Harassment? - page 2

Once a week, we've been asked to wear white. It's supposed to be voluntary. It's supposed to be a choice. However. I know that one overzealous person has called people at home to "remind"... Read More

  1. by   bigsyis
    Quote from Natkat
    Just wear the white on the day they ask you to wear it. It's not worth fighting over.
    I agree. Life is too short to be sweating the small stuff. I am watching a friend battle cancer, and when you put things in perspective, what to wear is just not that big a deal.
  2. by   miko014
    I have one red top, and when I wear that, I wear white pants (and I wear white bicycle shorts under them!). Otherwise all my pants are navy. I hate wearing white, but I do like that top. If you don't want to wear white, don't do it. But what about something like that? Do you maybe have one cute top that would look okay with white pants, and you could meet them half way? But of course, only if you want to do that. It might get them off your back.

    Do you still have the memo or whatever where they told you about "white day"? If it says voluntary, then I agree with the poster who said it's like casual Friday. If someone wears a suit on casual Friday at an office, that's their business. I doubt anyone would be calling them at home and reminding them to wear jeans. I would tell the caller to get over it - ain't gonna happen! And maybe while she's out buying white scrubs for her coworkers, she could pick up a life for herself.
  3. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from MLOS
    JMHO ...

    I'm not a specialist in employment law. However, the problem probably lies in "we've been asked to wear white." When an employer "asks" an employee to do something, they're not really "asking" and there isn't really "choice." If it has been decided that staff are to wear white once a week (a particular day of the week?) then that is what staff are required to do or they face the possibility of consequences ranging from verbal correction to formal, written discipline -- depending on your facility's policy.

    When this requirement was communicated, verbally in a staff meeting, in writing via memo ... whatever ... I can picture that "we're asking that you wear white on x day of the week" or similar wording was used. IMO, this was simply politeness of speech -- it did not imply that wearing white was optional.

    Of course, I may be way off base here ...
    Nope, this was an employee "team building" initiative, generated by a coworker. Nothing hardwired into hospital policy except choice.
  4. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from CRNI-ICU20
    Hi Angio!
    Is this a hospital? Are these people nursing supervisors, or are they co-workers, or administration? What is the "motive" behind the reminder?
    I don't think this would qualify as harrassment, but it is definitely annoying and petty!
    If someone called me at home MORE THAN ONCE to remind me what to wear to work the next day, I would politely tell them:
    "It's wonderful that you take your job so seriously that you must remind each and every one of the ADULTS on your list what to wear to work tomorrow. However, I have been dressing myself since age 4, and so far, I haven't walked out of my house naked!" Then hang up.
    What is the purpose behind the "let's all wear white to work day?" thing?
    Personally, I think that hospitals/medical places that do this sort of thing are just silly. What a person wears to work has NO BEARING on their skills or capabilities.....I can code a person in green just as well as white....so it all boils down to"image"......
    I don't know why administration and management focus on this kind of drivel, when the REAL issues of nursing get ignored, like staffing retention, adequate nursing staff, excellence in nursing care, and promotion of good collaboration between doctors and nurses. I would hope that among the idiocy, there might be one in the group that could wake up from their "meeting coma" and take a hard look at that.
    This sort of thing goes round and round the same stupid wheel....and what it looks like to people on the outside looking in is that there are some who don't have enough to do with their time as a manager or administrator, so they meddle in minutia for the majority of their time!
    They remind me of Chicken Little....running around in a flurry yelling" The Sky IS FALLING!!" all while the real world is functioning just fine without them...
    This also reminds me of the movie "Office Space".....in the part where the character played by Jennifer Aniston shows up to work in her uniform, and her manager confronts her for "not wearing enough flair"....(these were silly little buttons that people were supposed to pin on themselves to convey messages to the eating public, she was a waitress.)
    I guess your self-appointed fashion police/person is just reminding people to wear their "flair"....ugh. crni
    A coworker is the initiator.
    Motive is ironically, team-building.
    The people who were called at home did wear white the next day, then complained to me about feeling coerced into doing so.

    And yes, it does remind me of Office Space. If it was Chotchky's I would quit, but this is my profession and my chosen career and so far, the good has outweighed the idiocy.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Aug 15, '07
  5. by   nightmare
    Well in that case someone should point out to this coworker that as team-building goes it is not working and just getting everyone's back up! By definition teambuilding should bring everyone together not blast them apart!
  6. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Natkat
    Just wear the white on the day they ask you to wear it. It's not worth fighting over.
    I didn't think I was fighting over it; I was under the impression that I had a choice.
  7. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Daytonite
    Was this a manager or someone in a management/supervision position? I'd take them up on the offer to buy the uniforms for me! If they're going to pay, then I'll wear what they want.

