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I think I’ll be fired and I really do need to vent my fears

Posted

Has 3 years experience.

I acted like an immature b today. At work. I’m so ashamed. I actually want to find a new job if I can but I didn’t want to this soon. I’m just afraid of being fired though, if I could leave myself, that would look better to potential employers.

I don’t get along with one nurse and one tech. I lost a lot of weight within a short period of time, and they talk about me behind my back but within earshot or make comments at me, calling me anorexic and bulimic. I asked the nurse not to talk about me, she said OK.

Then today I had a hard blood draw. Two techs couldn’t get it, and I couldn’t get it, everyone was busy and I wanted to do what I thought was right and I called ICU and ask if any nurse is available to try a blood draw. In the past other nurses have called same day surgery or ICU so I figured I was right. One nurse from ICU came over.

The charge nurse on my unit (the nurse who I asked not to talk about me) came over to me and yelled (literally yelled) that just because I have a personal problem with her doesn’t mean I have a right not to tell her an ICU nurse was coming. I didn’t know I was supposed to. She yelled at me in front of my patient who questioned me about why I was in trouble. So when I was done, I went up to her and I DID yell back. Believe me...I know I was wrong. I didn’t think about what to say first I just went and yelled and said I didn’t know and she didn’t believe me still. 

I then whispered “f*** you”. I know. I can only say in my defense that it was 100% uncharacteristic of me and I know I was wrong, immature and not acting like a professional nurse. I can’t beat myself up more than I have. I just reached a point where I was so sick of it. Sick of her comments when I’m ordering take out she’d walk by me and say “why you just throw it up don’t you” and other things like that. I did used to talk about food and weight a lot, I am 24, isn’t that normal? I’m within my normal BMI. It really got to me. That’s no excuse for what I did, I realize that. I’m afraid I’ll be fired since I was reported. I’m expecting to be fired when I show up to work next. I’ve only worked here since August. I’ve never been in trouble before but it only takes one disciplinary problem to be fired. 

So I’m trying to decide what I should do. Should I type up my resignation letter and give it to my manager before I’m fired? 

I’m so mad at myself. Such stupid crap at work when all I wanted to do as a nurse was take care of people and be friendly and helpful to my coworkers.

Thanks for allowing me to vent. I know I’m wrong. I don’t know what to do next though.

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

I can understand being frustrated, as it sounds like you work with some pretty disrespectful coworkers.  However, you are right--there is no excuse for swearing or other unprofessional behavior.  In your case, it might be good to resign before they terminate you.  It sounds like a toxic work environment and you're probably better elsewhere.   

workinmomRN2012, BSN

Has 9 years experience.

I've always been told, "you teach people how to treat you". Sounds like you were sticking up for yourself and teaching her that she cannot get away with this behavior. Except for the yelling, you did the right thing! You can get her in trouble for yelling at you  and doing it in front of a patient.

I had a coworker (she was also charge RN that shift) that was talking behind my back because I didn't know were some supplies were and she didint know that I was listening to every word she said about me. So, about an hour later she came to my patients room to tell me about a change that was happening and I said, "in the future if you have something to say about me I would appreciate it if you come to me with any questions or complaints instead of talking behind my back. First of all, I have only been on this unit for a few months and forgot were these supplies were since I don't use them every day, Second...I am 50 yrs old and we are not in high school anymore, grow up!

I never had another issue with her again and I didn't know it but other people overheard what I said to her and told me on the side that they were happy that someone finally said something to her. I was still friendly to her when I had to interact with her but she changed her tone when she was speaking to me after that.   

workinmomRN2012, BSN

Has 9 years experience.

You should also talk to your manager about this toxic work environment and tell her what you have been going thru. If she isn't sympathetic, look for another job.

DaniannaRN

Specializes in Quality Control,Long Term Care, Psych, UM, CM. Has 13 years experience.

Yes, you definitely could have handled the situation a little better, but I completely understand why you acted the way you did.

Firstly, no one at work should be commenting on your body.  At all.  Your body and how big/small you are has no place for discussion in a work setting.  It's still inappropriate if it's women doing the commenting.  Second, they for sure shouldn't be saying you look anorexic.  What if you actually were and they triggered you?  What if someone else in earshot was and they were triggered?  Using mental health/body image issues to insult someone is really low and may be harassment (I'm not 100% sure about the harassment part though).  It's definitely something you should bring up to HR, like now.  If you feel it's too late for that, keep this in mind if it should ever happen again.  

