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Responding to annoying co-worker who asks you to work for them every week?

How would you respond to a co-worker who asked every week if you can work for them

  1. 1. How would you respond to a co-worker who asked every week if you can work for them

    • Stop responding and ignore them
    • Simply say no and ask them to give you more notice time
    • Tactfully confront them and let them know that what they are doing is bothersome
    • Other option not listed

116 members have participated

I have a co-worker who struggles with little aches and pains and she's always asking me to work for her every week. It's always something new as for the reason she wants someone coming in for her. I don't want to ruin a good relationship with her. I do remember one time I needed help from her but she was extremely rude about it and I had to wait and wait AND WAIT for another nurse to help me. I remember telling myself I will never help her outside of work ever again. How do politely send the message when she texts me asking if I can work for her? This is a weekly occurrence and I'm tired of it! But what if I need her to work for me? How to play this smart?

Penelope_Pitstop, BSN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

Just say you're unable to do it. No need to give a reason because you would be the one doing her the favor. You're probably not the only one she's asking.

Apple-Core, ASN, BSN, RN

Has 1 years experience.

When you say "work for me", do you mean cover your shift entirely? Or help out with something at work, such as turn a patient? I've been in this situation, and the person wanted me to cover their shift all the time, but would never return the favor. I simply texted back, "no, sorry, I can't". No explanation required. She asked me why not, I reiterated "I'm unable to this time" ...... after the third time, she stopped asking.

Apple-Core, ASN, BSN, RN

Has 1 years experience.

p.s. you say you don't want to ruin a good relationship with her, but clearly she doesn't care about any impact on you, so stop worrying and protect yourself!

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 7 years experience.

Tell her in clear English that you've got life going and work only the days you are scheduled. No exclusions, no wiggle room, no conditions. Done.

BTW, it works nice with Powers as well.

I would just say, "I'm sorry, but I can't." You don't owe her an explanation. And anyone who gets upset at you for not accommodating their every request isn't someone who's going to be your best bud anyway. Eventually she'll get the hint and she'll start asking other people.

I'm speaking the entire shift. All the nurses had to take a turn being a CNA for a full shift. I really needed a witness for insulin. She was sitting at the nurses station talking to the other CNAs chit chatting when I asked her for help and she said no, I'm a CNA today. She never got up to help me look for someone who was a nurse. She was very snooty about it as if she was resenting being a CNA that shift. All the nurses were super busy and the house supervisor was on another floor. When it was my turn to be a CNA I helped witnessed narcs and insulin.

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

Easy!

Just say, "I can't."

Of if you want to be nice, "I'm sorry ...I can't."

Or if you want to be really nice, "I'm sorry ...I can't. Maybe staffing can find someone to cover for you?"

I agree that there's no need to offer an explanation. And resist the urge to ask her why she needs the day off. In fact, you don't have to respond at all ...but I probably would (by text) just to be diplomatic. If you're consistent with your refusals, she'll stop asking.

macawake, MSN

Has 12 years experience.

How do politely send the message when she texts me asking if I can work for her? This is a weekly occurrence and I'm tired of it!

But what if I need her to work for me?

How often do you need her to cover a shift for you compared to how often (every week) she asks you to cover one of hers? When you do need to swap shifts, is she the only available option or do you have other co-workers you could ask? Actually, I'm curious to know if she even does help you out and cover your shifts to any significant degree or if your arrangement today is a one-way street where you help her out, but she doesn't reciprocate?

Sometimes you can't both have your cake and eat it too, I suspect this might be one of those situations. If you are tired of her constantly texting you (and I certainly would be in your situation), you need to tell her this. There's a real chance that she'll be offended but I think you need to make a choice. Which alternative are you less willing to accept? The status quo or the risk of "ruining" the relationship the two of you have?

I don't want to ruin a good relationship with her. I do remember one time I needed help from her but she was extremely rude about it and I had to wait and wait AND WAIT for another nurse to help me. I remember telling myself I will never help her outside of work ever again.

This part of your post makes me wonder if the relationship you have is all that great. Reading it is what made me think of the relationship as perhaps being one-way.

We should always be polite, professional and show our co-workers respect, but being popular and liked by everyone isn't required in my opinion. If her texting bothers you and you want her behavior to change, you simply need to tell her.