    The VA hospital I worked for provided our uniforms as well as the laundry service for them. Suggest that.
    It was the coworker who started this initiative, offering in all seriousness to a colleague who does not want to wear white and had heretofore politely refused on the grounds that she didn't have a white uniform even if she wanted to wear white.

    The key here is that the whole initiative was to be a team-building initiative, and there are a few of us who do not believe that wearing white equates with "team player" and who have been repeatedly told that it's a choice.

    Yet when they choose to wear colored scrubs, something is always said and the implication is that they're not wearing white so therefore, are not a team player.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Aug 15, '07
  8. by   CseMgr1
    Unless the wearing of white uniforms is written policy, this caller needs to mind his/her own business.

    Tacky, to say the least! :angryfire
  9. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from bigsyis
    I agree. Life is too short to be sweating the small stuff. I am watching a friend battle cancer, and when you put things in perspective, what to wear is just not that big a deal.
    So I have to go out and spend close to $100 for a uniform (don't forget shoes) that's basically a peep show (don't forget the white/beige grannypants underneath), just to go along to get along?

    That IS a big deal to me.

    In fact, it's such a big deal to me that the hospital policy of choice was a huge factor in my decision to work here.

    I have to run a gauntlet of comments and disapproving looks about my choice every week. This is not about team-building any more; it's about control.

    It offends me to be treated this way and to have my choices so disrespected.

    PS I'm really sorry about your friend dealing with cancer. I agree, major illness can certainly put priorities in perspective. This is why I'm so shocked that after three months of this initiative, I'm still being harassed about it. When does the "wear white weekly" thing end? Oh, it doesn't. This is forever.

    What chaps my hide is how hard professional nurses had to work in order to get a choice, and now this generation is all about "tradition." Please. I'm not that sentimental about how our profession has evolved over the past 50 years.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Aug 15, '07
  10. by   SuesquatchRN
    How about submit a memo simply stating that you will not wear white. Period. And that you find the repeated reminders to so do offensive and that you request that they stop immediately.
  11. by   Tweety
    Just ride it out Angie, sooner or later they are going to recognize the one's they can't reach and leave you alone.

    Go into what I what I call my "broken record routine" saying "I am choosing not to wear white, please don't continue to ask." Say it again and again and again if you have to.

    Then relax about it and don't stress. I think the overzealousness with ease with time. What's probably going to happen is people will slowly begin not wearing white. They will either accept that they won't get 100% compliance, or they will mandate that you wear white without a choice.

    Good luck with this.
  12. by   UM Review RN
    Before I get busy doing other stuff, I just want to take a minute and thank all of you who gave such thoughtful answers to my dilemma in this thread.

    All of you were so much more helpful than my wonderful DH, whose advice was to just call off on white day.

    Right. Like they wouldn't notice.
  13. by   bigsyis
    Quote from angie o'plasty, rn
    so i have to go out and spend close to $100 for a uniform (don't forget shoes) that's basically a peep show (don't forget the white/beige grannypants underneath), just to go along to get along?

    that is a big deal to me.
    did you protest as loudly and vociferously when this was announced as being a team-building project, esp. about the $expense$?

    i don't know if you live near a wal-mart or not, but you can get pants, jacket and top for about $36, and white underwear isn't too expensive there. if you are fortunate enough (and policy allows) and there is a dollar general store near you, you can get white "croc-like" shoes there for $6/pr, and they are quite comfortable!

    and yes, i know whereof i speak, that is why i asked what the totally big deal was. three weeks after buying seven new sets of spring/summer scrubs (jackets included) earlier this year, our practice announced that we were mandated to wear only navy or red of a certain style. they would give us 3 sets of tops and bottoms and one jacket. unless i wanted to look like a beggar in very short order, guess what? i had to buy seven more sets and jackets so i'd at least have 2 weeks' worth. of course, white shoes (or pastel colors) looked ridiculous w/navy and red. that is when i found the croc-like shoes at dollar general, and they are really comfortable and wear well.

    one nurse here risked being fired for insubordination because she only wanted to wear white. the solution was for her to wear a full-lenth white lab coat over her navy scrubs. maybe you all could compromise that way?