Regarding the yelling....totally unacceptable at work unless it's to warn you about danger.  One time I was yelled at by a supervisor and I told them one time do not ever yell at me ever again.  I will quit on the spot even though I needed that job.  I am a professional and will not tolerate being yelled at by anyone at work, manager or not.  If you wouldn't tolerate it in your personal life, definitely don't tolerate it at work.  You are not their child, you are their coworker/subordinate.  

As for what to do now, I suggest you go to HR stat.  Tell them everything.  Be honest.  Go to them before the manager does and tells it her way.  Tell HR about the comments on your body, the name calling, the yelling, and how you reacted.  Be humble and admit you were wrong but got caught in the moment, your frustration got the better of you.  TBH, I would leave out the "f you" part.  I would just mention how I yelled back and how I would handle it differently.  But also make it clear to HR that comments on your body shape/weight are highly inappropriate.

Good luck and start looking for another job anyway.  Even if nothing happens to you, you don't want to be at a place like this.  It's an abusive workplace.

DaniannaRN

Specializes in Quality Control,Long Term Care, Psych, UM, CM. Has 13 years experience.

Yes, you definitely could have handled the situation a little better, but I completely understand why you acted the way you did.

Firstly, no one at work should be commenting on your body.  At all.  Your body and how big/small you are has no place for discussion in a work setting.  It's still inappropriate if it's women doing the commenting.  Second, they for sure shouldn't be saying you look anorexic.  What if you actually were and they triggered you?  What if someone else in earshot was and they were triggered?  Using mental health/body image issues to insult someone is really low and may be harassment (I'm not 100% sure about the harassment part though).  

Regarding the yelling....totally unacceptable at work unless it's to warn you about danger.  One time I was yelled at by a supervisor and I told them one time do not ever yell at me ever again.  I will quit on the spot even though I needed that job.  I am a professional and will not tolerate being yelled at by anyone at work, manager or not.  If you wouldn't tolerate it in your personal life, definitely don't tolerate it at work.  You are not their child, you are their coworker/subordinate.  

As for what to do now, I suggest you go to HR stat.  Tell them everything.  Be honest.  Go to them before the manager does and tells it her way.  Tell HR about the comments on your body, the name calling, the yelling, and how you reacted.  Be humble and admit you were wrong but got caught in the moment, your frustration got the better of you.  TBH, I would leave out the "f you" part.  I would just mention how I yelled back and how I would handle it differently.  But also make it clear to HR that comments on your body shape/weight are highly inappropriate.

Good luck and start looking for another job anyway.  Even if nothing happens to you, you don't want to be at a place like this.  It's an abusive workplace.

DaniannaRN

Specializes in Quality Control,Long Term Care, Psych, UM, CM. Has 13 years experience.

Oh man, I posted twice and can't delete my first reply.  Oh well LOL.  

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

1 minute ago, DaniannaRN said:

Oh man, I posted twice and can't delete my first reply.  Oh well LOL.  

Your post was well written, though.  It's worth reading twice 🙂 

DaniannaRN

Specializes in Quality Control,Long Term Care, Psych, UM, CM. Has 13 years experience.

1 minute ago, SilverBells said:

Your post was well written, though.  It's worth reading twice 🙂 

Awww, thanks 🙂

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

18 hours ago, direw0lf said:

I then whispered “f*** you”.

Hey- you're only human, direwOlf, and sometimes we get pushed to the limit and we say what we feel like saying.

Like Popeye said, "That's all I can stands and I can't stands no more".

I've done it myself couple of times in my career and was terminated. One time I told the medical director, "Well, then. Go ahead. Fire me".

So he did.

It's a long story, but another time, I whispered to a coworker who was totally out of line, "Hotshot ****ant".

He went running to the Director, tattled on me, and I was fired over some other trumped up charges, but, hey, life goes on.

caring_witch

Specializes in Vent unit.

if I were you, I would speak your side! To me it sounds like your charge is behaving just as unprofessionally as you did that ONE time, but it seems to be ongoing for them. so sorry you are going thru this!

