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Part Time to Casual

Hello! Hope everyone is doing well ūüôā

I'm in need of some advice - going to try to shorten the story but here it is. Some background information: I live and work in Ontario, Canada. I fell ill back in March (not COVID19) and was working part time at a hospital at the time. I had to call in sick several times and eventually had my family physician give me the time off to recover. After almost two months of being off and finally getting the go ahead from family physician + occupational health to return I was schedule for some shifts. However, during all the stress of COVID19 happening + being seriously ill I had exacerbated my anxiety and had given away my upcoming several shifts. I just felt that mentally I was not ready to return (the unit I work on we see some sad events with children and after being away for so long I just had terrible anxiety going back and currenty looking for help to deal with my anxiety). After I had given away those shifts I literally was not scheduled to work for another month.

At the time that I had given my shifts away my manager actually contacted me to check in and say "Hey, I noticed you gave away your shifts, you are not meeting your part time commitment, do you think you would consider working casual now and allowing another member of the team take the part time opportunity?". I had told her that I would think about it and would contact her back. Two weeks go by and she contacts me once again asking if I would want to go casual and give my part time to someone else. I had agreed and she asked me to write a letter + send it to her via email to basically say I'm okay with going casual. I sent this over and two weeks go by without a word. I then send her an email saying "Hi just following up on what we had spoken and the letter I had sent you" to which I get a response that yes I will follow up with you next week about this as there needs to be a casual position available for me to take. Which is rather confusing because why be so adamant that I change to casual and have me write this letter only then to not be able to change me to casual. Mentally, I have been completely resigned from work. Figured that in this time while I'm casual I will be able to work on my mental health and not feel pressured.

A week goes by and no word from my manager so I email her once again and she responds again with "this may take perhaps 3 weeks but we have to wait for a casual position to come up to give it to you". Meanwhile I know there are girls on the unit that would LOVE to have this part time position because they are casual. I had reached out to my manager inquiring if it'd be possible to make the switch with¬†whomever is in line¬†seniority wise and once again got no response from her. I feel terrible having to give my shifts away but I know that I will have¬†several shifts in the next week but I feel like she's¬†giving me no choice. I¬†don't want to quit but have really been thinking about it now that she's making it difficult. Help ūüė쬆and thank you ever so kindly for reading through this!

It's very likely that your manager wants you to quit due to issues with reliability. After reading what you wrote, I get the impression that it's always something.

Managers tend to be understanding when we have one difficulty and recover from it ...but a string of endless difficulties are more difficult to accept and work around.

I think you should focus on looking for new employment and starting with a clean slate. Fair or not, your reputation may be tarnished to the point of no return. Make sure you're OK first, of course ...and hold on to this job while you search for something new, unless you can afford to go without working for a while.

4 hours ago, Sour Lemon said:

It's very likely that your manager wants you to quit due to issues with reliability. After reading what you wrote, I get the impression that it's always something.

Managers tend to be understanding when we have one difficulty and recover from it ...but a string of endless difficulties are more difficult to accept and work around.

I think you should focus on looking for new employment and starting with a clean slate. Fair or not, your reputation may be tarnished to the point of no return. Make sure you're OK first, of course ...and hold on to this job while you search for something new, unless you can afford to go without working for a while.

Thank you for your response Sour Lemon! I understand the point of reliability, however I feel that when it’s an issue with an actual illness it’s quite different. If I had just stopped showing up for shifts and gave excuses with no actual proof then I would understand a manager not wanting to be forthcoming. But given that I’ve submitted all the proper documentation I thought that I had shown otherwise. 
Perhaps you are right and this is her way of trying to have me leave on my own terms but it’s just disheartening. There have been many instances with her and other team members wherein she was far from polite I.e. someone having a family emergency and needing bereavement days and her saying no & to show proof of funeral etc. , but I always gave the benefit of the doubt. 
I think at this point, I can afford to step away and in due time also be on the look for a different opportunity while I take this time to work on this anxiety. 

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

I hate to be the skeptic here and I mean no offense or disrespect whatsoever.¬†But I think your reason given as ‚Äúanxiety‚ÄĚ isn‚Äôt going to go over well with any manager any time soon especially when there are actual media recordings¬†on television with people coming to blows over those not wearing masks.

