Irritating Coworker

  1. Wondering how others would deal with this situation. I am a nurse who recently started working on a very small unit at a different facility. One of the nurses there picks at me and corrects me repeatedly during every shift that we work together. I find this person's behavior very irritating because I'm an experienced nurse and the remarks are completely unnecessary and worthless. It is not like I'm making mistakes or poor judgment calls. This person talks incessantly, acts very friendly with everyone, and gossips about others behind their backs. As the new kid on the block, I don't want to make waves, but I really dread working with this person. No one else treats me that way at this job, and I don't see this nurse treating anyone else this way either.
  2. Visit medsurgrnco profile page

    About medsurgrnco

    Joined: Jan '08; Posts: 580; Likes: 365
    Specialty: Med-Surg, Psych


  3. by   TheCommuter
    I've observed repeatedly that these irritating coworkers target specific individuals, while 'magically' leaving other people alone. This is really unfortunate, but it is all about the manner in which we are perceived. If you are viewed as someone one who will not stand up for oneself, you'll be targeted for further harassment. If you're perceived as someone who will put up some sort of resistance and not allow anyone to pick at you, then the irritating coworker will swiftly know it is best to leave you alone.

    In my opinion, this coworker is bullying you. She might be jealous of you, or she might be picking at you because she feels she can get away with it scott-free.

    Bullying is a crime of opportunity, since bullies pick out the most opportune targets: people who are less likely to respond in a defensive manner to the harassment. Also, if nothing is done, this person will continue the antisocial behavior, because this person knows that he/she can get away with it.
  4. by   Baloney Amputation
    I find that in general, if I have someone picking on me, I call them out right on the spot as bluntly as I can without being rude. I rSome people think they are funny or powerful or something else when they do the incessant picking, but sometimes if you look in their eye and give it right back to them, they will back off.
  5. by   Baloney Amputation
    I tried to edit my original post, but when I have the cheapo membership, I have to type faster, I guess!

    I find that in general, if I have someone picking on me, I call them out right on the spot as bluntly as I can without being rude. I recall once as an CNA I had a coworker pick and pick at me for little things. (SHEESH!)

    One situation of mine sticks out. Anyway, one day my boyfriend at the time called me at work. She answered and gave me the phone but then yelled at me that I needed to take the trash out NOW when there was no reason for me to take it out right then...he called for some particular reason that I can't remember. Anyway, I did take the trash out then to avoid a confrontation (bad move on my part), and picked the phone back up. When I was done on the phone, the CNA said, "Gosh, your boyfriend's voice is kind of high, isn't it?" I said, "He has a speech impediment as well. Why don't you pick on that, too?" (He had an issue with saying the R sound. He did indeed have a slight but obvious speech impediment.) She never picked on me from that day forward and was actually nice to me. I don't know if you have anything like that, but I never, ever had anyone try to pick on me quite as personally as that besides my own parents, but that's another story. This CNA was not the only one to pick incessantly at me, but I remember this situation quite well, so that's why I said it.

    Some people think they are funny or powerful or something else when they do the incessant picking, but sometimes if you look in their eye and give it right back to them, they will back off.
  6. by   medsurgrnco
    Thanks. I do plan on dealing with it, just trying to figure out what to say. Fortunately we haven't worked together very often, and the comments are often said in the form of "informing" me about something like I don't know it (when I do). So what would others say to this nurse?
  7. by   Baloney Amputation
    Can you give us some examples of what your coworker spouts out?
  8. by   medsurgrnco
    Sent a PM. Trying to remain anonymous on this forum, and I don't know who reads posts here.
  9. by   nursej22
    I would ask to speak to her in private initially... and then I would use the SBAR communication tool (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation).

    Something like " I feel like some of the comments you have made to me are unnecessary and have hurt my feelings. Although I am fairly new here, I am an experienced RN. I feel like you do not think that I am not doing my job adequately.
    While I appreciate you trying to help me I would rather you wait until I ask for advice."

    And then I would try to compliment this person on something she does well to show that you can appreciate her strengths as well.

    If she keeps it up, call her on each time. If you feel safe, perhaps you can joke:
    " Oh yes, wise and learned one, this unworthy soul relies on your great wealth of knowledge and experience".
  10. by   RN1982
    You just need to call them out. The more you let it go on, the worse it will get. You need to come out and say "I find you behavior to be very rude and in the future I would like you to address me more politely"
  11. by   CHATSDALE
    not saying anything is not going to solve the problem
    do not raise you voice but let her know that you do not going to put up with this, if you like your job stay there and correct the problem
    firmly with a smile on your face
    you don't want to make an enemy of her but you do not have to put up with childish behavior
  12. by   Laketown3450
    I have noticed this same thing occurring to me, because I am quiet and nonconfrontational. Some people like to do this because they have some deep-seated emotional problems and this helps them blow off steam. But they can just keep on doing it and doing it, and one day, they are going to get it all handed back to 'em.:angryfire BTW, Applescrufette, I liked what you said to your co-worker regarding the phone call situation. I would have said the EXACT same thing. Just perfect!
  13. by   justme1972
    I've worked with people like this, and they are poison.

    The next time she tries to correct you...just don't even respond. Just look at her and say, "How has your day been? We sure are busy!"

    Do the same if she starts talking about other co-workers. Even better, if she starts talking about "Julie", interrupt her and say, "Oh, isn't Julie the sweetest!!!! I just LOVE her!".....whether you mean it or not.

    Trust me...she will stop running her mouth once she realizes she doesn't have an audience.
  14. by   mpccrn
    i tend to lean toward humorous sarcasm......when she tells you something you already know i'd probably say.....yep,it's exactly as i remember nursing 101......thanks for the trip down memory'll get a laugh from others around and might even make her feel stupid for picking on you! good luck!