Best wishes!

She sounds like the type of person who you should be polite to in the hallways, but shouldn't go out of your way to accommodate (otherwise she'll grow to expect it of you), and probably shouldn't give her personal details about your life. She just strikes me as "one of those" ones, from what you've told us.

How often do you need her to cover a shift for you compared to how often (every week) she asks you to cover one of hers? When you do need to swap shifts, is she the only available option or do you have other co-workers you could ask? Actually, I'm curious to know if she even does help you out and cover your shifts to any significant degree or if your arrangement today is a one-way street where you help her out, but she doesn't reciprocate?

Sometimes you can't both have your cake and eat it too, I suspect this might be one of those situations. If you are tired of her constantly texting you (and I certainly would be in your situation), you need to tell her this. There's a real chance that she'll be offended but I think you need to make a choice. Which alternative are you less willing to accept? The status quo or the risk of "ruining" the relationship the two of you have?

This part of your post makes me wonder if the relationship you have is all that great. Reading it is what made me think of the relationship as perhaps being one-way.

We should always be polite, professional and show our co-workers respect, but being popular and liked by everyone isn't required in my opinion. If her texting bothers you and you want her behavior to change, you simply need to tell her.

Best wishes!

I bolded my favorite part here. I feel like most people go through a phase in their lives where they want everyone to like them. Boy was it relieving when I stopped caring about that! Be nice, be polite, be accommodating sometimes, but never at the expense of self care or your sanity! "No" is beautiful word sometimes.

I know you want to keep your working relationship good, I understand that. But it sounds as if she is oblivious to your feelings and doesn't care about the relationship as much as you do. I have a nurse like this where I work. She would always ask me to take her call, not TRADE her call like every other nurse does. Be careful with this type, don't let her run over you either. One of the posts before said to simply say no with no explanation at all required. Stay friends with the nurses that care about you genuinely and they will help you. I am still have a good relationship with that nurse and she seemed to have realized that no one wants to just help her without her helping black. Now she asks to trade call.

chacha82, ADN, BSN

Has 3 years experience.

If you want to play it smart, you set your own limits. If she asks and you can't, just say, "I'm sorry, I can't." Broken record syndrome. Don't give her a reason and don't go into it. If there's any chance you need her to work for you at some point, the less you say, the better.

kp2016

Has 20 years experience.

You need to start saying No! This person is taking advantage of you and will continue to so so for as long as you allow it.

Do not ignore the text messages and do not offer an excuse. You do not need an excuse to decline covering someone else's work. Just reply immediately with No.

serenity1

Specializes in labor & delivery. Has 7 years experience.

Had this problem. The same RN always asked me to take her holidays because she had to go to church. She had already run through the other staff when I came to the unit. I did it a few times, but then told her I make my schedule based on my needs and cannot switch anymore. She still texted me, but I stopped replying. I figured I had already told her I was done covering her holidays, if she didn't get the message, oh well. Eventually she stopped asking, and we are still great co-workers. Set your limits.

It never ceases to amaze me that the people I have helped in this manner or some other way, can never, never, never reciprocate.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

I'm speaking the entire shift. All the nurses had to take a turn being a CNA for a full shift. I really needed a witness for insulin. She was sitting at the nurses station talking to the other CNAs chit chatting when I asked her for help and she said no, I'm a CNA today. She never got up to help me look for someone who was a nurse. She was very snooty about it as if she was resenting being a CNA that shift. All the nurses were super busy and the house supervisor was on another floor. When it was my turn to be a CNA I helped witnessed narcs and insulin.

She sounds like a real piece of work. She is NEVER going to work for YOU, so feel free to let her know you want the weekly requests to stop NOW.

NurseCard, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

Just say "I'm sorry, I can't". No explanation needed.

quiltynurse56, LPN, LVN

Specializes in LTC and Pediatrics. Has 3 years experience.

I had a nurse where at least twice a month she was "sick". I would only go in if the DON called me. Also, whenever I needed to trade, she always had to check her calendar and wouldn't let me know until a couple of days before. When she would want me to trade, I always told her right away that I was not available to trade. I have had nurses work as CNA's yet they would do some meds if I were busy and a resident was wanting a PRN med.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

"NEVER say you're sorry! It's a sign of weakness". - NCIS GIBBS rule.

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