 Posts

I get you want to keep your business away from other staff, but really? You couldn't give her a few minutes of your time?

No offense, but I would not want a nurse like you taking care of me, man to man. I can't imagine being so rigid and uncaring.

Guess we're just two different types of people.


4,795 Posts

I'm siding with the OP on this one (sorry MacAwake I usually agree with you). The fact that he's a guy alone in an elevator with a woman complicates things further. This could have gone sideways really quickly plus I'm kinda suspicious of the woman's intent. I mean, come one, what kind of person spills their guts to a relative stranger like this then runs to the manager when she doesn't get the TLC she felt she deserved? This has wackadoo written all over it. Sure, the OP probably could have worded it better but I think no matter what he said it would have ended the same. The write up for "bullying" is egregious. 

To the OP, the reason they gave you a formal write-up is because they are creating a "paper trail" (arguably a very weak one). I'm sure your nursing skills are just fine but you apparently have an issue with your people skills. Some of us are just not great at them and have to really work hard to improve. Others have diagnosable conditions such as autism that make interpersonal relationships a challenge. In the end it seems that your manager and your co-workers don't like you very much and your manager is trying to find a way to get rid of you. If they can't find fault with your nursing they will find fault with your personality and that seems to be what they are doing. My best advice to you is to update your resume and start looking for a new job. They are paving the path towards firing you. Best to get out before that happens. 


Specializes in New NP Hospitalist, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,108 Posts

I don't think the OP did anything wrong based on the recount of the situation.

I do find it a little ironic though, that OP doesn't want to get involved with a situation that's "none of my business", but then asks others for advice and feedback when, of course, it's none of our business. I realize the main difference is that we come here with the intent of supporting other nurses. 

Clearly the other nurse in this situation is not the picture of emotional stability. Picking a random coworker in an elevator and expecting them to take on this situation indicates that she does need help, but not the type given by a random stranger. DK123 I hope that this passes without any additional problems for you, while it's possible that maybe your approach could have appeared more sympathetic to the woman in the elevator, this doesn't appear to be anything close to bullying.  

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 10,922 Posts

Several off topic posts have been removed from view. Please stick to the topic as shared in the original post and not make comments about a member. 

2BS Nurse, BSN

Has 9 years experience. 645 Posts

Just chalk it up to a learning experience. As Davy Do typed above, have some empathetic responses ready if you encounter this situation again. You can always politely say "I'm really sorry for what your going through, but I need to get home to my family now". 



Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

One TV crime show I always watch has a freq repeated line, "YOU WEREN'T THERE!".  I wasn't there nor were these other responding posters. So I guess the full scenario isn't known.

I do think there might be some import to Wuzzie's post re 'paper trail'.


CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 785 Posts

The observation that this was a really long elevator ride is spot-on.  From the time an elevator goes from the tenth floor to the ground level, you basically just have time to say "Oh dear, I am so sorry you are going through all that," and then the doors open and you escape.  Something much more elaborate went on here-- and I, for one, rather enjoy gossip (especially among internet strangers) so I'd LOVE to know what exactly happened.