Basically, millions of people (including nurses and doctors) are scared to death of this virus; and that makes your anxiety issue pale in comparison and a ‚Äėget in line with the rest of us‚Äô type deal. If you can afford to quit, do it. I sure would. The Adrenalin rush left me 2 years into this 34-year, ongoing¬†career.

Hi BSNbeDONE,

Thank you for your response. It's definitely not an anxiety for having to wear a mask. I am all FOR wearing masks and have been wearing one anytime I need to be out in closed public spaces/public in general. Having experienced the pain that I was in while I was sick and being away from family during COVID19 did not help my mental health. Unfortunately as you may know anxiety is irrational. I cannot talk myself out of this state and I really wish I didn't have to deal with this panic state that I am constantly in these days. I would much rather be out - see my coworkers, see people in general. 

I've held different positions (non nursing and nursing) for many years and do realize that you're not going to always be excited to go in. However this is very different. I do think that I have been trying to talk myself into staying and perhaps I need to realize that I need to take a step back and be okay first and foremost and then start fresh in an area that I will love as well.

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

1 hour ago, karekare said:

Hi BSNbeDONE,

Thank you for your response. It's definitely not an anxiety for having to wear a mask. I am all FOR wearing masks and have been wearing one anytime I need to be out in closed public spaces/public in general. Having experienced the pain that I was in while I was sick and being away from family during COVID19 did not help my mental health. Unfortunately as you may know anxiety is irrational. I cannot talk myself out of this state and I really wish I didn't have to deal with this panic state that I am constantly in these days. I would much rather be out - see my coworkers, see people in general. 

I've held different positions (non nursing and nursing) for many years and do realize that you're not going to always be excited to go in. However this is very different. I do think that I have been trying to talk myself into staying and perhaps I need to realize that I need to take a step back and be okay first and foremost and then start fresh in an area that I will love as well.

I hope you didn't take my post as making light of your anxiety because I was not. And I definitely wasn't implying that your anxiety was mask-related.  What I was saying that lots of mental AND physical issues have taken a back seat in light of this COVID-19. People are actually fighting out of fear. Managers simply have bigger fish to fry these days (lack of PPE, on-duty personnel becoming exposed, frequent call-ins, and just plain old staffing shortages that became even shorter). There are threads here where nurses quit their jobs because of COVID/fearful of infecting their families. No one came blame them. In all honesty, if you're suffering with anxiety, home is the very best place for you to be.

I posted a comment here a couple of months back where I was given a COVID patient in addition to 4 other highly-infectious patients on my last travel assignment back in March. I feel that they did this out of fear because no one else had any isolation patients on this small unit. I felt it was in my best interest that I kept this assignment because I truly believed that if my colleagues were that fearful of these patients, they were at risk of making careless mistakes in the room and coming out and infecting us all. I wasn't being a team player that night; for them to do this, I realized that I could not trust them. I was looking out for myself until my shift was over. Then I cancelled that contract as soon as I got off the next morning. For me, this was just the straw on the camel, which COVID helped to decide (I had been voicing my concerns about the assignments at this facility since November).

So, I'm not pointing fingers here. As a med-surg nurse and an active frontline worker, I have to say that I do understand the issues that management is facing and the reality is, COVID has forced a LOT of conditions (physical AND mental) to take a number and have a seat. If you had such anxiety with returning to work the first time, your manager probably feels that you may become a liability as these COVID cases surge. Unfortunately, it is what it is. 

Edited by BSNbeDONE

Hi BSNbeDONE,

Thank you again for taking the time to respond to me. I didn't feel that you were making light of my situation at all. I really do appreciate you giving your point of view and quite frankly I didn't think of the situation from the standpoint of the manager at first. You are right in saying that she has much greater things to manage right now and my being unwell is probably her last concern. I feel that I've already made up my mind about whether I wanted to remain there and probably just needed confirmation in one way or another by hearing it from other people (as odd as it may sound). It makes me really sad but it is what it is.

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

I believe this is the way things are going to be for some time to come. I hope things work out well for you. 

Good luck to you and to us all..

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