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Charge nurse is  power tripping and picking on you. I would write her up for yelling period, and especially in front of a patient. As far as the eff you ..that's a she said/she said.

Charge nurses have no magical power. It  all depends on their relationship with the manager. You can choose to fight back, or get ready to move on. 

The situation is so bad, I would be looking.

Good luck.

 

 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

21 hours ago, direw0lf said:

Should I type up my resignation letter and give it to my manager before I’m fired? 

I gotta say you didn't react any differently than your coworker. I am not sure you WANT to retire instead of firing. There are financial benefts to being fired, See the Comments by Davey Doo.

Just get yourself into a better frame of mind...What things would you like to do to complete your life,,, additional courses  leading to a higher nursing degree, arts courses (like china painting or interpretation of painting), virtual learning in the many programs that sprung up since March 2019.  Get busy and forget about this sorry *** of a  charge nurse who only has her job to comfort her on a cold Winter night. Meanwhile you will have good memories of what you have attempted/accomplished and the learned skills that help you appreciate the arts and sciences. 

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

You don't KNOW for a fact you will be fired. Maybe this charge nurse has a history and a report coming from her will not be looked upon with the same serious outcomes as others. Or, maybe she does have some pull and a reprimand from HR is coming. If you want to look for another job anyway, maybe this is the push that you needed. I'm an everything happens for a reason type person.

You're obviously beating yourself up about a very human and understandable reaction. Give yourself a bit of a break. You didn't threaten anyone, you didn't punch her, and the reason she yelled at your in the first place is ridiculous. 

I hope that whatever happens, you can see it as the best outcome for your situation right now. If you keep this job, maybe you can set the boundaries better with this nurse who is obviously on a power trip. If you leave, you can look at is as a fresh start out of an unpleasant environment. Other than the financial downside of being between paychecks, this can all be positive. Good luck!

21 hours ago, direw0lf said:

I can’t beat myself up more than I have.

And no need to. That isn't going to take you forward.

The worst thing is that someone mean, insecure and inappropriate who already had space in your head (but never should have) managed to get the best of you. Remember this. It will help you guard your personal mental-emotional space in the future so that you can have more control over how you spend your thoughts and energy.

As to the rest of it--what's done is done. Don't go overboard with self-flagellation, either internally or if asked to answer for yourself. If necessary, just state that she has been harassing you for [weeks/months] and then berated you in front of a patient and that you had enough.

Be determined that things will be looking up from here...one way or another. 👍🏽

 

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

I really think the charge should be fired, not you.

keep a written record of comments, you could have a case for a hostile work environment. 

spotangel, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 32 years experience.

Totally agree. Sounds like a hostile environment. I would be reporting it in writing to the unit manager. If no action is taken, take it up further to HR/Compliance. No one should body shame you or initiate unprofessional behavior. You can say that her behavior was the the straw that broke the camel's back and you spoke out of turn due to frustration and the constant bullying. All luck!

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

21 hours ago, JKL33 said:

And no need to. That isn't going to take you forward.

The worst thing is that someone mean, insecure and inappropriate who already had space in your head (but never should have) managed to get the best of you. Remember this. It will help you guard your personal mental-emotional space in the future so that you can have more control over how you spend your thoughts and energy.

As to the rest of it--what's done is done. Don't go overboard with self-flagellation, either internally or if asked to answer for yourself. If necessary, just state that she has been harassing you for [weeks/months] and then berated you in front of a patient and that you had enough.

Be determined that things will be looking up from here...one way or another. 👍🏽

 

This is SO so true. I transferred once into a department (from a department with a team that I loved and worked amazingly with but left because of unsafe situations)  to a department with a few people that were terribly damaging to me emotionally during a very hard time in my life. It is still very hard to move past that short stint and it was terribly damaging to my confidence level as a nurse. Now I am in a department that again is much better for me with a team that appreciates who I am. This is not an incident that you can blame entirely on yourself at all....it takes two to create a bad situation and often, when you are stuck with someone who intimidates you, you will likewise respond inappropriately. I know when I was in my *toxic* workplace, I definitely responded in a way that I shouldn’t have. But what’s done is done......my advice to you is be honest and upfront....if you need to - find a less toxic workplace to build your confidence in yourself again.