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Secretary infighting

I'm going to make a long story short. I have two secretaries (Jill and Mary, names changed) who seem to get along although each has told me about the other's "game playing." On a recent morning Jill stalked into the office and told me about Mary's doing one thing and another which raised Jill's ire. It was only 15 minutes into the shift. I brought both into the office, closed the door, and asked Mary what was the problem. "Nothing." At once Jill started with "You F--- F---F---and you do this S--- f---" ... get the picture? A couple of times I asked her to stop, she ignored me. Mary said then she wants to go home. I told her she cannot unless she's sick. Now, of course, she's sick, has to go to ER. Mary is obese and has blood pressure issues so it's not something new. I brought her to the ER and left, later she calls from another hospital where she apparently went instead of our ER. She asked if her job was secure. I honestly don't know what I replied although I would not have told her anything of any substance at that time.

About 30 minutes after this scene, Jill came into the office, apologized for cursing, and told me not to get involved in "Black women issues" because it will come back around to me.

Jill and Mary are both black. To this point they were to me, two difficult employees who cannot just do their jobs without personal drama. There have been other issues, but I'm writing about this one.

Later in the day I got a call from HR about Mary, it seems she called there to complain because she was cursed at and I did nothing. After that I got a call from the Director of Nursing. Same complaint.

Now what? I feel like I should have sent both home when they started arguing. I should have at least stopped the cursing. But we were in there with the door closed and I feel that then is the time to get things out in the open. As far as secretaries, it is enormously difficult to find a competent secretary, and they are each very able to perform the job- the problem is when their personal lives come into their work, or their infighting.

Suggestions on how to handle these two? By the way, today we will all meet in Human Resources.

--Thank You.

OMG this sounds so familiar. I also deal with game-players. I think you handled it the best way you could by bringing them both in. I would have ended the meeting when the language got ugly. Some of my staff probably think I wait too long to address personality issues, but it's just so that all parties can cool off. Good luck with these two.

Get with HR to try to find a way to separate the two, so that they are not in the same area on the same shift.

JJGRN

Specializes in IMC, ICU, cath lab, admin..

Wow... This is a bad situation all the way around. Not only was the cursing an example of lateral violence... but it sounds like Jill has no respect for your authority in saying to not get involved in black women issues because it will come around to get you. That sounds like a threat to me, and she should be fired.

Can you give us the follow up of what happened in HR?

Do not meet with either or both of them without an HR or other Admin type present as a witness. Make them both write out their c/o about the other party. Make them aware that they may no longer curse, shout, or otherwise act rude, violent, or disrespectful. Start the disciplinary process with them both, as they sound like they both deserve it. Get HR's advice on this before you do any of it.

Come on, OP, we're waiting to hear back from you.

mizfradd, CNA

Specializes in med/surg, psych, public health.

Wow... This is a bad situation all the way around. Not only was the cursing an example of lateral violence... but it sounds like Jill has no respect for your authority in saying to not get involved in black women issues because it will come around to get you. That sounds like a threat to me, and she should be fired.

Can you give us the follow up of what happened in HR?

Wow :eek:!! I agree..that sounds like a perceived threat.

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